Triumph And Collapse Of Russia. Units 1&2.

Great Patriotic War and Recovery. 

  • Created by: SW
  • Created on: 29-05-13 18:12

Stalin's Leadership During WW2.


  • Re-established Stavka July 1941.
  • Embarked on a course of rapid industrialisation. 
  • Listened: 'Stalin learned from his mistakes, whereas Hitler only grew more unwielding with each failure' - David Reynolds. 
  • Sacked incompetent generals e.g Voroshilov
  • Took control of his central theatre and put skilled individuals in charge - Zhukov


  • Ignored warnings of attack.
  • Running on Civil War tactics against German Blitzkreig. 
  • Refusal to reatreat at Kharkov in 1943 cost 85,000 soviet casulties. 
  • 500,000 troops lost after ignoring Zhukovs advice to retreat in 1941.
  • Did not allow his own forces to mobilise until under physical attack. 
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Soviet Wartime Economy


  • 50% more production was turned out before the evacuation.
  • Defence industry rose from 3.4 billion roubles in 1937 to 38.7 in 1944. 
  • Artillery, tanks and aircraft production doubled between 1940-1944. 
  • Quadrupled ammunition in 2 years. 1940- 63,000. 1942- 238,000.


  • Focus on agriculture decreased.
  • GDP total decreased from 247.6 in 1940 to 192.2 in 1944.
  • Production of coal fell from 150 million tonns in 1940 to 80 million in 1942.
  • GDP per head was lower than other countries such as Germany and USA in 1940. 
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Society During WW2.

  • Orthodox churches restored to favour. By the end of 1943 there were over 15000 churches. 
  • Spread of propaganda coined the term 'The Great Patriotic War' encouraged national pride and support.
  • Thousands of suspects shot by the NKVD as well as soldiers who retreated on the battlefield. 
  • 800,000 women served in the Soviet armed forces during WW2.
  • 200,000 women were decorated. 89 received 'hero of the Soviet Union' award.
  • Partisan movement. 300,000 Germans killed in Belorussia.
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Military Influence in WW2.

Battle of Kursk. 

  • July & August 1943.
  • Biggest tank battle ever.
  • Gave the Soviets strategic initative and created a series of defense lines.
  • German delays to wait for weapons (Tiger heavy tank). Allowed information to get out which told the Soviets where the attack would fall. 

Siege of Leningrad.

  • Sept 1941-Jan 1944.
  • 1,500,000 soldiers and civilians die after 872 days of siege caused destructive famine. 
  • Germans lost Finnish support. 


  • Oct 1941-Jan1942.
  • 'Operation Tycoon' 
  • Severed the Moscow-Leningrad railway.
  • Germans allowed Soviet counter-offensive to surround 3 German armies.
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Economic Impact Of WW2.

  • Loss of men reduced workers.
  • Farms were destroyed due to scorched earth policy. 
  • Military expenses were high. 38.7 billion roubles had been spent on the defence industry by 1944.
  • Heavy industry was strong.
  • Light industry/agriculture are neglected. 
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Political Impact Of WW2.

  • 18.3% rise in female membership of the party.
  • 75% joined the war effort. 
  • After the war, Stalin regained any power he had shared.
  • GKO set up - made sure Stalin had 'all the power and authority of the state' behind him.
  • Stalin became more of a dictator after the war. 
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Social Impact Of WW2

  • Mass patriotism followed victory.
  • 1/5 of pre-war population had been lost. 
  • Gender imbalance - 20 million Soviet men died.
  • More supressed - free public speech was non-existent. 
  • Returning soldiers sent to Gulags in fear they would spread Western ideas to Soviet people. 
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'Stalin learned from his mistakes, whereas Hitler only grew more wielding with each failure. - David Reynolds. 

'He gave his top generals the freedom to fight.' - David Reynolds. 

'Stalin intended to terrorise his army into fighting.' - David Reynolds. 

'The influence of the Orthodox Church ... could not serve as a source of inspiration in the struggle against the enemy.' -Rzeheshevsky. 

'The most massive and most effective evacuatione ver undertaken in history.' -Rzeheshevsky. 

'For the soviet people, the post-war period was even more difficult then the war period.' - Peter Kenez. 

'Was all the more disappointing for a society expecting some reward for wartime sacrifices and victories.' - Christopher Reid. 

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Economic Recovery.


  • Steel increased from just 12 million tonns in 1945 to 27 in 1950.
  • All fourth-five year plans are met or exceeded.
  • Index of producers' goods almost doubles from 112 in 1945 to 205 in 1950.
  • 261 million tonns of coal by 1950.


  • Quantity not quality. 
  • Agriculture production fell short of the 127 1950 target to 99.
  • 60-70% of harvested grain was exported to fund heavy industry. 
  • Collectivisations starved peasants. 
  • Consumer demand was ignored. 
  • Lack of light industry.
  • Economic support from Western countries such as USA/Britain was lost. 
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Social Recovery.

  • 'Hysterical Isolation'
  • Zhdanov introduces cultural reforms - banned intellectuals who didn't follow the party line. Shostakovich exiled.
  • Religion tolerated as long as it presented no threat to states control of public opinion.
  • Only high-ranking party officials could travel abroad. 
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Political Recovery.

  • Leningrad Affair - 200 party officials were arrested and some shot. 
  • 'Doctors Plot' - Kremlin doctors, most of them Jewish arrested and accused of plotting to kill Stalin.
  • One party state.
  • Viewed as God-Like
  • Cult of personality stronger than ever. 
  • Stavka's power removed.
  • Stalin regained full control and Zhukov is fired.
  • Less purges but more fear.
  • Massive growth in party due to mass patriotism. 
  • Party given a minumum role and congress was barely called. 
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Cold War.

  • Economically military spending remained high.
  • Atomic bomb acquired in 1949. 
  • Totalitarian State.
  • Yalta and Potsdam conferences in 1945 effectively caused the Cold War.
  • Increase in NKVD involvement. 
  • 1948 Berlin Blockade - Cut off USA/Britains supply trains. 
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'Ill-judged interventions of authority, excessive centralisation of decisions, low prices, insufficient investment and lack of adequete incentives.' - Alex Nove.

'It is indisputible that the Stalinist methods worked, and the speed of reconstruction was impressive.' - Peter Kenez. 

'Stalin;s power was less supreme than is popularly imagined.' - Hahn. 

'Self-confident tyrant in charge of a smoothly functioning, totalitarian machine, but a sickly old man.' - Chris Ward.

'A sickly old man - unpredictable, dangerous ... presiding over a ramshackle bureaucracy.' - Chris Ward. 

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