was the ussr really backward before ww2

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by notabiker, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. notabiker

    notabiker New Member

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    so if the USSR was such a poor and backward country before the war how did they build such a vast and powerful war machine and defeat hitler. i know we helped them but not enough to build all those t 34 tanks etc. was their industrial base that good. i know the population of the USSR was twice that of germany, but germany had a first rate industrial base before the war.maybe only second to the USA.
  2. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    And that population made for some great cannon fodder.

    tenacity and numbers won it for the USSR.
  3. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan Active Member

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    The Russians are great at reverse-engineering. That and they had a whole lot of resources, and as AD stated, had lots of, uh, "willing" solders.
  4. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

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    Poor pre-war propaganda........ >MW
  5. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    The USSR under Stalin had concentrated on building more heavy industry before World War II. They had started work on designing the T-34 before the war, and for it's time the late 1930's it was the most advanced tank of the time. When the German's invaded the USSR in 1941 they ran into small numbers of the early production T-34 tanks and it was a shock. The standard early war 37mm anti-tank guns were useless against it.

    By 1942 production of the T-34 was in full swing. Early on the T-34 outclassed all German tanks. As the war went on the Germans gave their most common tank, the Panzer IV, an improved 75mm high velocity gun that made it the equal of the T-34. And the Germans introduced the Panzer V (panther) and Panzer VI (tiger) into production that in some ways out classed the T-34. But T-34 like the American M4 Sherman was produced in huge numbers, out pacing German tank production by a huge quantity.
  6. green4

    green4 New Member

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    Very true.

    Stalin was as poor of a military commander as Hitler was.

    It also did not help that the purges wiped out much of the Russian officer corps. Officers inclined to take more initiative were in short supply during the start of the war on the Eastern Front.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2008
  7. woad-yurt

    woad-yurt New Member

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    I read somewhere that the Soviet soldier was not issued socks. They got a towel-like narrow cloth and were shown how to wrap it around their foot and how to tuck it in so it wouldn't slide down and bunch up in their boot. It was like this up to the 90's, if I remember correctly. That sounds a little backward tome.
  8. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    In many ways the USSR was "backwards" prior to World War II. But they concentrated on making good solid basic weapons in mass quantities.

    The Russian strategy for production of weapons during World War II was simple. Build simple dependable weapons in vast quantities.

    The USSR built millions of their dependable Mosin-Nagant rifle, and PPSH-41 submachine guns.

    The USSR built tens of thousands of their effective T-34 tank. (exact figures are in dispute, but it is thought production during the war was close to U.S. Sherman tank production figures of 50,000)

    The Russians built huge numbers of regular "tube" artillery as well as Katyush rocket launchers.

    The USSR could blanket the Nazi forces with artillery and rockets, which would be followed by swarms of their T-34 tanks, accompanied by masses of troops packing Mosin-Nagant rifles, and submachine guns.

    As the war went on the Russian forces would improve their tactics.

    The German Army would use many captured Soviet weapons. 76mm Soviet field guns were converted for use as anti-tank guns. The Soviet 7.62mm submachine guns were heavily used by the Germans.
  9. Recon 173

    Recon 173 Member

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    Back about the time of WW2, most nations were still switching from agarian economies to urban based economies. The Russians because of purges, turmoil and politics were farther behind the rest of the world than other nations. Our nation actually began to go from rural to urban at the time of WW1 and continued the switch up until the late 1950s. Russia was behind us even up into the 1980 or so. It wasn't until sometime in the 1990s that a person was able to actually drive a car from Moscow to Vladivistok because nobody had ever before attempted it. There just was not a reliable road running from west to east. In addition to being behind, you've got to remember that their technology is different than most other nations because of different and more radical climate changes. For example, house and apartment buildings in the Siberian regions are sometimes built up on stilts about 3 feet above the ground because of permafrost and insulated in a different fashion. Pipes transporting water are sometimes heated to keep the lines from freezing and bursting. Milk in some places over there is not sold by the liter, it's sold by the frozen block. So, all things considered, it really is amazing how the Russians were able to gear up for WW2 with their manufacturing and technology problems to beat the Germans. As an old saying goes, "To be truly Russian you have got to suffer."
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