HOI4 Dev Diary - 1.9.1 Patch & Roadmap update

HOI4 Dev Diary - 1.9.1 Patch & Roadmap update

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what I want is to improve performance. Which make the game better utilize the microprocessor cores. Otherwise the experience, at least in my case, will be bad in the long term in game time
 
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How about fixing AI?

AI issues:

Stop building tanks after researching medium tanks (just check land equipment in 1945 for GPs)
Does not know how to create good division templates (does not know how width works )
Does not know how to create a good ship design (ships are basically random)
Does not use mines (sometimes a handful of mines can appear)
Does not use minesweeping (as any minor you can mine the entire British channel allowing an invasion)
Can not handle submarines as it can not handle the ship design
Does not defend ports (it will leave them empty once it has a front somewhere)
Leaves entire fronts open (Maginot line being empty happens for France if it is in war with a country before being in war with germany)
Can not anticipate future fronts (borders with countries that are currently in peace but likly hostile)
Is not able to do proper naval invasions
does not know how to use spies. (does it try?)

AI never learned to handle all vanilla features. And there is not even an attempt to make it understand DLC mechanics. With every patch, the AI becomes worse as there are more features it can not handle.
 
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I'd say China is just in the right place, maybe slightly on the stronger side.
China might even be too strong in the bigger picture. Currently the Allies completely give up control in Asia. Even if Japan loses to China and has very little industry and resources (or even if they are still in the war and have to focus the majority of their army/industry on China), they always conquer the entirety of the Philippines, East Indies, Malaya, Australia, New Zealand and India, even taking Hawaii at some point.

It only takes a handful of 1936 submarines to completely halt Japan's conquests (none of their starting DDs have sonar or depth charges, the US AI used to aggressively raid around the home islands and make life very difficult for Japan). Once that behavior returns, China's advantage will get bigger.
 
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Hello Paradox HOI4 team! Thank you for your excellence at your passions!

I'm a CK2 and Stellaris addict; have yet to get my hands on CK3; Got HOI4 a while ago, but hardly played it since 2018, until now. The expansions you released over past two years, have made the game much better, as I'm enjoying the experience now, more then I last played HOI4 in 2018. My primary reason for getting this game, was the the Great War mod (arguably one of the most fascinating events in human history). So I didn't touch vanilla game too much. However, there is glaring emptiness then it comes to Russia. One of the most important nations in time period covered. But it feels uninspired and bland, to play it. The Soviet focus tree needs a deep rework. The Soviet weakness brakes immersion and makes the game too easy. Its difficult to enjoy a game as US, Germany or USSR, with such a weak Russia. Playing as Germany, is too easy, where as it should be extremely challenging. Playing as US, also suffers with USSR just collapsing to Germany every time. As for USSR itself, just uneventful, and lacking in choices.


Mines. Please teach AI to both, using mines and clearing them. Right now, mines are basically a cheat code against AI.

Nuclear research; akin to space race of it's time; its bland and underwhelming research process. Needs something to make it more interesting.

China; too weak. Please do something. Japan should be challenged by its ambitions in China...

Love spying expansion! Needs more agents, and more things to do. Just a little more at least.

Flavor events. Can we get more newspaper articles and the like? Something to make the world more real.

Switzerland. A country too valuable for all sides in WW1 n WW2 to attack; a neutral ground, intelligence operations and banking hub for all sides. Can this be somehow represented in the game?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Wish you all the best, and looking forward to future content! ❤

Edit: PS the "Great War" and "Great War Redux" mods are too good. For inspiration to fixing Russian focus tree in vanilla, take a look at it. Its excellent. So many choices, and so much pressure to making those choices; Its excellent fun. Also, the quality of those two mods, is on par with official content, the time period is so much fun and the game is so well suited for it. Perhaps you can integrate that mod into the official game? The Great War scenario (1910-1925). I promise you, the game will become so much more fun for everyone!
Let me take on a few of these if you'll allow me:
Mines, yes I agree, they are OP as hell against AI lol, but I rarely play full or even partially naval unless I go Japan or US so basically it's only reliable as a few nations imo as they only have a solid naval industry+UK and a few others.

Nuclear research: I agree, it should be a lot more interesting, in which you would have to invest let's say 10-15 civs for 180 days per research column? There could be like 6-9 stages of research each taking 180-360 days and taking 5-10-15 even 20 civilian factories, similar to espionage/intelligence network building. Also it could include events like in 1938 "Otto Hahn and Lisa Meitner discover nuclear fission" and such.

