Operation Barbarossa

Operation Barbarossa was Nazi Germany’s invasion code name. The invasion began on 22nd June 1941. The operation was driven by Adolf Hitler to conquer the Soviet territories as he had earlier outlined in his manifesto in 1925. This was barely two years from which the Nazi’s had signed a non-aggression pact with their fellow Soviets. Despite the vastness of the Russian territory, Adolf had anticipated a quick victory. This confidence even provoked hierarchy to provide its troops with summer uniform unawares of the fierce Russian winter season.

Overview of Operation Barbarossa

Despite the Italian spies forewarning Hitler severally, he refused to withdraw and dismissed these warnings as Hitler’s bluff. On four A.M June 22nd, 1941, the operation was launched. The sudden military attack caught the Russians off guard and the Nazi soldiers advanced on a fifty mile per day journey into the Russian territory on their tanks. Within a single day, they had destroyed the soviet’s air strength.

By the end of 65 miles, vast numbers of Soviet Union soldiers and civilians had been killed and 500,000 square miles of Soviet territory captured. By the end of first year in the battle, the Soviets had lost four million men in battle. Industrial capacity was moved out of harm’s way in time to sustain the long war. The Germans were far from their territory and deep into the Soviet territory and had to be properly supplied to maintain the rebelling forces.

The inability of the Germans to supply their troops meant losing momentum and therefore control of the battlefield. This gave the Soviet troops time to recover and prepare for defence. This plan was well known prior to the launch of the operation and was it not for Hitler bluffs it could have been avoided. The trucks and the USSR products made out of petroleum had acquired through the lend-lease agreement eliminated the need for a war.

Effects of Operation Barbarossa

By the end of Barbarossa war, fifty-eight percent of the Soviet PWOs had been killed. Over five million Axis troops, nine million Soviet troops and over twenty million civilians had also been killed. The Soviet civilians had also opted to feast on their domestic animals and Vaseline due to the starvation. Some desperate citizens had resulted to cannibalism. Thousands of the Soviets had been shipped to Germany as slave labourers. By 1943, the war ended with the total defeat and occupation of Nazi Army in May 1945.

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