Soviet Industry and the Red Army Under Stalin: A Military–Industrial Complex?

The paper considers some of the views of the Stalin–era relationship between Soviet industry and the Red Army that are current in the literature, and disentangles some confusions of translation. The economic weight of the defence sector in the economic system is summarised in various aspects. The lessons of recent archival research are used as a basis for analysing the army–industry relationship under Stalin as a prisoners’ dilemma in which, despite the potential gains from mutual cooperation, each party faced a strong incentive to cheat on the other. It is concluded that the idea of a Soviet military–industrial complex is not strictly applicable to the Stalin period, but there may be greater justification for the Soviet Union after Stalin.

Issue Date:
Oct 08 2001
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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 Record created 2018-03-07, last modified 2020-10-28

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