The social and economic condition of the Soviet Union by 1941: strengths and weaknesses

  • Created by: gemshort
  • Created on: 04-05-18 19:37

Economic strengths

  • By 1940, Russia had taken over Britain in iron and steel production and was not far behind Germany
  • Between 1938 and 1941, spending on rearmament increased from 27.5 billion roubles to 70.9 billion roubles
  • In the eve of war, Soviet industry was producing 230 tanks, 700 military aircraft and more than 100,000 rifles per month
  • The 'gap' which Stalin spoke of had been significantly narrowed
  • The USSR was able to manufacture the majority of its armaments during war

Economic weaknesses

  • Economic development was uneven: heavy industries had grown massively by 1941, but consumer production had been cut back and consumer goods were scarcer than they had been under the NEP
  • The quality of goods was poor even though labour productivity had increased as bureaucrats were set on figures and targets

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