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Many Tzars tried but failed to modernize Russia throughout its history. Then the Bolsheviks took power in 1917 and were able to achieve significant progress in the industrialization and militarization of the country. Even to the point that Hitler said, “Had I known they had as many tanks as that, I’d have thought twice before invading.” link to quote

It's been argued that, during the end of 1941, Russia's unpaved roads and "general mud" slowed the German advance. Early in the war the Russians lacked schooling in mobile warfare but as they learned it from the Germans the Industrialization that began under the Bolsheviks gave them the material they needed to win the war.

How much of the success of the Soviet forces in WWII can be attributed to the modernization efforts enacted by the Soviet/Bolshevik leadership? How different was the country's indutrialization trajectory under the Soviets than under the Tsars?

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Criticism 1: "Many Tzars tried but failed to modernize Russia throughout its history." - Really? Many Tsars tried and succeeded. But did any Tsar try after 1850? I've read a bit of Russian history, and it seems to me that the last few Tsars were conservative and opposed modernization and modern concepts and continues to treat Russia and Russians as their personal property. –  Lennart Regebro Sep 13 '13 at 22:15
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Criticism 2: But you are right that Russia did not modernize around the turn of the century. The lack of liberalization and modernization is in fact ofyen pointed out to be a major cause of the revolution. Hence, had the Tsars modernized the revolution would not have happened. Therefore, yes, the Russuans could have beaten WWII even without the Russian revolution, because that would have meant the Tsar had modernized Russia. –  Lennart Regebro Sep 13 '13 at 22:18
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@FelixGoldberg: The industrialization under Stalin was in two five year plans, and was complete in 10 years. There is no way in heck to do this without a command economy, it's the only thing command economies are proven to do quickly and well, industrialize a pre-industrial economy. They did this is Russia, in China, and in Yugoslavia. –  Ron Maimon Sep 16 '13 at 2:26
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@RonMaimon - Google Peter the Great, as well as Katherine. Russia started industries - including military ones - under Tzars when they felt like it. –  DVK Sep 16 '13 at 13:38
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@Anixx false. The driving force were foreign backed agitators in the military and a few wealthy backroom socialists. The "proletariat" were just stirred up with promises of wealth, equality, and eternal riches poured on them by the benevolent state, and we all know how that worked out. –  jwenting Sep 20 '13 at 18:59
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closed as off-topic by Lennart Regebro, Pieter Geerkens, comeAndGo, Tom Au, American Luke Sep 14 '13 at 0:36

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