Month: March 2018

Germany’s Mistake is a Soviet Success

Soviet Union success during The Great Patriotic War can easily be associated with modifications within the military and political world: the improvement of military strategies and the extreme centralization which allowed the state to better mobilize its people and resources. While keeping in mind the improvements and corrections made by the Soviet Union one must […]

5th Stop: Yantarny This week I wanted to focused on something serious; the Holocaust. Many people assume and are taught in High School that the Germans were the only ones to participate in the mass killing of Jews and that simply is not true. The Soviet Union and France were two other nations that highly participated in […]

Building Socialism: Purges, Polar Exploration and New Men and Women

Welcome back — We had a terrific crop of posts this week! With submissions touching on everything from film and the Purges to changing gender roles and Polar exploration, and many components of the “Great Retreat” (Soviet Champagne, anyone?), this weekly edition provides a fascinating introduction to the contradictions and complexities of Soviet life in the thirties. Your editorial team hopes you will catch up on posts in the (filled to overflowing) slider and in Comrades’ Corner. And do checkout the Students Choice award, which was a particularly close contest this week.

The trauma of World War II awaits us. Вперед!

5th Blogpost Guidelines: Defending the Motherland

This week we turn our attention to build-up to The Great Patriotic War (aka World War II) and the immediate post-war period.  Please use one of the modules from 1939, 1943 or 1947 in Seventeen Moments in Soviet History on-line archive. You should consult Ch. 12 in the Freeze text. If you are writing about something specific to the war, it would be worth considering William C. Fuller’s discussion on pp. 383-392 of Freeze about the reasons for Soviet victory.

I have also flagged some resources that might be of interest on my blog here.

As you develop your topic, think about how your post might address either of these questions:

  1. Why was Stalin’s Soviet Union so ill-prepared for the war?
  2. How did the Soviets nonetheless manage to prevail?

There’s plenty of action, drama, and complexity to keep us all engaged this week.  Ни шагу назад!

The Not So Great Terror

  The red in the Soviet flag is supposed to symbolize the blood spilled by the peasants and workers in the 1917 revolution.  Ironically, these same people continued to spill their blood through out the entire lifetime of the USSR through various purges, wars, and famines.  The first of these numerous purges (and there will […]

Kirov and Killing

On 1 December, 1934 Sergei Mironovich Kirov was murdered at the Smolnyi Institute in St. Petersburg by Leonid Nikolaev, a former party member. The 48-year-old First Secretary of the Leningrad party organization and longtime Bolshevik member was assassination only months after he had received a higher percentage of votes in the elections to the Politburo … Continue reading Kirov and Killing