The intention was to increase badly needed productivity. With peasants working individually on small plots of land, the tendency was to produce only enough for personal consumption. With collectivisation it was possible to introduce mechanization and increase the yield of the same amount of land. With greater agricultural yield more people could be employed in industrial production, and this would lead to greater general prosperity. The problem was that the peasants objected to collectivisation because, for one thing, it was contrary to their age-old traditions. Collectivisation took away their independence and did little to improve their standard of living. Any surplus they created was used to enhance industrialization. Stalin had to use military force and prison camps to enforce his collectivisation scheme. He was a ruthless dictator, but without him the U.S.S.R. might have been conquered by Germany in World War II.