How Much of Russia’s Problems in the War Were Caused by Pre-Existing Conditions

790 Words4 Pages
A large number of Russia’s problems were caused by pre-existing conditions such as poor distribution of food supplies, transportation, and inflation. There are a number of other conditions that contributed to Russia’s war problems; however these are arguably the most important factors. Firstly, the requisitioning of horses and fertilisers by the military for the war effort made it difficult to sustain agricultural output, since farmers still used medieval farming techniques horses were needed to produce a harvest, this resulted in a huge decline in food production and threw the lower class into starvation. Furthermore, the army had first rights on the limited amount of food being produced and they had priority in the use of various transport systems, they also commandeered the railways and roads with the result that the food supplies that were available could not be distributed easily to the rest of the nation. This was terribly inconsiderate of the military as the other 82% of the nation was left to starve as the military was the government’s top priority. This led to extreme cases of hunger across Russia which soon became famine. Food shortages were at their worst in the towns and cities, Petrograd suffered particularly badly due to the remoteness from the food-producing regions. Secondly, transportation was a key pre- existing war condition; it was the disruption of the transport system rather than the decline in food production that was the major cause Russia’s wartime shortages. The attempt to transport millions of troops and masses of supplies to the war fronts created unbearable pressure on the Russian transport system, and it bucked under the pressure. The signalling system on which the railway network depended on broke down and this accumulated to Petrograd and Moscow receiving only a third of their food and fuel requirements, in comparison before the war
Open Document