During the duration of The Second World War, the USSR lost 27 Million Soviets to the ravages of war, despite this huge loss the USSR was still able to come out on top of the 3rd Reich. Before the start of WW2 we see a series of purges, Implemented by Stalin in hope of getting rid of political opposition. These affected the Red Army during the War. We can also look at the 5 year plans and we will also look at how the Germans could have caused their own downfall by spreading their troops to thin, trying to fight a war on two fronts and how unprepared they were to face the Soviets during winter.
Moving to the purges, Stalin’s Purges resulted in the death of many of the Red Army’s senior commanders; as a result the experience of these commanders was lost due to Stalin’s thirst for power. We can infer that if these commanders had not been assassinated then the Red Army could be far more 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 month delay meant if the German line did not advance fast enough then there was a potential to be stuck fighting in the Russian Winter. The fact that the Germans would be stuck in Russia during the winter would enable the Russians to fight back considering the fact that the German troops had been prepared for different conditions thinking that they could take Moscow before the winter hit.
Along with commencing Operation Barbarossa, the Germans also needed to supply troops and resources to the rest of their war front. This includes places such as France, Greece, Netherlands and Denmark along with other fronts. Due to this the Germans could not fully commit their attention to the east and deal with the Soviets, and in fact Hitler may have underestimated the Soviet’s resilience as he is quoted saying “We have only to kick in the front door and the whole rotten Russian edifice will come tumbling down.” This shows us that Germans felt the Red Army would crumble due to the shear pressure of the war. Again we see that even the leader of Nazi Germany would underestimate the Soviets.
Another factor was that the use of German Allied troops to support critical positions within the east, these reserves were used as the German’s didn’t have enough troops to support their war effort and had essentially spread themselves too thin. Due to this it enabled the Soviet forces to break through the German lines during the winter of 1942 and destroy the 6th and 4th Panzer Armies. This...