Stalin's Five Year Plan: The Third Five Year Plan (January 1938- June 1941)


The Third Five Year Plans

Ended abruptly due to Russia's entry into the Second World War (3 and 1/2 years) 

Plan was to get Russia ready for war with Germany 

Apply methods of first plan to war production

Total quantity of miltary goods increased yet still on going problem with production methods and quality of goods produced

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Third plan continued to re-arm set up by the final phase of the third plan

By 1940, 1/3 of government investment went to armed forces, doubling the proportion since 1937

Planners yet again diverted resources away from consumer goods, so to realese funds for defence spending

It initiated a number of important innovations in soviet miltary technology

1939, Gosplan ordered the construction of nine new aircraft factories, with Stalin overseeing the work done. Yet eventhough production rose, like the first plan it was mainly useless

May 1941, Stalin recieved intellignece that the German army had 8 million men, 12,000 tanks, 52,000 guns and 20,000 aircrafts 

Believing war was imminent, he took control of defence industry, with the centre committee decreeing all resources should be mobilized in preparation for war

Stalin's intervention ended Gosplan's responsibliity of Russia's military economy, bringing the third plan to a premature end in May and June 1941

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Heavy Industry

Heavy industry backbone of plan

Coal production leapt from 127 million tonnes in 1937 to 166 in 1940

Crude oil production only marginally changed from 29 million tonnes in 1937 to 31 in 1940

Steel production stagnated

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Worker Discipline

Built on measure introduced it the second plan to boost labour productivity, introduced harsh meaasures to ensure labour disicpline

First and second plan introduced massive social upheaval, many peasants left the country to work in factories and workers promoted into management and adminisration postitions

Due to this rapid social environment many regularly switched jobs in search of better pay and conditions, 'quicksand society' due to rapid shifting patterns of employment

This caused problems in soviet industry because factories couldn't guarentee they could recruit or retain labour

'Internal Passports' were created in 1940, restricting workers abilty to move from job to job, this ensuring factories guarenteed stable supply of labour

The government also attepted to re-assert its controls on peasants farms, Politburo report, May 1939, ordered agriculture production to be boosted by limiting amounts of time peasants allowed on their private land. Also proposed reducing size of private land, with both measures hoping to refocus peasants energy on production on state collective farms

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Problems with the Third Five First Plan

Administration was complicated by Stalin's purges which created chaos in Gosplan, as well as Russia's industry

Purges meant the removal and execution of many experienced industrial workers and managers, leading to planning chaos like the first plan

Further problems due to removal of the moderate group in the Politburo in 1936, as moderates such as Kirov had offered creative ideas which lead to improved productivityand consolidation of the first plan

In their absence, inefficencies in the third plan continued unchallenged and Stain went back to using terror to motivate managers and workers to meet target

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