How did the USSR become a super power?

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username945663
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#1
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#1
As the thread title says. During school I was taught that post ww1 Russia was full of civil war and was a total mess. Then Stalin came in, he had a habit of constantly killing high value individuals (leading military men, intellectuals etc...) because he was paranoid, the country went through some famines too IIRC and in the early parts of WW2, the Germans were apparently annihilating them too. I don't think Russia was a rich country in that time (I don't think they're rich today either).

So how did they go from all that to a superpower? Apologies for anything I've written which is historically inaccurate.
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Taddeus
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It's a big country with a lots of resources (oil, gas, metalls, workforce, high investments in research/ education)

Post war there were more or less only 2 big countries - US and USSR. China was at this point politically and economically more or less unexisitent. Both of them managed to keep thight relationships with numerous countries which made them the centre of their respective bloc (the US with western europe, North America etc. and the USSR with Eastern Europe, Asia, parts of South America).
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sleepysnooze
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#3
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#3
yeah, lots of natural resources due to the vast amount of land
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Napp
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In specific relation to its rise there are a few reasons
1] Similar to the USA when its economy was fully mobilized and at a war footing it was second only to the US in terms of production
[They also had moved their factories east of the Urals to avoid the rain of fire the Germans were levying at them]
2] Having a command economy made it very easy to build up a massive armed forces in Europe and Asia
3] Huge amounts of natural resources
4] Russians have always been rather good at maths and science not to mention having acquired plenty of former Nazi scientists [like the US in Op Paperclip] were able to develop nuclear weapons/missiles etc. which on top of their massiveland army gave them the status of a super power
5] Espionage helped them quickly close the technology gap with the UK/USA
6] Being a 'communist' bloc enabled them to have mass cheap labour and thus a surplus of cash to throw at other states so they'd be friendly to them
7] lest we forget the looting of the occupied territories when the soviets rolled in
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Zargabaath
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#5
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#5
The loominaty gave then money ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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username945663
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#6
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(Original post by Taddeus)
It's a big country with a lots of resources (oil, gas, metalls, workforce, high investments in research/ education)

Post war there were more or less only 2 big countries - US and USSR. China was at this point politically and economically more or less unexisitent. Both of them managed to keep thight relationships with numerous countries which made them the centre of their respective bloc (the US with western europe, North America etc. and the USSR with Eastern Europe, Asia, parts of South America).
(Original post by sleepysnooze)
yeah, lots of natural resources due to the vast amount of land
(Original post by Napp)
In specific relation to its rise there are a few reasons
1] Similar to the USA when its economy was fully mobilized and at a war footing it was second only to the US in terms of production
[They also had moved their factories east of the Urals to avoid the rain of fire the Germans were levying at them]
2] Having a command economy made it very easy to build up a massive armed forces in Europe and Asia
3] Huge amounts of natural resources
4] Russians have always been rather good at maths and science not to mention having acquired plenty of former Nazi scientists [like the US in Op Paperclip] were able to develop nuclear weapons/missiles etc. which on top of their massiveland army gave them the status of a super power
5] Espionage helped them quickly close the technology gap with the UK/USA
6] Being a 'communist' bloc enabled them to have mass cheap labour and thus a surplus of cash to throw at other states so they'd be friendly to them
7] lest we forget the looting of the occupied territories when the soviets rolled in
Thanks for the responses. Are there any good vids/books/articles that you would recommend for this topic?
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ageshallnot
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#7
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(Original post by IdeasForLife)
Thanks for the responses. Are there any good vids/books/articles that you would recommend for this topic?
Think carefully about what defines a 'superpower'.

Posted from TSR Mobile
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Snufkin
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#8
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Massive country, vast natural resources, scientific and technological knowledge, very large standing army, nuclear weapons, political and economic influence over many other countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Hitler's invasion of the USSR created a super power, just not the one he intended. :lol:
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PTMalewski
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#9
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Power of the Soviet Union was of a very different quality than the power of west. In WWII Germany for example had double industrial resources, than the Soviet Union, and conditions of life were terrible, however Soviet Union could fight thanks to practically unlimited natural resources, and manpower. This combined with a very collective character of the Russian nation, allowed them to use extensive forces in war, especially since thay had some other qualities:

-Stalin did not have a habit of killing all valuable people. He had a habit of killing people that could turn up dangerous in political area or were considered as enemies by his doctrine. Terror was also used as an element of motivation. Soviets had many talented engineers and they were allowed to compete with each other. Some could even ignore official orders and get away with it, if it turned out that their decisions were better.

-Slavic nations were always used to operate in bad conditions, this forced them to develop ability to act in very creative ways and simplify things as much as possible. The Soviet Union may had limited industrial resources, but Soviet engineers provided a set of quite effective but extremely simple and cheap weapons. Soviet tanks for example- the in 1941, the best of them were inferior is some areas, but superior in other and very easy to produce. The German respond was to introduce superior, but expensive and unreliable weapons.

After the war the Soviet power was achieved mainly thanks to political deal with USA and UK, unlimited resources, and centralised power.
Soviet economy was inferior to western in every aspect possible, but Russians were always used to live in extremely poor conditions and and ruled by absolutistic power. It was a military machine. Badly governed in terms of economy, but decided to spend most of avaible resources to ensure it's position with military power. This, same as in WWII, was achieved also by production of simplier weapons in larger numbers, rather than development a sophisticated technology.
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