prosperous, communist, Russian leader, Joseph Stalin, was born on December 18,
1879, in Gori, Georgia. Joseph Stalin, was one of Russia’s most progressive communist
leaders of all time; he had led the Russian Empire to be one of the most
powerful countries in the world by enacting Five-Year plans, enforcing
mass-industrialization, fighting off the Germans during WWII, and boosting
had big plans for Russia, he planned on massive forced industrialization,
increased collection and plantation of agricultural land, and created one of
the biggest and most feared military force in the world. As a result of Russian
Mass-Industrialization, which had happened so rapidly, it had very beneficial effects
which had caused great economic benefits and boosted the economy. But sadly, all
of that great power came with a negative effect; Stalin had created one of the
worst man-made famines in the history of the world.
was originally born as Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, but later adopted the
surname ‘Stalin’. Which meant “Steel” in the Russian language. Although he was
born on Dec. 18th, he had invented a new birthday for himself, which
was December 21, 1879. Iosif Djugashvili, or Joseph Stalin, as he is best known
as and as most people refer to him, had grown up, poverty stricken, in a poor
family as an only child. His father was a shoemaker who would beat Joseph when
he got drunk. As a young adult, Stalin became very interested in radical
movements and causes that he thought would better his life and the nation for
people like him.
used to secretly read the work of Karl Marx, a German social philosopher and
author of “Communist Manifesto”. This had inspired him to become a lesser
known, more secretive, political agitator. He had joined the more militaristic
wing of the Marxist Social Democratic movement, whom had called themselves the
Bolsheviks. He had taken part in labor demonstrations and strikes, which
eventually had led Stalin to become a part of many illegal activities that had
caused him to get in trouble. Most being about taking money and using it to
fund the Bolshevik Party movement. Because of those crimes, between 1902 and
1913, he was imprisoned by the Russian Secret Police.
quickly rose to the rank of General Secretary of the communist party, then
becoming Soviet Dictator of the Great Soviet Russia, upon the death of the
previous leader, Vladimir Lenin. When Stalin became the communist leader of
Russia, he had known that Russia was far behind in economy and military
compared to the western part of the world. He wanted to modernize Russia’s
economy if Russia was going to survive in the modern world. A strong economy
would lead to a strong military and that military would provide protection from
external and in some cases even internal conflicts. A modern Russia would
provide farmers with machines and tools they need to modernize their farms.
Stalin’s method of dealing with these economic issues was creating the
‘Five-Year Plan.’ These plans had brought industrial control to the states.
Everything was planned by the state, they would control what would be produced,
how much of whatever produce they were farming, and where it will be or should
be produced. The organization called ‘Gosplan’ was created to plan out all of
had brought in experts of managing from foreign countries to help them. Stalin
also had introduced single managers to run factories even though Lenin’s
beliefs had been running factories by soviet working councils who would come to
decisions on how and when things would be done. These managers were directly
responsible for their factory’s target goal. Good managers were rewarded well
while, the unsuccessful managers could pay a severe price for failure.
were five Five-Year Plans under Stalin’s control over Soviet Russia. The first
Five-Year Plan was in service from 1928 to 1932. The second plan had taken
place from 1933 to 1937, both of these plans had taken about 4-5 years to
complete. The third ‘Five-Year Plan’ had been in action from 1938 to 1941
before Hitler had decided to attack an incredibly prosperous nation.
first ‘Five-year Plan’ had focused mainly on heavy industrial improvements.
Specifically, increased production of iron, steel, machinery tools, electric
power and transportation. Stalin was unfair when it came to production
standards, yet he still demanded 110% increase in coal production, 200%
increase in production of iron, and a whopping 335% increase in electricity
production. The second ‘Five-Year Plan’ had continued the emphasis on heavy
industry but now, there was a commitment to transportation systems such as
railroads and railways. The second plan had introduced the chemical industry to
Russia’s rapid industrialization. The third ‘Five-Year Plan’ had kept the mass
production of industrial resources and had started the mass production of
weapons as war seemed to be on the brink of occurring.
of the plans had set a target that state controlled industries had to meet. But
unfortunately, the targets had been set incredibly unrealistically and couldn’t
possibly be made in time. On the bright side of things, lots of improvements
were made to the economy, military, and industrial plants. By 1937, three to
five times the amount that was originally produced in 1927 was being produced
thanks to Stalin’s Five-Year Plans.
During Hitler’s reign over Germany in 1939, at the start
of WWII, Stalin and Hitler had signed a nonaggression pact. Even after Stalin
had agreed to Hitler’s terms, he annexed pieces of land from Poland and
Romania. He did the same with Lithuania, Latvia, and the Baltic states of
Estonia. Hitler had attacked after Joseph had attempted to invade Finland. June
1941, Adolf broke the Nazi-Soviet pact and invaded the USSR, making phenomenal
progress as the USSR was not prepared for war. The Germans were able to destroy
the only air force in the western borderlands in only two days. As the Germans
pushed to invade Moscow, Stalin had remained there to activate his ‘Scorched
Earth’ defense plan. That meant that the Germans would not be able to use the
Russian supplies or buildings to their advantage.
USSR struggled to defend against the Nazis until the Battle of Stalingrad,
which took place during August of 1942 all the way to February of 1943.
Finally, the Red Army had defeated and driven out the Germans of Russia. Almost
one million Soviet troops were moved into the Stalingrad area. They were
supported by a constantly increasing flow of tanks, aircrafts, and anti-tank
rocket packs built in heavy factories at the Urals, during the five-year plan.
The rapid industrialization that Stalin said would be necessary to defeat
western invaders was finally coming true.
was ruthless when it came to his troops, Stalin had ordered soldiers risking
capture to commit suicide or fight to the death, and that those who were captured
were traitors to the USSR and Stalin’s Communist ideology.
fight with the Germans had pushed Joseph Stalin to join the allied side.
Although the USSR was now on the Allied side, they had no assistance from the
allied countries until mid to late war. So, Stalin had ordered all industry
units to produce primarily on military weaponry and supplies. Thanks to the
five-year plans before the war, the sheer number of factories and production
completely outweighed those of their German counterpart.
battle that the Soviets had won successfully was the Battle of Kursk 1943. The
Soviet army, under the direct command of Stalin, had defended a major point in
the war that had major outcomes for both the Soviets and the Germans. As Stalin
was a war leader and director, he payed close attention and personal control
over many aspects of the war. “Stalin maintained close personal control over
the Soviet battlefronts, military reserves, and war economy” (Hingley, Ronald. “Joseph
World War II, Stalin had still been crazed by the threat of an invasion from
Western Europe. During 1945, after WWII, and 1948, Stalin had arranged for Hungary,
Rumania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and East Germany to be set up for
communist regimes. He did this so he could have multiple states as “buffer
zones” to hopefully slow down an invasion, if there ever was one. However, the
west had not been planning for an invasion and assumed Stalin was attempting to
impose communism on the entire European continent. Therefore, the European
powers and America had created NATO and stationed troops on the Western border
of Europe to ensure Stalin didn’t try to take over any more countries. All of
this embodied the starting of the Cold War.