An introduction to the history of the soviet union

Red Scare Soviet spy services under any name struggled to get a foothold in the United States in the early postwar period. This was due in part to the investigations spurred by the so-called Red Scare of the late s and s, during which time U. The Red Scare led to the Congressional hearings spearheaded by Senator Joseph McCarthywho attempted to identify, and thwart, Communist influence in American society. These events are credited with bringing down much of the U.

An introduction to the history of the soviet union

Soviet ski troops advancing the front line during the siege of Leningrad. The Molotov—Ribbentrop Pact of August established a non-aggression treaty between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union with a secret protocol describing how Poland and the Baltic countries would be divided between them.

In the invasion of Poland of the two powers invaded and partitioned Poland, and in June the Soviet Union also occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Red Army had little time to correct its numerous deficiencies before Nazi Germany and other Axis countries allied with it swept across the newly relocated Soviet border on June 22,in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa.

During the initial stages of the war, Soviet forces were often ordered to stand their ground despite limited defensive capabilities, resulting in numerous encirclements and correspondingly high numbers of casualties.

The United States program of lend-lease was extended to Soviet Union in Septembersupplying planes, tanks, trucks and other war materials. The Red Army launched a powerful winter counteroffensive which pushed the Germans back from the outskirts of Moscow.

At the start ofthe weakened Axis armies abandoned their march on Moscow and advanced south towards the Caucasus and Volga river. This offensive, in turn, ran out of steam in autumnallowing the Soviet forces to stage a devastating counteroffensive on the overextended enemy.

The Red Army encircled and destroyed significant German forces at the Battle of Stalingradwhich ended in February and reversed the tide of the war in Europe. In the summer offollowing the Battle of Kurskthe Red Army seized the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war.

All Soviet territory was liberated from Axis occupation by Much of Eastern Europe and great parts of the Soviet Union were devastated by Red Army troops as a result of an aggressive policy of " scorched earth ".

The Red Army emerged from the war as one of the most powerful land armies in history[ citation needed ] with five million soldiers, and more tanks and artillery than all other countries combined.

An introduction to the history of the soviet union

This is believed to be the highest human death toll from any military conflict. It is based on the AK assault rifle, which would ultimately effect change in both future rifle design and in the methods of modern warfare. During and right after the war, the Red Army was by far the most powerful land army in the world.

Also important was the introduction of the BMP-1The first mass-used infantry fighting vehicles commissioned by any armed force in the world.

These innovations would help direct the course of Soviet military operations throughout the Cold War. Stalin used this military occupation to establish satellite states, creating a buffer zone between Germany and the Soviet Union.

The Soviets quickly became an enormous political and economic influence in the region and the Soviet Union actively assisted local communist parties in coming to power. Byseven eastern European countries had communist governments.

In this setting, the Cold War emerged from a conflict between Stalin and U. Truman over the future of Eastern Europe during the Potsdam Conference in Truman charged that Stalin had betrayed the agreement made at the Yalta Conference. Conventional military power showed its continued influence when the Soviet Union used its troops to invade Hungary in and Czechoslovakia in to suppress the democratic aspirations of their peoples and keep these countries within the Soviet regime.

The Soviet Union and the western forces, led by the US, faced a number of standoffs that threatened to turn into live conflicts, such as the Berlin Blockade of —49 and the Cuban Missile Crisis ofwhich saw "hawks" on both sides push the respective rivals closer towards war due to policies of brinksmanship.

Additional conflicts along the Sino-Soviet border followed in The Soviets had ensured the loyalty of Vietnam and Laos through an aggressive campaign of political, economic and military aid — the same tactic which allowed the Soviet Union to compete with the United States in a race to establish themselves as neocolonial rulers of newly independent states in Africa and the Middle East.

Soviet Union | History, Leaders, Map, & Facts |

Extensive arms sales made weapons like the AK and the T tank icons of the contemporary wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors. This doctrine was used to justify the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in Battling an opposition that relied on guerrilla tactics and asymmetric warfarethe massive Soviet war machine proved incapable of achieving decisive victories and the entire campaign quickly devolved into a quagmire not unlike that which the U.

After ten years of fighting at the cost of approximately 20 billion dollars a year in United States dollars [16] and 15, Soviet casualties, Gorbachev surrendered to public opinion and ordered troops to withdraw in early The Cold War and nuclear weapons[ edit ] Main article: It soon came out that the Soviet atomic bomb project had received a considerable amount of espionage information about the wartime Manhattan Projectand that its first bomb was largely a purposeful copy of the U.

More important from the perspective of the speed of the Soviet program, the Soviets had developed more uranium reserves than specialists in the American military had thought possible. From the late s, the Soviet armed forces focused on adapting to the Cold War in the era of nuclear arms by achieving parity with the United States in strategic nuclear weapons.The term “GULAG” is an acronym for the Soviet bureaucratic institution, Glavnoe Upravlenie ispravitel’no-trudovykh LAGerei (Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps), that operated the Soviet system of forced labor camps in the Stalin era.

Early Attempts at Reform

Since the publication of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago in , the term has come to represent the entire Soviet forced labor.

The following is a general overview of the history of Russia during the period of Soviet domination. For full coverage of the history of the Soviet Union, see the article Union of Soviet Socialist Republics..

If you enjoy military history, you should definitely get this book. The Soviet Union was one of the pre-eminent military powers of the 20th century, and this compendium of essays by military scholars explains how a rag-tag would-be world power that collapsed in disarray during World War I, first fought a complex civil war for five years, then built a military force capable of defeating the. For readers who want a brief history of Russia, Geoffrey Hosking’s “Russian History: A Very Short Introduction” is what we are seeking, but the conciseness of the book comes at a price. In , the Soviet Union entered an era of economic stagnation which led to unhappiness among the Soviet people. Brezhnev continued the policy of détente with the United States, limiting arms but at the same time building up Soviet military strength.

The Russian Revolution. This virtual museum is devoted to the history of the Gulag, the vast network of labor camps which was once scattered across the length and breadth of the Soviet Union, from the islands of the White Sea to the shores of the Black Sea, from the Arctic circle to the plains of Central Asia, from Murmansk to Vorkuta to Kazakhstan, from central Moscow to the Leningrad suburbs.

The history of the Soviet Union from through spans the period from Leonid Brezhnev's death and funeral until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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Due to the years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, economic growth stagnated. FREE DSST PRACTICE TEST: HISTORY OF THE SOVIET UNION. But if you’re looking for a good introduction to the Soviet Union DSST / DANTES, you’re in for a real treat with the extensive study guide also below.

History of the Soviet Union Study Guide.

The February Revolution

I. Russia Under the Old Regime – 10%. Dec 31,  · Find out more about the history of Soviet Union, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more. Introduction. After overthrowing the centuries-old Romanov.

Military history of the Soviet Union - Wikipedia