WHY DID THE SOVIET UNION WIN THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR AGAINST GERMANY?

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MILITARY STRENGTHS

  • Collectivisation/industrialisation of first FYP 1928 developed industrial base and useful central mechanism for producing weapons quickly.
  • High defence £££££ meant SU's arsenal was more heavily invested than most of EUR.
  • Spending trebled after 1937
  • By 1941 putting out 230 tanks and 700 aircraft per month
  • Milit-experts consider Soviet T-34 tank was most effective tank of WWII

WEAKNESSES

  • Not planned for a specific type of war, built forces to cope with all scenarios, kept changing priorities
  • Killed Tukhachevsky in 1937 purges, who favoured German mobile warfare
  • Sov equipment & training showed no coherency
  • Stifled initative after purges removed 14 out of 16 top commanders (but purges overplayed by historians)
  • Expansion in military units faster than people could fill them
  • Military strategy in 1941 not tailored to a fast moving enemy
  • Population not prepared for war on home turf
  • 

GERMAN MISTAKES

  • Assuming USSR was weak and collapse imminent, based on supposed weakness of post-purge army
  • Assuming Blitzkrieg tactics would lead quick Germans to surround slow Red Army

STALIN'S LEADERSHIP

  • Angliskaga provokatisga - Stalin's belief of "English provocation"
  • Non-agression pact 1939/Molotov-Ribbentrop pact - Divided Europe - Poland - delivered Gy raw materials till 1941
  • Blind faith in non-agression pact, left USSR powerless in June 1941
  • Recent evidence that Stalin was active - meetings at dacha - GKO - Speech July 3rd 1941
  • GKO circumvented bureaucracy - centralised power for quick, effective decisions - MOLOTOV, BERIA, VOROSHILOV, MALENKOV, STALIN
  • Stavka created

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