• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent did the USSR's victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941 - 1945 prove the political and economic strength of the Stalinist system?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent did the USSR's victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941 - 1945 prove the political and economic strength of the Stalinist system? After the Great Patriotic War between 1941 and 1945, the USSR was left the strongest land power in the continent of Europe. It had defeated Germany, and was respected by the rest of the world for its determination and strength. However, the USSR had also paid costs for its struggle, and it is arguable whether it would have sufficed in the war against Germany on its own, without help from western allies. Throughout the war, despite labour shortages and food problems, the Soviet Union was clearly ahead of Germany industrially. It produced twice the amount of weapons, with the designing of new armaments such as aircraft and tanks, and the opening of new factories such as Cheliabinsk helped this increase in production. Between 1943 and 1945 factories produced over 73,000 tanks and self propelled guns, 82,000 aircraft and 324,000 artillery pieces. ...read more.

Middle

It was not only the strengths of the USSR that won them the war, but also weaknesses on Germany's behalf that lead to its defeat. Unlike Hitler, Stalin encouraged strategic debate, and was willing to listen to suggestions. Germany did not grasp that the economies of eastern conquests had to be rebuilt and managed, and they did not appeal to anti-communist peasants due to their treatment of the Slavs. Although the Germans were often welcomed as liberators by villagers weary of Stalin's rule, this changed after the way Russian citizens were treated. The Germans looted the land, and after the harvest of 1942, the Germans only permitted peasants to keep enough grain for two quarters of a pound of bread a day, these rations depopulating the countryside. Sending Russians away to work also left labour shortages in areas of which Germany had control. The strength of the USSR was greatly helped by the contributions of western allies. The war would have gone on for much longer were it not for their help. ...read more.

Conclusion

Its forces occupied most of post-war Eastern Europe, and it also won island holdings from Japan and other concessions from Finland as well as territories the Soviet Union had gained as a consequence of the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact. Throughout the war Russia was able to produce more than double the amount of arms than Germany, and it was always ahead industrially. However it was not only strengths of the Stalinist system that allowed the Soviet Union to triumph. Without western help the war could not have been won as quickly as it was, and it proved that the USSR did still need support from the west. Whilst the Stalinist regime was effective in encouraging its citizens to fight in the struggle against Germany, and Stalin proved an effective leader, it was also the weaknesses of Germany that led to its defeat, for instance its inability to manage the economies of its eastern conquests. The Stalinist System proved that it was strong both politically and economically after winning the war, however this was not without the help of western allies or weaknesses that Germany suffered. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Armed forces.

    in Canada Revolution in Russia; Maji Maji rebellion in German East Africa; Norway breaks from Sweden Struass' Salome Einstein's Special theory of relativity 1906 Muslim league established in India; Britain and France rule New Hebrides Reforming Liberals win election; Campbell Bannerman PM; First Dreadnought launched Cuba occupied by US; Revolution

  2. Why did the USSR agree to the Nazi-Soviet pact?

    as a result of what are referred to as the "excesses associated with the cult of personality"2. In 1936 Stalin set in motion the machinery of a new purge. Initially, it seemed he was striking at the Old Bolsheviks (those who had joined the Party before October 1917)

  1. Why was it Stalin that won the leadership struggle by 1928 in the USSR?

    once he came to power - Stalin worked on their fears of Trotsky and built hatred inside of them reminding them that, as old party activist, they had more of a right than Trotsky to lead the Bolsheviks; they soon questioned his loyalty to the party and his opposition to

  2. Free essay

    To what extent are Walter Scott(TM)s novels a product of the Scottish Enlightenment? Discuss ...

    At a first glance - and perhaps at a final glance as well - Waverley contains little contemplation upon the great problems of moral philosophy raised by the Scottish philosophers. If we remember: the key question raised by these philosophers was that of how the new age of capitalism would affect traditional values of social justice, charity and religious practice.

  1. Assess the impact on the USSR of the Great Patriotic War

    The impact here of war is clear as large number of women moved into jobs what were previously done by men. Women appeared to gain higher status and responsibility; however the impact was small however as after the war this did not last when it came to peace.

  2. Journalism - Two generations of the journalists - Soviet and the post-Soviet - make ...

    In the Soviet discourse In the Soviet Encyclopaedia the notion of profession runs "from Latin professio, profiteor; a kind of labour activity demanding definite preparation and being usually a source of livelihood" (Soviet Encyclopaedia, 1983, 1070). The Academic Dictionary of Russian Language defines profession as "a kind of labour activity,

  1. The Soviet-German War 1941 - 1945.

    The date of 22 June was late for starting a campaign over such a vast area, but German commanders were confident that the Soviet armed forces were primitive, and that the Soviet people were waiting for liberation. Victory was expected by the early autumn.

  2. To what extent had the USSR recovered from the impact of the Great Patriotic ...

    suggesting recovery. Peter Kenez stated ?even if we take into consideration the exaggerations built into soviet statistics, it is still indisputable that the Stalinist methods worked and that the speed of reconstruction was impressive? but i refute this, on looking at the big picture, the post war period was referred

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work