Who is the most famous/infamous/ahead of the rest in their field? in General Chatter Posted September 17 · Edited September 17 by Deadlines? What Deadlines? 3 hours ago, polishgenius said: Sure, and Stalin was consequential in many ways but He didn't open up the Eastern front: that was Hitler Correct. He was not the one to break the non-aggression pact with Germany. That certainly diminishes him as a political animal; as it came as a total surprise. But I don’t see how that diminishes him as a historical figure. Quote You'll never convince me that Stalin as a politician/speaker had the inspirational effect Churchill did in galvanising Russia's resistance While I am amenable to education on this score, since I don't really know, I'm fairly sure he wasn't responsible for the tactics responsible for driving Germany back either. I’d imagine he was at least as involved as Churchill was in Britain and Roosevelt was in the USA. Stalin definitely has a cult of personality vibe about him. I don’t know what kind of public speaker he was. Stalin didn’t need to speak. Quote Hell, even the industrial mobilisation- that would have happened whoever was leader. It was an inevitable response to the invasion. Dead wrong. Remember that Stalin’s career starts long before ww2. In the wake of the revolution and the subsequent civil war, they were left with the wreckage of a country that was a basket case to begin with. A country that never really had their Industrial Revolution and was mostly illiterate potato and wheat farmers who were shitfaced for half the year. And they were isolated. They had no allies. The other great powers were hostile to them. They understood that they had to industrialize to survive. The means were horrifying and brutal, sure, but it’s not like they were the first nation to build wealth by turning people into livestock. Those people that got sent off to gulags and forced labor camps were the grist that made Soviet industrialization happen. The industrial policy of the 20’s and 30’s was deliberate and might not have happened under anyone else. If the whites actually win the civil war, not only does it not happen, but when ww2 happens, there’s a good chance they enter the war on the side of the axis, and the world today is a fascist hellscape. For example, in the 30’s when the rest of the world was dealing with the Great Depression, American architects and engineers were in the ussr building factories. It turns out that a factory for building tractors or construction equipment can easily be restructured to build tanks if it’s designed that way from the start. This would be important later. Quote Basically I think Stalin just happened to be in charge at the time and anyone else in the same position would have had the same effect. As I said, if it’s anyone else (eg Trotsky) history happens different. Stalin was not a passive figure.