Understanding the pattern of postwar slowdown in Soviet productivity growth requires evaluation of the impact of World War II and associated shocks. Continuous productivity series for industry and the whole economy are estimated for the period 1928–85. The pattern of Soviet productivity growth was highly disturbed; by postwar standards its underlying growth was slow. Rapid growth and slowdown from the late 1940s through the 1960s and beyond are explained just by postwar recovery possibilities and their exhaustion. Clear evidence of an adverse break in the productivity trend does not transpire until the 1970s.