Impact of War in the USSR

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Political

  • Women membership of the Communist Party rose – 18.3%.
  • Party became more educated and less ‘working class’.
  • 75% of the Party joined the war effort, Party numbers grew after as it seemed ‘more patriotic’ to join.
  • The Communist Party had younger, more professional members during the war, Stalin therefore trusted it more.
  • After the war, Stalin took back all power – he had delegated power to his generals during the war.
  • The GKO was set up – consisted of Stalin, Molotov, Malenkov, Beria and Voroshilov, ensured that Stalin had ‘all the power and authority of the State’ behind him, whilst giving power to politicians that Stalin favoured most.
  • Stalin became more of a dictator after the war, ruling with an iron fist
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Economy

  • Loss of men in the war reduced the number of workers, agriculture suffered as a result.
  • Farms were destroyed following the Scorched Earth policy – the burning of farms that could have benefited the Germans, damaged the fertile land.
  • USSR spent 38.7 billion roubles on the defence industry by 1944, 17.9 billion roubles on the military services, showing the military expenses were high.
  • Soviet war economy meant that the economy after the war was very imbalanced, with heavy industry being strong, yet agriculture and light industry were weak.
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Social

  • Mass patriotism following the Soviet victory of the war.
  • Huge loss of soldiers – 1/5 of the pre-war population had been lost.
  • Soviet casualties made up half of the overall loss of life in the war.
  • About 20 million Soviet men died, creating an imbalance of men and women.
  • The people became more suppressed than before, free public opinion was non-existent.
  • Returning soldier were sent to Gulags, Stalin feared they would spread Western ideas to the Soviet people.
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