Assess the impact on the USSR of the Great Patriotic War

Essay by Shoeless_RossUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, February 2004

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Assess the impact on the USSR of the Great Patriotic War

The Great Patriotic War had a huge effect on every country that was involved, but in this essay I will be looking closely at the specific effects on the USSR.

First I will look at the economic effects of the German invasion. As the Germans advanced from the west, they took control over large units of Russian industry and agriculture, particularly when they invaded the Ukraine, where the majority of the USSR's agriculture took place. But to prevent the Germans from profiting too much from their capture of the land, on the retreat the soviet army adopted the 'scorched earth policy' whereby, all land and crops on it were burnt. However this was a double edged blade, as a result of burning the crops, it meant that there wasn't enough food being produced to go round, so now money had to be pumped into importing food from abroad, mainly the USA.

Despite efforts to maintain food stockpiles, in 1944 there was a huge famine in Kazakhstan, killing almost 6 million soviet citizens, which is a substantial chunk of the 25 million soviet citizens estimated to have been killed under the reign of Stalin. The invasion also affected industrial production, as the focus on production was then switched to prepare for war, with tanks, aircraft and munitions being at the core of all production. But still the Germans managed to disrupt this production, as industrial plant had to be relocated on the other side of the Urals, out of range of the German bombers. But, despite the disruption, in 1942 there were 60% more aircraft and 370% more tanks than in 1941, a monumental achievement by any standard, and while on the subject of standard, the quality of...