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Studebakers in Russia, an interesting perspective

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  • Studebakers in Russia, an interesting perspective

    On our Potomac Chapter Fall Tour this past weekend (see separate thread- http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ekend&p=586393) I was talking to a young couple who were looking at our Studebakers in the parking lot at the Cacapon State Resort Park Lodge. The young woman surprised me by saying that she was well aware of the Studebaker truck in Russia under the WW II Lend-Lease program. She had a slight accent and it turned out that she was Russian. She also told me that Russian Army officers drove Studebaker cars because they were very prestigious, something I had never heard before
    Last edited by 53k; 10-24-2011, 06:43 AM. Reason: added thread url
    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

  • #2
    I read somewhere,I think an article in TW-? that in Russia the troops liked Studebaker trucks so much,that "Studebaker" became the word for "Truck".
    No,it was in the book,"Studebaker,Less Than They Promised"-
    "thousands of Studebaker trucks hauled russian troops and supplies through the terrible mud and snow of the eastern front and into the heart of nazi Germany" By the end of the war,Studebaker had built 197,678 heavy trucks.
    Last edited by 52hawk; 10-23-2011, 04:17 PM.
    Oglesby,Il.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 52hawk View Post
      I read somewhere,I think an article in TW-? that in Russia the troops liked Studebaker trucks so much,that "Studebaker" became the word for "Truck".
      No,it was in the book,"Studebaker,Less Than They Promised"-
      "thousands of Studebaker trucks hauled russian troops and supplies through the terrible mud and snow of the eastern front and into the heart of nazi Germany" By the end of the war,Studebaker had built 197,678 heavy trucks.
      In Khruschev's memoirs he mentioned Studebaker trucks complaining that it was a disgrace that so many years after the war Russians still referred to trucks as Studebakers.
      Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
      '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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      • #4
        Here is an excerpt from a history of Studebaker trucks that I have been working on (seemingly) forever:

        Under the Lend-Lease program, in 1941 the U.S. Government supplied Allied nations (especially the Soviet Union) with military hardware, and the Studebaker US6 was chosen as the military truck to provide to other nations under this program. Over 100,000 of these trucks were provided to Russia. These trucks were so durable in War duty that noted military vehicle historian Clell Ballard has stated: “The term ‘Studebaker’ was even incorporated into the Russian language. Near the end of the war, Americans did some research about Russian GIs. The report stated: ‘. . . they referred to all trucks as Studebakers’. In ordinary conversation they sometimes used ‘Studebaker’ as the equivalent of ‘OK’ which reflected their opinion of the Studebaker trucks.”

        According to historian Thomas E. Bonsall, “Joseph Stalin was so appreciative of the effectiveness of his Studebaker trucks that he sent the company a letter of thanks.” Bonsall quotes from Nikita Krushchev’s memoirs, in which Krushchev comments on the contributions of the Studebaker US6 trucks:
        “Just imagine how we would have advanced from Stalingrad to Berlin without them! Our losses would have been colossal because we would have had no maneuverability.”

        Great Britain also received a large number of Studebaker US6 trucks. They were used extensively in the Middle East and in the India-Burma theater of war.
        Skip Lackie

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        • #5
          Many of my Russian born students know what a Studebaker is, unlike my American students, due to WWII. They told me that some of them were still being used as farm vehicles!!!
          1957 Studebaker Champion 2 door. Staten Island, New York.

          "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -Albert Einstein

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          • #6
            http://www.stude100.com/stu/Pg4/pg4.php

            This site that I came across, and have listed in my blog for future reference, talks about the Soviet Union briefly:
            200,000 of these rugged vehicles were built between 1941 and 1945 for the US and Soviet Armies and approximately half of Studebakers trucks went to the Soviet Union under Lend Lease. They were so abundant there that ‘Studebaker’ became Russian slang for truck.
            1960 Lark VIII Regal Wagon

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