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How Successful Were the Five-Year Plans in Transforming Russian Industry in the Years to 1941?

  • Date Submitted: 02/24/2015 10:21 AM
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How successful were the Five-Year plans in transforming Russian industry in the years to 1941?  

In this essay, I will be looking at how successful the Five-Year Plans were in transforming Russian industry during the years running up to 1941. I will be focusing on four main factors, which are: Impact on World War II; Productivity, efficiency and planning; Industrial output (including consumer industry); Urban consequences (including labour conditions). All four of these factors play a key role in the success of Russia's industrial transformation by the Five-Year Plans. I believe the most important factor was World War II, as the country was able to move over 1520 factories to the Eastern regions to stop them being taken over by the Nazi Germans; this meant the workforce were still able to produce weaponry and machinery, eventually leading the Soviet Union to defeat the Nazi Germans. This was a huge success because if the Germans had have took over the factories, Russia would have almost certainly lost the war against the Germans.

The Five-Year Plans transformed the Russian industry successfully in a number of ways, and one crucial way was the preparation for World War II. Russia was better prepared than both Britain and France, using 56% of Russia's national income; this meant that there was 44% of the country's national income still left, which could be used if necessary. This was due to the economic progress made by the first two Five-Year Plans (which ran from 1928 to 1937 collectively), as they both increased production massively, which improved the economy also (by providing the country with funding to save, and to also invest into improving things like living standards and workers pay etc.). This extra 44% available was a success as it helped secure Russia's chance of defending itself from the Nazi invasion, as they were already better prepared than Britain and France, with a lot more money to spare. If events took a turn for the worst, Russia had...

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