China; too weak. Please do something. Japan should be challenged by its ambitions in China...
I partially agree, the resistance and guerilla warfare should be much much more influential, in constantly draining Japanese resources and reserves. Also, the Chinese should get an event to break the Yellow river dikes, like they did in real life, which caused enormous damage in Henan, Anhui and Shangdong as well as redirecting the stream for decades. It also caused nearly 2,5 million refugees and from 350000-450000 civilian deaths from starvation, plague and other factors.
But you have to keep in mind that a Japanese AI that would be at war with China by 1940/1941 would have a hard time building industry and starting the invasion of not only Guam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, but Malaya, Siam, Dutch East Indies and such. I mean, it would be difficult to make the Japanese AI balanced to also be able to make huge fronts in Siam/Burma, Malaya, Philippines, Dutch East Indies while being bogged down in China, though I also understand and support your argument, as the Japanese army had no real grand strategy during and after the Marco Polo escalation and the ensuing war, as even said by author, professor and historian Sarah C.M. Paine of the US Naval War College:
"On the 4th of September 1937, when the Japanese Minister of War, General Sugiyama Gen declared that "this war has become a total war", he failed to consider the impact on the Chinese population of escalating from a limited war - limited to a territorial concession(such as extended business rights in North China, which they had previously demanded) to an unlimited war that entailed the overthrow of the Nationalist government and the murder of the dissenting civilian population. The military strategy of unrelenting expansion unwittingly herded Chinese of all political persuasions toward an inescapable conclusion: Either cooperate with each other to fight Japan or become a servile population on their own land. As much as the factions of China disagreed with each other about the form future Chinese institutions should take, they agreed that Japan had no place at the table to resolve the matter." p. 159 The Wars for Asia 1911-1949, Cambridge University Press S.C.M. Paine 2012
 
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Let me take on a few of these if you'll allow me:
Mines, yes I agree, they are OP as hell against AI lol, but I rarely play full or even partially naval unless I go Japan or US so basically it's only reliable as a few nations imo as they only have a solid naval industry+UK and a few others.

Nuclear research: I agree, it should be a lot more interesting, in which you would have to invest let's say 10-15 civs for 180 days per research column? There could be like 6-9 stages of research each taking 180-360 days and taking 5-10-15 even 20 civilian factories, similar to espionage/intelligence network building. Also it could include events like in 1938 "Otto Hahn and Lisa Meitner discover nuclear fission" and such.


I partially agree, the resistance and guerilla warfare should be much much more influential, in constantly draining Japanese resources and reserves. Also, the Chinese should get an event to break the Yellow river dikes, like they did in real life, which caused enormous damage in Henan, Anhui and Shangdong as well as redirecting the stream for decades. It also caused nearly 2,5 million refugees and from 350000-450000 civilian deaths from starvation, plague and other factors.
But you have to keep in mind that a Japanese AI that would be at war with China by 1940/1941 would have a hard time building industry and starting the invasion of not only Guam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, but Malaya, Siam, Dutch East Indies and such. I mean, it would be difficult to make the Japanese AI balanced to also be able to make huge fronts in Siam/Burma, Malaya, Philippines, Dutch East Indies while being bogged down in China, though I also understand and support your argument, as the Japanese army had no real grand strategy during and after the Marco Polo escalation and the ensuing war, as even said by author, professor and historian Sarah C.M. Paine of the US Naval War College:
"On the 4th of September 1937, when the Japanese Minister of War, General Sugiyama Gen declared that "this war has become a total war", he failed to consider the impact on the Chinese population of escalating from a limited war - limited to a territorial concession(such as extended business rights in North China, which they had previously demanded) to an unlimited war that entailed the overthrow of the Nationalist government and the murder of the dissenting civilian population. The military strategy of unrelenting expansion unwittingly herded Chinese of all political persuasions toward an inescapable conclusion: Either cooperate with each other to fight Japan or become a servile population on their own land. As much as the factions of China disagreed with each other about the form future Chinese institutions should take, they agreed that Japan had no place at the table to resolve the matter." p. 159 The Wars for Asia 1911-1949, Cambridge University Press S.C.M. Paine 2012
I really don't know, what would a well done game balance for China/Japan, looks like. It's a challenge for a game developer to tackle, and not being one myself, I'm clueless. Just buffing China, makes Japan deflate and not particularly capable; not buffing China, makes it collapse too quickly and unrealistically easily. My guess, the balancing act has to be more creative, then a flat bonus of some kind to China. Then again, it's a similar issue with Russia and Germany. Russia needs rework; too weak. But a flat buff will make them too strong, and steamroll Germany. The way Germany and Russia are ultimately balanced against each other, if that hopefully happens in a future update, is probably the same kind of method China and Japan should be balanced too. My guess, it has to be something indirect. Focus tree, and also scripted events maybe.
 

