In 1928, the newly empowered Stalin embarked on one of the most ambitious industrialisation programs in world history, leading to the establishment of the U.S.S.R as a pinnacle world superpower in less than half a century. Industrialisation was the primary goal of Lenin and Stalin, as well as many communist party members. The Soviet economy had made advances under Lenin's semi-capitalist N.E.P with its slight capitalist elements, but Stalin's five-year plans were far more ambitious and so far riskier. Did the Soviet Union need to industrialise so quickly and radically or was it merely an elaborate scam to strengthen and glorify Stalin. .
There were many problems; both political and economic, facing the Soviet Union in 1928 and the decision to launch the five-year plans must have been influenced in part by these. Lenin's N.E.P had bought some advances to Russia but the Soviet Union was still very backwards in comparison to the rest of Europe. If the Soviet Union were the face attack from these capitalist powers it would need a stronger industrial platform with which to launch a successful war effort. Memories of help given to the counter revolutionaries during the civil war only helped to highlight the potential disputes. In 1927, this was bought to the surface when the British government raided the Soviet trade mission in London. The Soviet government saw this and other signs as an indication of an anti-Communist conspiracy. Industrialisation was made out to be patriotic by the government and formed an essential pillar in Stalins cry for socialism in one country' theory which promoted building a strong and lasting socialist country. As Hitler took more power in Europe these arguments became more and more convincing to a country faced with a barrage of anti-Communist resentment from the capitalist states, and were justified when in 1941, Hitler broke his agreement with Stalin and mounted an invasion on the USSR.