What were the Human and Economic costs of the War?


Human- How many casualties were there as a result?

At least 10% of Russia's population died between 1941-45

Conservatives estimate- 20 million Russians citizens died as a result of the conflict

Including the number who died in Gulags and died from war- related injuries figures rose to more than 30 million

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Human- How did the war cause social upheaval?

85 million Russians (45% pop) under German control during War

20 million fled west to escape communist repression after the war

Some population movement was under the control of Stalin:

Kalmyk people moved from Stalingrad and Rostov provinces to Siberia- to prevent collaboration with Germans

130,000 forcibly relocated

Due to brutal treatment and Siberia's harsh conditions- 60% died

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Human- What impact did it have on working conditio

Agriculture deterioriated further during conflict. Production and maintainance of tractors ceased as factories were converted to produce tanks and aircrafts

Fields were ploughed by hand

Workers were expected to work 7 days a week for the duration of the war, with factory shifts of 12-18 hours. Some workers were even expected to work an additional night shift on farms during harvest

First day offf for four years was 9th May 1945

Discipline tightened- workers 20 minutes late or caught stealing handed to military and tried for crimes

Workers who changed jos without appropriate authorisation faced 5-8 years imprisonment

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Human- What role did Women play?

Women bore the brunt of the Russian war effort

They were expected to work in factories and field, whilst still caring for there families

Women made up the majority of the workforce, with some regions e.g. Shadrinsk where they made up 75% of the workforce

They were frequently required to perform tasks which were usually for machines or animals
-yolked to ploughs due to absence of animals and tractors

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Human- How were families affected?

Young people 14-17 were drafted into 'labour reserve schools' - form of vocational training in preparation for war work

Senior party members from Leningrad or Moscow, sent to regional factories/ collective farms to organise production

-worked away for a period of years
-common to start a second family
-at the end of the war they deserted their 'war families' to return home

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Economic- How did it affect industrial production?

When German forces occupied Russian territory, they gained control of 1/3 of Russian industry and agriculture

Russian labour was conscripted for the armed forces

Industry produced:
1942- 59% of 1940's levels
1944- 79% of 1940's levels

Agriculture production:
1942- 32% of 1940's levels
1944- 64% of 1940's levels

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Economic- What was the impact on Living Standards?

Electricity supplies to the general public were stopped in late 1941, not to be restored until after the war

Workers were sustained by meagre rations- the government taking 90% of collective farms' produce

Leningrad sustained on 'Blockade Bread'- made mostly out of sawdust

Citizens also sustained on birds, rats, pets and extremely cannibalism

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Economic- What was the impact on infrastructure?

June 1941- Sovnarkom decree to destroy or sabotage any industrial equiptment that would fall into German hands

Germans adopted a similar policy when retreating in 1943

1/4 of Russian pre-war industrial equipment destroyed between 1941-5

Areas occupied by Germans- more that 2/3 of industrial equiptment destroyed

Retreating, Germans operated 'a scorched earth' policy, preventing Russian economic gain from miltary success 

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