The USSR's War Economy

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By December 1941, as Germany prepared it's assault on Leningrad, their forces occupied most of western Russia and Ukraine. Millions of people, including specialists and technicians were under Nazi control, as well as massive amounts of resources such as coal and steel as well as grain.

Stalin created Stavka, a body made up of high command members of the Red Army, with the power to take any necessary measures for the benefit of the war effort. Stavka demanded the whole economy be geared toward the war effort and acted quickly to limit the invasion's effects on the Russian economy.

Between 2 and 3 thousand factories that were located in the western parts of Russia were dismantled and literally moved by rail lines towards the east of the country, over the Ural Mountains so as they were safe from German attacks. Approximately 25 million people were also relocated east and were used to rebuild the factories and restart the production. Factory managers were not as heavily monitored as they were during the five year plans, and instead were urged to just produce as much as they could for the war effort. Naturally there was a massive drop in the production of consumer goods as the economy moved into a state of total war.

This central control over the economy was brilliant. By 1942, over half of the USSRs income was spent on the war effort, which was much higher than any…


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