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Background information:
The Great Purge
Stalin launched a general attack on Soviet society
through a series of purges during the 1930s
To "purge" is to "cleanse" ­ or to abruptly or
violently remove enemies from an organisation
There was a massive purge (known as the Great
Terror) of the party, government, armed forces and
intelligentsia between 1936 - 1938…read more

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Stalin's power
From AQA textbook: "Censorship became much more rigorous and all-embracing
under Stalin. All means of communication were harnessed to the regime's goals of
rapid economic and social change, whilst reinforcing the perception of the USSR as
surrounded by hostile enemies intent on destroying the emerging socialist society."
(p.116)…read more

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1937: Military purges
Military was the strongest organisation in USSR
Secret trials
Began in May ­ June of 1937 and continued until
Triggered by the Tukhachevsky affair
Stalin's aim was to create a new army "cleansed
of the rotten gangrene down to the healthy flesh."…read more

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Facts and figures
79% (579 out of 733) of Red Army officers
removed ­ "Decapitation of the Red Army"
3000 naval officers sentenced to death
75% of Soviet Air Force liquidated…read more

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Why did Stalin purge
the military?
Forged Nazi documents
Stalin was mentally ill ­ suffered from "acute paranoia"
Power struggle between Stalin and military
Purges were necessary due to the extreme contrast
between "the utopianism of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism
and the realities of deprivation"
To further enforce his power and remove Trotskyites…read more

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