By Harold J. Laski

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This allowed the Fifth Army to continue its operations and consolidate its hold over the city. The Battle of Cheliabinsk was extremely bloody and an estimated 40,000 men died Figure 13 The 26-year-old Tukhachevskii in a typical top cap, or ‘budionovka’, named after the legendary Red Cavalry commander Semion Budionnyi. Tukhachevskii commanded the Fifth Eastern Army that fought its way through the Ural Mountains in the early summer of 1919 and won a victory over General Voizekhovskii’s White units in the battle of Cheliabinsk in July–August 1919.

In the 1930s, the supreme command had a greater degree of self-confidence. 35 The transfer and further development of technology from the West to the USSR was an important feature of the country’s economic policy. Education of technicians and engineers was started on a massive scale and after their examinations engineers were moved to the new industrial cities. Their social position was uncertain, however, depending on whether they had received their training in Tsarist times or if they were among the new engineers who had been trained in the more politicised Soviet spirit.

It soon became evident that it would be impossible even to approach the levels of production that the plan demands. Accordingly, the second five-year plan, of 1933–1937, contained ambitions that were more balanced and in line with real capabilities. After several years of debates and with the area in competition with the traditional industrial regions of southern Russia, a decision was made that a new iron and steel works would be built close to the iron ore deposits at Magnitka mountain in the Southern Urals.

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