Transported Suffering…

“How much the Soviet people suffered can be expressed very simply. At the end of 1941, after only six months of war, the following losses had been suffered:

  • half the Soviet population was under German occupation
  • a third of the nation’s industrial plant was in German hands
  • iron and steel production had dropped by 60 per cent
  • forty per cent of the railway system was no longer usable
  • livestock had been reduced by 60 per cent
  • grain stocks had been reduced by 40 per cent.

Wartime reorganisation

“The reason for this early catastrophe was that under the Five-Year Plans Soviet industrial expansion had been sited west of the Urals, the area most vulnerable to German attack.

To offset the losses, extraordinary efforts were then made to transfer whole sectors of Soviet industry to the relative safety of eastern USSR.

Between July and December 1941, 2593 separate industrial enterprises were moved to the east, transported in 1.5 million railway freight cars.” (Lynch, 2008, p.96).


Lynch, M. (2008) Stalin’s Russia, 1924-53. 4th Ed. London: Hodder Education.


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