Vlad123

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I really don't know, what would a well done game balance for China/Japan, looks like. It's a challenge for a game developer to tackle, and not being one myself, I'm clueless. Just buffing China, makes Japan deflate and not particularly capable; not buffing China, makes it collapse too quickly and unrealistically easily. My guess, the balancing act has to be more creative, then a flat bonus of some kind to China. Then again, it's a similar issue with Russia and Germany. Russia needs rework; too weak. But a flat buff will make them too strong, and steamroll Germany. The way Germany and Russia are ultimately balanced against each other, if that hopefully happens in a future update, is probably the same kind of method China and Japan should be balanced too. My guess, it has to be something indirect. Focus tree, and also scripted events maybe.
Technically, the USSR often fails for 2 reasons:
1) The US does not do an LL properly (NO, 200 monthly pre-war rifles are not a real LL). The US has given TONS of resources (rifles, uniforms, prefabricated factories, locomotives, fuel etc) equal to almost 50/60% stalin wrote a book (or was interviewed) which then in 48/50 was made to disappear, where he admitted THAT WITHOUT THE LL USA THEY WOULD HAVE LOST!
2) Allies NEVER open a second front! So the Germans can safely send everything against the Soviets. (At most they expel the Italians from North Africa, at most ... which in my matches, if Germany sends little, little help, the Italians take Suez and then they spread, in the my last game, in 45 they made SUF collapse (after almost 3-4 years of stalemate in africa they took it all). So let's say that it is quite balanced and simulates well. Because the AI does not do what the IRL allies.
 
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I really don't know, what would a well done game balance for China/Japan, looks like. It's a challenge for a game developer to tackle, and not being one myself, I'm clueless. Just buffing China, makes Japan deflate and not particularly capable; not buffing China, makes it collapse too quickly and unrealistically easily. My guess, the balancing act has to be more creative, then a flat bonus of some kind to China. Then again, it's a similar issue with Russia and Germany. Russia needs rework; too weak. But a flat buff will make them too strong, and steamroll Germany. The way Germany and Russia are ultimately balanced against each other, if that hopefully happens in a future update, is probably the same kind of method China and Japan should be balanced too. My guess, it has to be something indirect. Focus tree, and also scripted events maybe.
My answer to this would be one word: logistics.
That was the main historical reason why both Germany and Japan were bogged down in the USSR and China.
I look forward to the supply and logistics rework to address that.
 
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My answer to this would be one word: logistics.
That was the main historical reason why both Germany and Japan were bogged down in the USSR and China.
I look forward to the supply and logistics rework to address that.
I was just about to type the same thing. On top of logistics, I would add the weather seasons.

Logistics restricted what was possible and the seasons restricted when things were possible.

If every day of WW2 was a sunny day in June and trains magically appeared full of supplies like clockwork, the war would probably have been over by late 1941, or sooner. The game simulates that constant sunny day very well, but it might make a better WW2 game if weather and logistics mattered.
 
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Vlad123

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In addition, WW2 was a war of resources, whose lack (or abundance) determined the fate of the conflict and I am not speaking only of oil or rubber, but also of the "additives" summarized in tungsten and chromium. When having additive A made your armor better, instead additive B maybe made you die, maybe you saved the crew, but the tank was then unusable. Italy has suffered since 36 from a lack of additives (and its tanks were weak as metal for this too, what they managed to do in russia or egypt was also too much with poor equipment, bad commanders and equipment of dubious quality ) Germany since 44 (for this reason its jets lasted a maximum of 25 hours, for lack of additives!) That is practically if I am able to take as an axis: Malta, Suez, Gibraltar, and rampant in the Middle East ... I doubt Churchill could say "guys let's continue the war! We will win". They would kick him out and put someone who wanted to make peace. This is also another thing to put on. If the war goes too bad, it must not be for the democracies: Until the end I will fight. But finding a peace (because, seriously, having to turn the US into Fallout because I throw 200 nuke is unrealistic!) This is only for the fascisms (and perhaps the USSR, if it doesn't happen as in WW1, which are kill Stalin and then they make peace with the Germans, like the bitter peace of Hoi2 / hoi3 memory)
 

