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As such, he was eager to pursue any possible military development that could give the USSR an edge over other world powers. Through these channels, Stalin became aware of the beginnings of a bomb program in Britain by , with knowledge of the upcoming American program soon to follow.

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After receiving notices from Soviet spies and Soviet physicists who were cognizant of the direction of their field, Stalin began taking steps to creating a Soviet nuclear program. Despite this, he was still skeptical of much of the intelligence he was receiving that directed him to that conclusion, particularly that which would lead him to pricey investments in nuclear physics. As a result, the initial Soviet nuclear program was quite small. It was not until after the first atomic weapon was used at Hiroshima that Stalin fully realized the potential impact that developing nuclear weapons for the Soviet Union could have on international politics.


After the war, Stalin spared no expense on the immediate development of the Soviet nuclear program, even though the country was facing massive amounts of war-related death and destruction. The aim of the postwar Soviet nuclear program was to undermine American nuclear hegemony, and that began with ending the American nuclear monopoly. For more information on Joseph Stalin and the Soviet nuclear program, click here.

Browse our collection of oral histories with workers, families, service members, and more about their experiences in the Manhattan Project.

Skip to main content. Joseph Stalin. Stalin and the Atomic Bomb Stalin was keenly focused on the expansion of Soviet ideals around the world. Load more.

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Related Profiles Pavel A. Lieutenant General, Russia. He further analyses how Stalin understood psychology or human relations well and how he used this understanding in his poltical reign and terror. Kuromiya provides a convincing, concise and up-to-date analysis of Stalin's political life.

Joseph Stalin

Profile in Power Series In recent years historians have been preoccupied with broad questions of structure and process, and many have become suspicious of biography and the 'Great Man'''' approach to history. On the other hand many students and readers continue to be drawn to history by an interest in individuals. This ambitious and wide-ranging series provides critical studies of key figures in international political history since The books are not biographies, though inevitably they contain much biographical material; rather they are succinct interpretative essays, analysing the major features of the career within the context of its own time.

Stalin, like all political leaders, was a complex figure. In short, the figure of Stalin, given the opacity of his machinations, becomes lost in the murk.

Stalin | Yale University Press

It is only half a century since Stalin died. Fortunately, the collapse of the Soviet Union has led to the opening up of the formerly closed Soviet archives.

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Still, a tremendous amount of new information has become available in recent years, and historians, both inside and outside the former Soviet Union, have taken advantage of the new opportunities and written a great deal on Stalin and his era. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page.