Following the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the Soviet government offered large financial incentives to gain advanced Western know-how and equipment. During Stalin's First Five-Year Plan (1928-33), for example, American firms built, or helped to build, the steelworks art Magnitogorsk in the Ural Mountains, the largest steel complex in the world and a replica of the United States Steel plant in Gary, Indiana; the Dnieper River Dam in the Ukraine, the keystone in the development of Soviet hydroelectric power; the automobile plant at Gorki, east of Moscow, modeled after Ford Motor Company's River Rouge plant; and several large chemical plants.
The West helped to arm Soviet Russia as well as to industrialize it. In the case of aviation, the German aircraft manufacturer Junkers modernized a prerevolutionary plant at Fili, near Moscow. At an air base at Lipetsk, south of Moscow, German and Russian engineers collaborated, and German and Russian pilots trained together. During this period between the two world wars, the Soviet Union also imported military aircraft from Britain, France, Holland, Italy, and Sweden.3
Western nations also transferred "dual use" technologies, that is, those with military as well as commercial applications. The Soviet Union used fertilizer plants supplied by the West to produce explosives, machine plants to produce gun barrels, and tractor and automobile factories to produce tanks and armored vehicles. In 1933, the American who served as chief engineer of the Soviet All-Union Construction Trust stated that every tractor plant "is, of course, a tank factory and [every] automobile plant a factory which may at any time produce mobile artillery." Another American engineer reported that in all of the Soviet plants that he visited, at least one department was closed; he noted that he would periodically discover "parts, materials, shells, and acids" with no relation to normal production.4 According to recent émigrés, the Soviet Union still maintains separate military sections in major manufacturing plants.5