Operation Barbarossa Essay

960 words - 4 pages


The invasion of Russia was the largest military campaign of the Second World War. Operation Barbarossa, as it was known, was launched on 22 June 1941 and completely took Russia by surprise.
The widening war raging in Africa and eastern Europe were key distractions for Hitler from his ultimate goal of attacking Russia.
Although the British army remained undefeated in the west, Hitler’s goal proved an urgency for him to begin moving on the east. Whilst planning was made throughout 1940 for the invasion of Russia, time was favorable towards the Russians and they continued to mobilize their resources and strengthen their defense forces.
The invasion of the Germans was a complete surprise as Russian dictator, Josef Stalin, had failed to acknowledge the increasing German troop concentrations on the border and he had also ignored British intelligence reports stating that Germany had intended to attack.
Hitler once again used the Blitzkrieg technique with German tanks and air power leading the attack. There were three powerful German armies, made up of over 3 million men which moved into Russia.
As one army group headed north towards Leningrad, a center group headed towards Moscow and a southern group moved to capture the food producing area of the Ukraine. By now, the Germans were thrilled with their fast advancements and initial success, including the fact that they had captured over 400 000 Russian soldiers.
In late July, the advance on Leningrad and Moscow slowed, with forces moving south to capture Kiev and the Ukraine. While Germans generals wanted to make Moscow the primary target so that a final battle could take place to crush the red Army, Hitler believed that seizing territory was more important.
The German army once again succeeded here, with the Ukraine being captured along with 600 000 Russian prisoners. With this success, the push for Leningrad and Moscow began once again, however the situation began to change with autumn rains slowing advances and winter creeping up.
It was during the Russian winter that German troops entered Leningrad and began a 3-year siege, however the city never fell. At the same time, one army group reached the outskirts of Moscow but by December night temperatures fell to below 50 degrees, German soldiers lacked adequate clothing, fuel froze in the tanks, weapons jammed and the armies were struggling for supplies. It was then that the Russian army, reinforced with troops from the Eastern front, launched a major counter attack and drove the Germans back 150 kilometers back before they stabilized their line.
In the course of the invasion, the Russians had lost over 5 million soldiers and Germany over 1 million, but the German campaign still failed.
Though there is not one single causing factor, the Germans had underestimated the Russians who had men to spare and were encouraged by Stalin’s message of...

Find Another Essay On Operation Barbarossa

Hitler's Fatal Relationship With The Soviet Union

892 words - 4 pages Pact with the Soviet Union. This gave Stalin a sense of security. Hitler knowing that the peace between Russia and Germany would be difficult to maintain. Soon,Hitler launched operation Barbarossa for the following reasons. *Hitler have always hated the Soviet Russia because of their communist ideology. *Hitler believed the Russian population were inferior and therefore should be exterminated. *Hitler, being a nationalist he is, wanted more land

Operation Barbarosa Essay

2201 words - 9 pages . Wars are won and lost by the decisions made and the decision to proceed with the attack named 'Operation Barbarossa' in the early summer of 1941 was not based on sound strategic judgment. Beginning early on in his life and exemplified in his book Mein Kampf, Hitler had a hatred of Russia and her people. We terminate the endless German drive to the south and the west of Europe, and direct our gaze towards the lands in the east…If we talk

Adolf Hitler and The Soviet Union

1376 words - 6 pages On June 22, 1941, the Adolf Hitler launched a ruthless attack on his so-called ally, the Soviet Union. In December 1941, after a short five months, Operation Barbarossa, induced by the Nazi’s, failed. The Nazi Party ultimately fell to its demise, through the fail of Operation Barbarossa, from a combination of Hitler’s arrogance towards the Soviets as well as the Soviet response, but most importantly, Hitler’s greatest mistake: spreading his

Book Review of: Alan Clark's Barbarossa: The Russian-German conflict, 1941-45

1530 words - 6 pages , Timoshenko, Vlasov, Voroshilov, and Zhukov. However, Clark set out from the onset to establish the basis on which Hitler was to shun some of the responsibility of the Nazi failure on the Eastern Front, and therefore, it is Hitler that I chose to isolate as the focal character. It was Hitler that proclaimed that Operation Barbarossa would insure "the world will hold its breath."Historians, both professional and amateur alike, have for decades passed the

So Why Was the Soviet Union Attacked in 1941?

