The «Mysterious» conference (XVIII all-Union party conference of the CPSU(b) in the focus of the external political factor and the Industrial project)

Feldman M.A.


The pre-war situation forced the Soviet leadership to think about the ratio of qualitative and quantitative indicators of manufactured products. The bureaucratic style of leadership impeded the implementation of the decisions made in the feverish atmosphere of the last pre-war months. The author notes that the proposals of a number of business executives and heads of industrial people's commissariats – regarding the need to combat «technical conservatism », reducing the number of departments and authorities for considering technical inventions and rationalization proposals, as well as allowing the redistribution of resources between enterprises through direct links between them – were not included in the resolution of the last pre-war party forum, however formed that theoretical scientific and applied space, that was transformed into practice during the Great Patriotic War. The author of the article hypothesized that the high degree of frankness of the materials of the Conference was addressed not so much to the communists of the USSR as to the leadership of fascist Germany: the essence of the message was that the Soviet Union was not preparing for war and for an attack on Germany. Life on the front-line territory during the Winter War with Finland allowed the industry of Leningrad to accumulate a certain amount of experience in high-speed design and manufacture of new types of weapons. This experience was presented at the 18th All-Union Party Conference of the CPSU(b) by representatives of the Leningrad delegation. Was this experience heard and approved by the top Soviet leadership and included in the resolutions of the conference? What was the position of the conference delegates? Was the experience of the front-line city consistent with the efforts to strengthen the military-industrial complex during the third five-year plan? The article attempts to provide answers to the proposed questions.


USSR; party; report; delegates; five-year plan; industrialization; conference; military products.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2021.01.10

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