Stalin made three five-year plans spanning from 1928 to 1941. He had very different aims for each of the plans and had some very optimistic targets for the achievements of these plans. An over riding theme of each of the plans was industry. Stalin wanted to restore Russia’s hold on industry and make it a great trading power once again.
The five year plans were very successful in helping building up the Russian industry. They did this through many ways, each contributing in a different manner.
The production of raw materials increased dramatically thought eh five-year plans and industry on a whole became a lot more efficient. This can be seen through statistics that show the production in tonnes. Such materials as; coal, iron and steel, all rose in production quite dramatically. Iron rose from 4.2 million tonnes to 6.2 million tonnes, coal from 29.1 million tonnes to 64.3 million tonnes and steel from 4.0 million tonnes to 5.9 million tonnes. These were huge increases at that time. For an country that was struggling as much as Russia was at that time, it was an achievement. Stalin had many initiatives to achieve a better industry. He put in place a reward scheme for workers if they helped reach the targets that were set. Workers were encouraged to work for these rewards. This strategy worked wonders as it increased the turn around in the factories as the workers were all working for something at the end. One case of this would be the Russian miner, Stakhanovite. Stalin used this miner as a propaganda opportunity. Stakhanovite had been claimed to have mined an extreme amount in one shift. Stalin used him into the limelight as an inspirational man and someone who showed what communism was all about. However, the targets Stalin had set were not, in reality, met. Even though the production did increase it was not by the dramatic rates Stalin and the communists had wanted it to and this made the plans seem like failures. They may have not succeeded to the rate the communists wanted to but they were still successful. Overall, the five year plans did indeed lead to a transformation in Russian industry as they helped the production of raw materials increase dramatically and this boosted the Russian industry dramatically.
In many ways the city of Magnitogorsk represent she best of the five year plans. It was a huge achievement for both the Russian workers and Stalin himself. Not only was it a marvel for others to look at it helped strengthen Russia industry. The town was built up from scratch. Stalin drafted in a quarter of a million workers and instructed them to build Russia largest steel factory. Stalin planned to make Magnitogorsk a town of strength and unity. He wanted it to be a place where the workers lived as one and worked as one. It was a very idealistic look on life and a target that many though couldn’t be achieved. The idea of…