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Stalin becomes General Secretary (Trotsky turns down position of Vice

Chairman of the Party)
Death of Lenin
Lenins Funeral (Stalin organised it, heightened his reputation & damaged
Kamenev and Zinoviev ally with Stalin to marginalise Trotsky
Lenins Testament is read to the Central Committee (criticised a lot of Top
Bolshevik leaders, especially Stalin not made public: Trotskys failure to
make it public contributed to Stalins rise to power)
Trotsky loses his position as head of Red Army (Commissar for War)
Stalin allies with Bukharin and the Right Wing (wanted to continue with NEP,
proceed slowly with industrialisation). Kamenev and Zinoviev lose their
Politburo Posts.
Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev expelled from the party (Kamenev and
Zinoviev were later readmitted, but with much reduced power.)
Stalins Great Turn breaks with the right wing of the party and embarks on
the policies proposed by Trotsky in the first place: rapid industrialisation and
collectivisation of agriculture.
Shakhty Trial
1928-32 First Five-Year Plan
1929 Collectivisation campaign begins (+ dekulakization campaign)
1932-33 Famine
1933-37 Second Five-Year Plan
1934-38 Great Purges
Seventeenth Party Congress (Kirov
perceived by many as a possible
alternative to Stalin)
Assassination of Kirov
1935 Stakhanov sets a coal mining
1937-41 Third Five-Year Plan

1934-36 Yagoda was head of the NKVD

1936 Show Trial of Zinoviev, Kamenev
and fourteen other top leaders. (1st )
1936-38 Yezhov was head of the NKVD
1937-38 Purge of the Armed Forces

1937 Execution of Marshal Tuchachevsky

1938 Show trial including Bukharin,
Rykov and Yagoda (2nd)
1938-53 Beria was head of the NKVD
1940 Execution of Yezhov
(August 23) Nazi-Soviet Pact
(September 1) Germany invades Poland. (France and Britain declare war on
Germany two
days later.)
(September 17) USSR Annexes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and part of Poland
Germany conquers Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, France
and Norway
Trotsky assassinated
(from December 1939) Winter War: USSR attacked Finlandthey eventually
won, but it took a long time and helped to convince Hitler that the USSR was
(April-May) Hitler invades Yugoslavia and Greece (delaying the planned
invasion of the
(June 22) Beginning of Operation Barbarossa (German invasion of USSR)
(September) Siege of Leningrad begins (lifted in January 1944)
(October) German army reaches the outskirts of Moscow
(October) First snow near Moscow turns the roads to mud.
(end of November) Temperatures near Moscow drop to -40C Germans
discover they dont
have winter clothes or winter fuel.
(December 5) USSR launches a counterattack near Moscow
(December 7) USA enters the war and allies with the USSR
1941 (September) to January 1944 Siege of Leningrad
1942 (August)- February 1943 Battle of Stalingrad
1943 (July-August) Battle of Kursk
(January) Siege of Leningrad is lifted
(Summer) USSR pushes German army out of USSR territory and moves into
Eastern Europe

1944-45 Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary,

Czechoslovakia, Austria, and half of Germany are liberated/ occupied by the
Red Army.
(May 8) End of World War II in Europe
(August 8-15) USSR Declares war on Japan and occupies Manchuria and North
1946-48 Zhdanovshchina
1946-50 Fourth Five-Year Plan
1948-1991 Cold War
(July) Leningrad Affair
NATO formed
Communists win Chinese Civil War and establish the PRC
1951 Mingrelian Case
1951-55 Fifth Five-Year Plan (success limited because a lot of resources were
diverted towards the Cold War arms race with the US & too much effort was
directed towards building showy construction projects)
1952 Professor Vinogradov Arrested
1952-53 Doctors Plot
1953 Death of Stalin
1955 Warsaw Pact Forms