USSR on the eve of war 1941

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  • USSR on the eve of war in 1941
    • Strengths
      • The USSR was the second most powerful industrial country in the world, only the economy of the USA was greater.
      • Production overall had risen by 400% since 1928.
      • Industry had been relocated east of the Urals and would be out of reach of German forces.
      • Agriculture had been largely reorganised into collective farms. Production was up by one-third.
      • Stalin was untouchable, he had complete control of the USSR: contrary advice was not welcomed and could be very unwise.
      • The Soviet population was much greater than that of Germany.
      • The land mass of the USSR made invasion very risky.
      • Generals 'January' and 'February' were very important factors.
    • Weaknesses
      • Stalin had allowed himself to be lulled into a state of false security by the Nazi-Soviet pact.
      • He had ignored warnings from his spy Richard Sorge that Germany was about to invade.
      • In June 1941, Stalin was taken completely by surprise by Operation Barbossa. He appears to have taken a week to recover from the shock.
      • Although Stalin was all-powerful, many of the people of the USSR hated him and were ready to welcome the Germans.
      • he was aware, as his first speech showed, that appealing to people to fight for him personally would be a waste of time.
      • The Purges had made him many enemies and had deasted the soviet armed forces. Most experienced officers had been removed or executed.
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