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Technically, the USSR often fails for 2 reasons:
1) The US does not do an LL properly (NO, 200 monthly pre-war rifles are not a real LL). The US has given TONS of resources (rifles, uniforms, prefabricated factories, locomotives, fuel etc) equal to almost 50/60% stalin wrote a book (or was interviewed) which then in 48/50 was made to disappear, where he admitted THAT WITHOUT THE LL USA THEY WOULD HAVE LOST!
2) Allies NEVER open a second front! So the Germans can safely send everything against the Soviets. (At most they expel the Italians from North Africa, at most ... which in my matches, if Germany sends little, little help, the Italians take Suez and then they spread, in the my last game, in 45 they made SUF collapse (after almost 3-4 years of stalemate in africa they took it all). So let's say that it is quite balanced and simulates well. Because the AI does not do what the IRL allies.
Historically, the land lease program was a very significant war effort; especially as it relates to British war effort; the aid from US was absolutely critical, and can't be understated. Russia also benefited significantly; up to 10% of all material needs for their war effort, came from that program. However, overinflating its significance, is while common, not accurate. The second front, was equally not as significant to the Russians, as commonly presented. By the time the second front was opened, Germany already lost up to 70% of its total assets losses on the Eastern front, and was collapsing. The second front has certainly speed things up, but Germany was essentially defeated by that point. None of it is particularly relevant, then it comes to game balance; land lease sounds like a flat bonus of sorts, and that will not solve the problem. It will simply reverse the issue, and make Germany too weak instead, I think. Could be wrong. Logistics are a key, and certainly where critical. Question is, how do you implement that into the game?
 
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I think a good start for improving the soviet union and a few others (Republican spain and China) would be telling the ai to not bother wasting its equipment on suicidal offensives at the start of a war. Its not a silver bullet but it would certainly help imo.
 
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Vlad123

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Historically, the land lease program was a very significant war effort; especially as it relates to British war effort; the aid from US was absolutely critical, and can't be understated. Russia also benefited significantly; up to 10% of all material needs for their war effort, came from that program. However, overinflating its significance, is while common, not accurate. The second front, was equally not as significant to the Russians, as commonly presented. By the time the second front was opened, Germany already lost up to 70% of its total assets losses on the Eastern front, and was collapsing. The second front has certainly speed things up, but Germany was essentially defeated by that point. None of it is particularly relevant, then it comes to game balance; land lease sounds like a flat bonus of sorts, and that will not solve the problem. It will simply reverse the issue, and make Germany too weak instead, I think. Could be wrong. Logistics are a key, and certainly where critical. Question is, how do you implement that into the game?
https://www.ww2-weapons.com/lend-lease-tanks-and-aircrafts/ and these are only thanks and aircraft
 

Mastah Jedi

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No one denied its significance. I've seen the archive records. To be more specific, the exact figure of total material needs Russia recieved was 7% of its entire war effort material cost. That's massive. Add an even bigger slice for the aid the British got, China got and others, and you will account for the US industrial capacity, which was truly massive. That said, 80 years ago was not a magical era. US didn't materialize goods out of thin air, with spellcraft. Total production output is a measurable and traceable metric. You seem to have embraced the Cold War era outlook on things, where each side devalued the war efforts of each other, and over inflated it's own, in an effort to make the opponent look weaker. But there are objective records, and records are a stubborn thing. Russia had no impact on Pacific Theater, no matter what their sentiments are; US and British impact on Germany, while significant, was secondary to the Russians. US didn't have access to magic nor industry of the Galactic Empire. Its industrial output had limitations of time and space and finance; raw materils and logistics....

