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11-08-2015, 19:00

The Mobilization in Soviet Russia

The Soviet economy was reorganized in an entirelv different way. The Germans invaded the regions where most of the metal industry was concentrated, causing a drop in total production ol forty-eight per cent in the first six months of the war. and further declined in 1942. Cast iron production fell from 18 million tons to 5 million tons. On the other hand, under a policv of continuous growth in the vears before the war, many factories had been constructed in the Urals and bevond. Soviet Russia could draw upon almost unlimited reserves of manpower, though it was largely untrained. Because of her size, large areas were safe from enemy attack. Her political and economic svstem allowed stern measures to be quicklv applied. Before the invasion, the government had examined the problem of evacuating factories and residents eastwards awav from areas threatened by invasion. Fully fitted stand-ins had already been prepared for some industries. Still the undertaking was gigantic. Between July and November 1941, some 1520 units of production including 1300 large establishments, were disassembled, transported and reassembled. Ten million workers had to be resettled. By the end ol 1941 the factories which had been transferred from Leningrad to the Urals began sending heavy tanks to the front. War industries took precedence over everything else. By the end ol 1942, Soviet Russia was turning out more guns than Germain. Such an effort entailed immense toil and hardship. Working hours were lengthened, holidays were entirelv suspended. [Tie hurried evacuation of populations gave rise to painful living conditions and shortages of housing, hospitals, healing and schools. Food was also scarce. The training ofurgend) needed skilled labour presented one of the most difficult tasks. Prio rities had to be established and workers were given obligatory assignments. A large number of kolkhozin were given jobs in the mines. A programme of training skilled workers was undertaken in schools. Arms production was increased and the quality ol equipment improved. New tanks and aeroplanes -T34/S and Stormoviks -replaced older models. In Soviet Russia, the entire population was drawn into the war effort. A vigorous propaganda programme recalled great examples of the past, especially 1812, emphasizing the invasion of national territory over defence of the regime. The three million members of the Communist Party trained the population, galvanized their energies, rallied support in the occupied areas. Soldiers, victims of German aggression, producers behind the lines, each bore a share of the national burden. The residents of Leningrad themselves built the fortifications around their city. In Stalingrad munitions workers drove the tanks which they themselves had produced into battle.