An analysis of the importance of the launch of the operation barbarossa

The only nations unconquered or not subordinate to them were neutral Sweden and Switzerland, England, and Russia.

An analysis of the importance of the launch of the operation barbarossa

He became acutely suspicious of the intentions of the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalinand he began to feel that he could not afford to wait to complete the subjugation of western Europeas he had originally planned, before dealing with the Soviet Union.

Hitler and his generals had originally scheduled the invasion of the U. Nevertheless, Hitler and the heads of the Oberkommando des Heeres OKH, or German Army High Command —namely, the army commander in chief, Walther von Brauchitschand the army general staff chief, Franz Halder—were convinced that the Red Army could be defeated in two or three months and that by the end of October the Germans would have conquered the whole European part of Russia and Ukraine west of a line stretching from Arkhangelsk Archangel to Astrakhan.

The invasion of the Soviet Union was originally given the code name Operation Fritz, but as preparations began, Hitler renamed it Operation Barbarossa, after Holy Roman emperor Frederick Barbarossa reigned —90who sought to establish German predominance in Europe. For the campaign against the Soviet Union, the Germans allotted almost divisions containing a total of about three million men.

Among those units were 19 panzer divisions, and in total the Barbarossa force had about 3, tanks, 7, artillery pieces, and 2, aircraft. It was in effect the largest and most powerful invasion force in human history.

The Soviet Union had twice or perhaps three times the number of both tanks and aircraft as the Germans had, but their aircraft were mostly obsolete. The Soviet tanks were about equal to those of the Germans, however. The Germans correctly estimated that there were about divisions in the western parts of the U.

But the Soviets actually brought up more than fresh divisions by the middle of Augustmaking a total of The consequence was that, though the Germans succeeded in shattering the original Soviet armies by superior technique, they then found their path blocked by fresh ones.

The effects of the miscalculations were increased because much of August was wasted while Hitler and his advisers were having long arguments as to what course they should follow after their initial victories. Initial offensive On June 22,the German offensive was launched by three army groups under the same commanders as in the invasion of France in On the left northan army group under Gen.

On the right southanother army group, under Gen.

BBC - History - World Wars: The Soviet-German War -

Gerd von Rundstedtwith an armoured group under Gen. Paul Ludwig von Kleistadvanced from southern Poland into Ukraine against Kievwhence it was to wheel southeastward to the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Last, in the centre, north of the Pripet Marshesthe main blow was delivered by Gen. Heinz Guderian and another under Gen. Hermann Hoth, thrusting northeastward at Smolensk and Moscow. Newsreel about the mobilization of the Soviet people upon invasion by Germany, Stock footage courtesy The WPA Film Library The invasion along a 1,mile 2,km front took the Soviet leadership completely by surprise and caught the Red Army in an unprepared and partially demobilized state.

An analysis of the importance of the launch of the operation barbarossa

The Soviet armies were clumsily handled and frittered their tank strength away in piecemeal action like that of the French in But the isolated Soviet troops fought with a stubbornness that the French had not shown, and their resistance imposed a brake by continuing to block road centres long after the German tide had swept past them.

By mid-July, moreover, a series of rainstorms were turning the sandy Russian roads into clogging mud, over which the wheeled vehicles of the German transport behind the tanks could make only very slow progress. The Germans also began to be hampered by the scorched-earth policy adopted by the retreating Soviets.

The Soviet troops burned crops, destroyed bridges, and evacuated factories in the face of the German advance. Entire steel and munitions plants in the westernmost portions of the U.

The Soviets also destroyed or evacuated most of their rolling stock railroad carsthus depriving the Germans of the use of the Soviet rail system, since Soviet railroad track was of a gauge different from that of German track and German rolling stock was consequently useless on it.

Citation Information

In JuneGerman armoured divisions roll deep into the Soviet Union, but by winter they find their supply lines stretched thin and the Soviets determined to fight.

From The Second World War: Nevertheless, by mid-July the Germans had advanced more than miles km and were only miles km from Moscow. They still had ample time to make decisive gains before the onset of winter, but they lost the opportunity, primarily because of arguments throughout August between Hitler and the OKH about the destination of the next thrusts thence.

German tanks in the Soviet Union preparing for an attack as part of Operation Barbarossa, July 21, AP In Ukraine, meanwhile, Rundstedt and Kleist had made short work of the foremost Soviet defenses, stronger though the latter had been.

Kleist was then ordered to wheel northward from central Ukraine and Guderian southward from Smolensk for a pincer movement around the Soviet forces behind Kiev; by the end of September the claws of the encircling movement had caughtmen.

An analysis of the importance of the launch of the operation barbarossa

These gigantic encirclements were partly the fault of inept Soviet high commanders and partly the fault of Stalin, who as commander in chief stubbornly overrode the advice of his generals and ordered his armies to stand and fight instead of allowing them to retreat eastward and regroup in preparation for a counteroffensive.

He ordered Rundstedt and Kleist, however, to press on from the Dnieper toward the Don and the Caucasus. Bock, meanwhile, was to resume the advance on Moscow.Oct 29,  · Watch video · Barbarossa was the crucial turning point in World War II, for its failure forced Nazi Germany to fight a two-front war against a .

Until Barbarossa, Germany and the Soviet Union had a nonaggression pact, though that was largely for reasons of expediency, since Hitler harbored deep-seated feelings of anti-Bolshevism.

Military History Online - Operation Barbarossa: The Ultimate Strategic Miscalculation

Originally, the invasion of the Soviet Union had been scheduled for mid-May , but it was postponed to allow for a German invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece, and it was originally code named Operation Fritz. Oct 29,  · Germany launches Operation Barbarossa—the invasion of Russia.

On this day in , over 3 million German troops invade Russia in three parallel offensives, in what is the most powerful invasion. Paulus was now able to launch a counter-attack on 20th May and by the end of the month all Soviet resistance had come to an end.

The third issue around which the conversations of our fellow Germans resolve right now is the importance of the Battle of Stalingrad seen in the context of the war as a whole. Operation Barbarossa had .

Operation Barbarossa (German: Unternehmen Barbarossa) was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June , during World War See Aftermath. Feb 17,  · The Soviet-German War - did Hitler make a final decision to go ahead with what became known as Operation Barbarossa.

The original date, set for May , had to be revised to.

Operation Barbarossa - Wikipedia