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Assess The Impact On The Ussr Of The Great Patriotic War

1535 words - 7 pages

Assess the impact on the USSR of the Great Patriotic WarThe 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 ...view middle of the document...

This led to a decline in both the quality of life and standard of living of the soviet citizens, this coupled with the famines led to considerable suffering.The political impact of the Great Patriotic War on the USSR was simple; it benefited Stalin and his Communist party tremendously. As a result of extensive propaganda campaigns and manipulation of the media, there was a strong sense of patriotism, and a strong desire to support your country. So membership of the Communist Party expanded greatly during the war, and also a large number of these members were actually out actively supporting their country on the front lines. As a result, the Communist Party had a much stronger commitment and loyalty from its members. But for Stalin as an individual, the war did wonders for his public perception, he was now at the height of his popularity, he became idolised by many, but respected by all. Now his position as leader of the USSR was completely unrivalled. Following the victory over Germany, Stalin was seen as they symbol of the defeat of the anti-communists, and was now recognised as a world leader.War had a very significant effect on society because to fight in a war the scale of the Great Patriotic War, Stalin needed a substantial army. In total the army consisted of around 13 million soldiers, with only 5 million left by the end of the war in 1945. It is thought that around 2 million of the unaccounted soldiers were captured by the Germans. As so many men were needed to go and fight in the war, very few were left to keep the country running in industry and agriculture. So the social status of women was increased as they were now needed in factories and agriculture to provide for the armies and their country. Also, the army were not picky about who signed up to fight in the war, as long as they could fight, so many people who were previously unskilled, were now able to learn a skill in the army which would enable them to become more 'socially mobile' after the war. So all in all, the war had a very positive affect on society, as people who previously had no place in society, were being educated within the army, to become more valuable members of the USSR, and also women were promoted within society, as they were running the backbone of the USSR.As had been the trend throughout Communist reign, culture was used as propaganda, but at the same time, culture was given more freedom, to do as it was told. Stalin aimed to use the media to manipulate the people of the USSR by compounding resentment towards the Germans, and to give the people a cause of protecting the motherland from the Germans. This process was called 'Russification' whereby selected highlights of the past were used to make people feel patriotic and want to defend their country. The media was given a lot more freedom than previously but, as long as it emphasized the themes of:*The importance of family*Moral behaviour*Virtues of heroism and self sacrificeAt the centre of all the propaganda...

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