Stalin did famously thanked something for the victory. He thanked the Russian ppl, and acknowledged the Russian nation. That's very significant, because Soviet ideology denied Russian nationhood, and such a statement was in essence an admission what the Soviet Revolution failed. It failed to erase Russian history and character, which was one of its core goals. It's a very stark statement, if you understand the ideology. Essentially counter revolutionary, reactionary admission, from communist perspective. The aid US sent to Soviet Russia, is also accounted for. It's not about the size of aid, though 7% of total Russian industrial output is no laughing matter in of itself. It's the timing. Russia got critical aid in 1941-42, then it was on the brink of collapse. That aid saved millions of Russian lives, because it allowed them to stabilize the frontline, and logistics chain. It's all rather fascinating.

None of it relates to game balance, you're just arguing history at this point. That's fine I guess. Thank you for this exchange, cheers !
 
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Pluto2006

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  • Improvements to frontline stability
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Hopefully one of these two will fix the manpower issues e.g. 20 manpower per one fighter plane is still a thing and adds the actual losses from air and sea warfare (airmen and sailors) rather than losing equipment only. There is still plenty of work to do, good luck!
 

Crecer13

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No one denied its significance. I've seen the archive records. To be more specific, the exact figure of total material needs Russia recieved was 7% of its entire war effort material cost. That's massive. Add an even bigger slice for the aid the British got, China got and others, and you will account for the US industrial capacity, which was truly massive. That said, 80 years ago was not a magical era. US didn't materialize goods out of thin air, with spellcraft. Total production output is a measurable and traceable metric. You seem to have embraced the Cold War era outlook on things, where each side devalued the war efforts of each other, and over inflated it's own, in an effort to make the opponent look weaker. But there are objective records, and records are a stubborn thing. Russia had no impact on Pacific Theater, no matter what their sentiments are; US and British impact on Germany, while significant, was secondary to the Russians. US didn't have access to magic nor industry of the Galactic Empire. Its industrial output had limitations of time and space and finance; raw materils and logistics....

Stalin did famously thanked something for the victory. He thanked the Russian ppl, and acknowledged the Russian nation. That's very significant, because Soviet ideology denied Russian nationhood, and such a statement was in essence an admission what the Soviet Revolution failed. It failed to erase Russian history and character, which was one of its core goals. It's a very stark statement, if you understand the ideology. Essentially counter revolutionary, reactionary admission, from communist perspective. The aid US sent to Soviet Russia, is also accounted for. It's not about the size of aid, though 7% of total Russian industrial output is no laughing matter in of itself. It's the timing. Russia got critical aid in 1941-42, then it was on the brink of collapse. That aid saved millions of Russian lives, because it allowed them to stabilize the frontline, and logistics chain. It's all rather fascinating.

None of it relates to game balance, you're just arguing history at this point. That's fine I guess. Thank you for this exchange, cheers !
No. At critical moments, the USSR relied on Soviet equipment. In the battles for Moscow, British tanks in their greater mass began to be used in the final phase of the battle, in counter attacks. Which were not received for Lend-Lease but were bought for gold, this is a big difference. When the Germans were already stopped. Battle of Stalingrad, almost no Lend-Lease equipment. The reason is simple, spare parts and ammunition. The reliable strong flow of Lend-Lease was in 1943. When the turning point in the war began again. A small Lend-Lease at this time was caused by the fact that the Allies feared the surrender of the USSR and all the equipment sent would be used against the Allies. So the conclusion is simple: the USSR turned the war on its own, Lend-Lease saved lives. Without him, there would have been more losses at the front. From this, the game should also be balanced: the USSR itself will go into a counter attack in the middle of the war, but without a lend-lease, the USSR counter attacks at a slower pace and with large losses.
 

