- Jan 2008
Joseph Stalin was a revolutionary (for the worse) and Adolf Hitler's worst enemy. The Soviet military was the largest in the world by the time the Germans invaded in 1941. Stalin's five year plans turned his country into a industrial power-house with the creation of tens of hundreds of industrial plants which greatly improved the production of coal, oil, steel chemicals, food for his workers and other such things. The mass production of all of these materials also caused millions of people to be worked to death and the collection of food caused mass famine in some areas, this led to some collaboration with the invading Germans (such as in Ukraine) because people felt that they had come as liberators. Stalin also purged thousands of officers in 1937 not wanting to be overthrown by the military; this led others to believe with some justification that the Soviet military was in a state of anarchy and that that Soviet soldiers could not fight. The theory about the weakness of the Soviet Military was hardened after the disastorous invasion of Finland in 1939 and the mass Soviet encirclements of 1941. I personally believe that without the industrialization of his country before WWII that he could not have won against Nazi Germany, however his purges of the military and the harsh treatment of his workers caused a greater death toll by the hands of the Germans. What do you think?