Soviet Wartime Economy

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  • Soviet Wartime Economy
    • Pre War Preparation
      • Provision for a massive increase in war production had been made during the mid-1930s
      • Factories had been given extra capacity to produce more weapons and munitions if required
      • majority of the workforce was vulnerable to any attack that came from the west
    • Initial impact of War on the economy
      • Over half of its industrial capital was taken over by November 1941
        • Two fifths of grain production
      • no pre-determined plan to evacuate equipment
      • not enough transport
      • production of coal, steel and oil were down by 1942
      • capacity shrunk to 68% of its pre-war rate
      • Agriculture - 1940 - 1942 - from 69.9 to 27.4
    • The people and the economy
      • Compulsory overtime of 3 hours
      • Holidays were banished
      • if workers were thought to be slacking they would be fined or sent to labour camps
      • Most important people in keeping the economy afloat were sent to war
      • Labour workforce was set up
        • to ensure people were in the right places
    • Superiority of economy
      • Out produced Germany
        • 1942-1944 - machine tools - USSR 5501 - Germany 695
        • Rifles, carbines - USSR 9935 - Germany 6501
      • Huge investments in steel, machine tools and chemicals
      • relocated some industrial equipment
      • built 3500 new factories - in the Urals and Siberia
      • Output doubled in munitions
    • Historiography
      • On the movement of the Soviet economy from west to the east - "The most massive and most effective evacuation ever undertaken in history....a whole industrial country moved thousands of kilometers east" - Rzeheshevsky
      • "one of the most stupendous and successful operations ever witnessed" - Chris Ward
      • "There were too many soldiers and munitions workers compared to the few left in the supporting civilian infrastructure" - Barber J. Harrision

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