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No. At critical moments, the USSR relied on Soviet equipment. In the battles for Moscow, British tanks in their greater mass began to be used in the final phase of the battle, in counter attacks. Which were not received for Lend-Lease but were bought for gold, this is a big difference. When the Germans were already stopped. Battle of Stalingrad, almost no Lend-Lease equipment. The reason is simple, spare parts and ammunition. The reliable strong flow of Lend-Lease was in 1943. When the turning point in the war began again. A small Lend-Lease at this time was caused by the fact that the Allies feared the surrender of the USSR and all the equipment sent would be used against the Allies. So the conclusion is simple: the USSR turned the war on its own, Lend-Lease saved lives. Without him, there would have been more losses at the front. From this, the game should also be balanced: the USSR itself will go into a counter attack in the middle of the war, but without a lend-lease, the USSR counter attacks at a slower pace and with large losses.
There are a couple of age-old arguments here, that aren't as open-and-shut, as far as I'm aware, as you suggest they are. In particular:
  • There's no question that the Soviets accounted for the largest defeat of German army units, and German losses in personnel. However, it's a very different story when it comes to defeat of the German airforce and the impact of strategic bombing on Germany (both in lost production, and more importantly early in the war, in diverted resources). I'd argue it's not cut-and-dried at all which nation made the greatest industrial contribution to the defeat of Germany.
  • Lend-lease early on was on the smaller side, but the difference between winning and losing is in the margins - and the margins in 1941 and at many points in 1942 weren't great. Lend-lease is a very difficult issue because the Soviets did the propaganda thing, strongly downplaying its significance, after the war - making any analysis devilishly tricky, as even Soviet sources aren't reliable. So while there's no question that in terms of frontline equipment, the Soviets mostly used Soviet equipment throughout the war, the margin that was the difference between victory and defeat in at least a few occasions could well have been made up by Lend-lease. Then there's the impact of rolling stock, key raw materials and other logistical support through lend-lease - without lend-lease, the Soviet Airforce would have taken much longer to get to parity and then roll over the top of the German airforce - and airpower mattered in WW2.
 
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Harin

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The reliable strong flow of Lend-Lease was in 1943. When the turning point in the war began again. A small Lend-Lease at this time was caused by the fact that the Allies feared the surrender of the USSR and all the equipment sent would be used against the Allies.
You may be right, but it is also possible that before 1943, there was precious little the Allies had to send to Russia.

The US did not enter the war until December 1941. After Dunkirk, the UK had to rearm itself first while still fighting the Germans in Africa. It also needed every merchant ship it could muster, buy, or steal to keep its own industry going. I suspect there was little spare shipping capacity to send Russia's way, even if there had been something to put on the merchants.

It took some time for the United States to put their industry on a war footing and build an army and air force out of close to nothing. It should not be surprising that the US needed just over a year, after entering the war, to produce enough to equip a bare minimum of divisions for itself and then start sharing it production with the rest of the world.

Then there is the natural lag time between nations of trying to agree what Russia's critical needs were, what could the Allies build for them, how it could be delivered, factories that had to be built, workers to be trained, merchant ships to be built, escort ships to be built, shipping routes, port upgrades in Russia, transportation lines from those ports to interior destinations, and probably dozens of other things.

Lend Lease remains a historical effort among nations, maybe not for the delivery of overwhelming amounts of equipment that won the war, but for the massive effort that was taken by nations to help another so far away. It is not surprising that it took over a year for the volume to start to matter.
 

Axe99

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The US did not enter the war until December 1941. After Dunkirk, the UK had to rearm itself first while still fighting the Germans in Africa. It also needed every merchant ship it could muster, buy, or steal to keep its own industry going. I suspect there was little spare shipping capacity to send Russia's way, even if there had been something to put on the merchants.
For info in case it helps, and noting it's wobbly info (I'm going from memory here), but I'm fairly sure in the second half of '41 the UK sent a significant amount of material to the USSR via the arctic convoys, even when the situation in the Western Desert wasn't perfect. Britain knew that it had to keep the USSR in the war, and made the best effort it could. This is a quick "fly by" post, so I've just done a quick Google, but according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_convoys_of_World_War_II#1941 there were seven convoys that arrived before the end of 1941. I'm not up to speed on their contents, but I'd expect at least a significant number of aircraft to have been carried (but that's a rough guess).
 
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For info in case it helps, and noting it's wobbly info (I'm going from memory here), but I'm fairly sure in the second half of '41 the UK sent a significant amount of material to the USSR via the arctic convoys, even when the situation in the Western Desert wasn't perfect. Britain knew that it had to keep the USSR in the war, and made the best effort it could. This is a quick "fly by" post, so I've just done a quick Google, but according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_convoys_of_World_War_II#1941 there were seven convoys that arrived before the end of 1941. I'm not up to speed on their contents, but I'd expect at least a significant number of aircraft to have been carried (but that's a rough guess).
That is a great link. It looks like in 1941, the convoys consisted on average of 8 merchants of just over 5,000 tons each. Later in 1942 the convoys get larger and more is arriving. I did not get much farther, but it is a good read for those interested, especially the later 1942 convoys. They say that Churchill commented that if even 50% of convoy 16 arrived, that it would be worth it. That is indeed some good evidence of the effort the UK was making to try and help Russia.
 
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