How successful were the 5 year plans in transforming Russian Industry in the years up to 1941?
The 5 year plans were successful in transforming Russian industry in the years up to 1941. The 5 year plans were first introduced in 1928 as an attempt by Stalin to massively improve heavy industry and prepare the Soviet Industry for war. These were successful to an extent in terms of transforming Russian industry and they also had numerous social and political effects. Firstly, due to the focus of the five year plans being on heavy industry, they were largely successful in transforming it. The output of coal increases from 35 to 75 million tons and iron increased from to 19 million. This shows that the 5 year plans had a big effect on the heavy industry and in order to do this they must have transformed it in some way. One of these ways was that massive industrial centers were built in previously isolated areas such as Magnitogorsk and Dnieper. Many of the programs that were not necessary for the growth of heavy industry were shut down in order to make Stalin's demands of the 350% increase in output possible. The second 5 year plan also was successful in massively transforming heavy industry and saw Russia rise to just below Germany in terms of the most steel-producing countries in the world. One of the ways in which this was done was the fact that targets were set for factory owners and there were severe consequences for not achieving these targets. Although it led to some corruption, overall it had a positive effect due to the fact that it encouraged the workers to work harder and thus increase output. The third 5 year plan, although only lasting 3 years due to the German invasion in 1941 was also reported to have helped achieve a 12-13% increase in annual industrial growth over the 1930s. Furthermore, the 5 year plans brought into place things such as modern, more effective equipment into Russian industry as well as an emphasis on trained workers rather than...
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