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Too often wars are described in terms of presidents and generals, emperors and kings, grand strategy and elaborate campaigns. But wars affect the lives of all people - the soldiers who fight and the women, children, and men who support the effort from home. The Lend-Lease program was a turning point during WWII, and an essential home front undertaking. Early in 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared: "Give us the tools and we will finish the job." The Lend-Lease operation eventually provided the British, Soviets, and other Allies with $50 billion worth of "tools" - much more than the $32 billion cost to the United States for World War I. In May of 1945, when war ended in Europe, Winston Churchill stated: "It was American war production that won the war in Europe." Indeed, from 1941 to 1945, American factories poured out an avalanche of weaponry: 40 billion bullets, 300,000 aircraft, 76,000 ships, 86,000 tanks, 2.6 million machine guns, and massive amounts of non-military items. In the three years of the Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease Airway, thousands of Americans worked with Soviets on the cooperative program. At its height, up to 600 Soviet pilots and other personnel served in Great Falls, Montana; and Fairbanks, Galena and Nome, Alaska. From 1942to 1945, the Alaska-Siberia Lend-Lease program demonstrated that two nations could set aside differing views, cultural values and principles to achieve a common, mutually beneficial goal - the defeat of Nazi Germany and its Axis powers. This book is a moving testimonial to what peace-seeking nations can achieve when they cooperate in the face of a common enemy. Dr. Jeffrey W. Hahn, Professor of Political Science, Villanova University.
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