Stalin's role in war leadership

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  • Stalin's role in war leadership
    • Bad leader
      • Made big mistakes - refusal to retreat at Kharkov cost over 85,000 Soviet casualties
      • Harsh treatment - generals who lost battles were executed/ soldiers were tortured & Commissars - lowered morale
      • sometimes played key figures off against each other
      • ignored build up of German  forces on USSR border so there was no militay response when Hitlet invaded
      • Slow reaction to German invasion meant large parts of Eastern USSR were overrun
    • Good Leader
      • Creation of Stavka and State Defence Committee - politically/ military decisions could be made quickly
        • Crucial to organisation of army and country
      • began to listen to others
      • Control of Beria & NKVD - ensured continued public support for war effort
      • Sacked incompetent generals - Voroshilov
      • Re-opening of churches - support from religious population
      • Army was led by skilled individuals - Zhukov
      • Relocation of factories - allowed for continued heavy industry production
    • What he did
      • Centralised power
        • Stavka
        • State Defence Committee
      • Enforced harsh punishment upon booth troops and generals
      • Gave others more control
        • Zhukov
      • Re-opened churches
      • initially slow to react to Operation Barbarossa
      • reintroduced Leninist system of Commissas
      • relocated factories in East across Yural mountains
    • Historiography - David Reynolds
      • "Stalin learned from his mistakes, whereas Hitler only grew more unwiedling with each failure"
      • "He gave his top generals the freedom to fight"
      • "Stalin intended to terrorize his army into fighting"
      • "Stalin wouldn't let his troops fire back"


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