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Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (also called the Tomahawk) was one of the planes sent abroad under the Lend-Lease program during World War II.


Lend-Lease was the system the United States used to aid its World War II allies. It provided them with war materials, such as ammunition, tanks, airplanes, and trucks, and with food and other raw materials. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had committed the United States in June 1940 to materially aiding the opponents of the Axis powers, but, under existing U.S. law, Great Britain had to pay for its growing arms purchases from the United States with cash. By the summer of 1940, the new British prime minister, Winston Churchill, was warning that his country did not have enough money to pay for war materials much longer. To remedy this situation, Roosevelt on December 8, 1940, proposed the concept of lend-lease so that participants could draw on the industrial resources of the United States. Although opposed by isolationists, the U.S. Congress passed his Lend-Lease Act on March 11, 1941. The legislation gave the president authority to aid any nation "whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States, to sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of, to any such government any defense article" not expressly prohibited and to accept repayment "in kind or property, or any other direct or indirect benefit which the President deems satisfactory." The law originally authorized an appropriation of $1 million. Though lend-lease had been authorized primarily to aid Great Britain, it was extended to China in April 1941, to the Soviet Union in September, and eventually to some 35 countries. Much of the aid, valued at about $49 billion by the time the program was terminated in August 1945, amounted to outright gifts. Some of the cost of the lend-lease program was offset by "reverse lend-lease," under which Allied nations gave U.S. troops stationed abroad about $8 billion worth of aid. Arrangements for the repayments by the recipient nations began shortly after the war ended. Except for the Soviet debt, of which less than one-third was repaid, repayment was virtually complete by the late 1960s. The United States in 1972, accepted an offer by the Soviet Union to pay $722 million in installments through 2001 to settle its indebtedness