What were the effects of the Five Year Plan on Soviet industry in the years 1928-41?
The First World War followed immediately by the Civil War had left Russia’s economy in a mess that few thought could be put right in a short-term period. However, Stalin’s main aim was to rapidly industrialise and he was prepared to go to any limit to accomplish this. So Stalin created a state planning commission called Gosplan. This committee organised a series of five-year plans, which consisted of several targets Russia needed to attain every five years.
These five-year plans could be considered as very successful as they increased the industrial production of many essential resources including coal, iron, steel and electricity. By 1940 Russia’s production levels were very close to the other western powers. Stalin claimed that all the targets had been met in production after each five-year plan. Sometimes he claimed that they had reached their target early so as to boost the workers’ morale. But even though Russia was producing much more than she had previously, the industries tended to focus on quantity and not quality. Cities were built dedicated entirely to industry and built from scratch over the course of the five-year plan. Many of these cities were built out in Siberia, so that in the event of war the industries could carry on producing without being affected in addition this location it gave the state more control over the people living and working there.
Official figure show a huge increase in production from 1928 to 1941and to some extent there was, but it was believed that many results were raised and even faked for propaganda. Many factory managers lied about their results, hiding the fact that they were unable to reach their targets. This was because the people setting the targets were party officials who were not experienced in industry and who just came up with the targets demanded by Stalin. Stalin wanted them...