3086 words - 12 pages The invasion of the Soviet Union can be seen as one of Hitler’s greatest blunders. In 1941 Hitler and Stalin were in a non-aggression pact. Hitler decided to waive that pact and invade the Soviet Union in 1941 with Operation Barbarossa. Hitler’s decision to invade the Soviet Union was a great risk and ultimately led to the 3rd Reich’s downfall. The Soviet Union was a country full of vast resources and a higher population than Germany. There

Why was the Soviet Union Attacked by Germany in 1941?

3034 words - 12 pages The invasion of the Soviet Union can be seen as one of Hitler’s greatest blunders. In 1941 Hitler and Stalin were in a non-aggression pact. Hitler decided to waive that pact and invade the Soviet Union in 1941 with Operation Barbarossa. Hitler’s decision to invade the Soviet Union was a great risk and ultimately led to the 3rd Reich’s downfall. The Soviet Union was a country full of vast resources and a much higher population than Germany. There

The Importance of the Battle of Britain In World War Two

2358 words - 9 pages Britain and Dunkirk had a huge impact on the country but in very different ways. The British people felt deflated after the defeat in Europe but were relieved that so many troops were saved. The allies were defeated at Dunkirk whereas they won in the Battle of Britain and the public regained confidence after the battle. Another important event of the war was Operation Barbarossa. This was Hitler's invasion of Russia that

Why the Germans Lost and why It took the Allies so Long to win

1307 words - 5 pages commanders planned the invasion of the Soviet Union. The commanders who took part in the planning included army's commander in chief Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch and chief of staff General Franz Halder. They gave it the name Operation Barbarossa. According to Stolfi, "Hitler conceived the invasion of the Soviet Union as a complete surprise, out of peace into war overwhelming strength, obsessed by the ambitious national socialists goal to

Why, despite the disasters of 1941, was the USSR able to defeat Germany by 1945? (30 marks)

1026 words - 5 pages prepared for what the Germans would throw at them; Due to this the Germans would have the advantage at the start of the war. This gives an advantage to the Germans. During the war we can use the Italian attack on Greece, due to fierce resistance from the Greeks. The Italians needed support and so the Germans had to provide it, due to this need to support Italy it meant that the Germans would have to delay Operation Barbarossa. A consequence of this

What events, from 1937 to 1939, led to the outbreak of war in 1939, and how did war spread between 1937 and 1941?

969 words - 4 pages France and Britain declared war on Germany in 1939 and by 1941 a global war had began. The events in Europe which lead to the outbreak of war were the Munich Crisis, Anschluss, the invasion of Poland and the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. The war spread because Germany invaded and occupied countries, they launched Operation Barbarossa and Japan attacked the Untied States.Anschluss (the union of Austria and Germany) led to the outbreak of war

The Battle of Pavlov’s House

2055 words - 8 pages World War II began with Hitler ordering his Nazi Army to invade Poland on 01 September 1939. This would begin an almost unstoppable movement of German troops for close to three years with almost no resistance. After pushing through most of Europe there was a neutral nation that did not want to take sides or be involved. The Germans would plan to take this country. Hitler named his campaign “Operation Barbarossa,” invaded Soviet Union in

Similar Essays

Operation Barbarossa Essay

819 words - 4 pages On 22 June 1941, Hitler broke the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Act with the Stalin when he put Operation Barbarossa into action. The assault was met with failure in 1941 when German’s army was exhausted in term of equipments and troops. Although Hitler’s miscalculation and confidence play an important role in its failure, the tough terrains, advanced equipment and Soviet’s strong will to fight also played a role in German’s defeat in Operation

Ww2 Operation Barbarossa Essay

2871 words - 11 pages conversely do much to stop Hitler's goal of acquiring lebensbraum, or living space. Although this campaign, eventually named Operation Barbarossa, was one of the most significant theatres of World War II, it remains a centre of controversy that scholars revisit time and again. One of the key questions that drive this debate asks why, instead of realizing the swift victory they expected, the German forces failed to bring about the defeat of the

Causes And Consequences Of Operation Barbarossa

2296 words - 9 pages Causes and Consequences of Operation Barbarossa On June 22nd 1941, German forces crossed the Russian frontier and began to fight their way into Soviet territory. Operation Barbarossa, Hitler's codename for the attack on Russia, had begun. In this essay I am going to describe the causes, events and consequences of Operation Barbarossa. What happened when the 'unbeatable' Hitler and Germany met the sheer determination and

Relations Between The Soviets And Germans

622 words - 3 pages Relations between the Soviets and Germans started off with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact signed by both sides prior to the invasion of Poland. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, the supreme leaders of their respective countries in terms of military command, both agreed that a non-aggression pact would benefit both countries. However, on 22 June 1941, the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa, a massive frontal assault on the USSR