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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 seems to be so many risks involved with attacking the Soviet Union. So why was the Soviet Union attacked by Germany in 1941?
Hitler wanted his country’s population to grow. The German land mass was small and if Hitler wanted a growth in population he would need more land. Hitler was quoted saying, “The growth in population could only be compensated by growth-expansion of the Lebensraum.” One reason why Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 was for what Hitler called Lebensraum. Lebensraum means living space. Hitler needed new soil for the surplus German population. Hitler knew that most of the world had already been carved up by colonial powers, so he looked east for new land. Hitler said, “If we speak of soil in Europe today, we can primarily have in mind only Russia and her vassal border states.” Hitler believed Russia as the only country large enough to meet “Germany’s territorial requirements for living space.” Hitler saw how vast the Soviet Union territory was and he wanted the German people to have the rich lands that it possessed for the surplus German population. If Hitler succeeded in taking the lands east of Germany, he would have enough room for Germany’s surplus population. The Soviet Union had many acres of unsettled land. The Soviet Union stretched all the way from Europe to the end of Asia. Hitler and Stalin were in a non-aggression pact, but Hitler saw this pact as only for political convenience. This pact prevented Hitler, “From seeking the goal of German foreign policy in the one and only place possible: space in the east.” Gaining territory for Germany’s surplus population to create lebensraum was a motive for Hitler to invade the Soviet Union, but there were also other reasons behind the attack in 1941.
The lands that Hitler aspired for Lebensraum were also rich in resources. Hitler envisioned his people to have living space in the east and within that area there were many resources that Hitler wanted. Hitler could use these resources for his German War Machine and for the home front. Germany had, “Limited access to basic raw materials.” At the time that Hitler and his German military attacked in 1941, they were already preoccupied with Great Britain and what was left of its allies. Germany needed to be economically self-sufficient to win a war; otherwise they would be greatly vulnerable. “Hitler was heavily influenced by the collapse of the German home front in 1918, which resulted in large measure from the British Naval blockade and the consequent food shortages.” Russia...

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