• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Operation Barbarossa - Causes and Consequences

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Operation Barbarossa - Causes and Consequences 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 patriotism of Stalin and the USSR? There were many reasons that contributed to Hitler's invasion of the USSR. Hitler had always harboured a hatred for the Slavs, he thought they were inferior, impure people who were only fit to be used as slaves. This was a racist attitude that had been with Hitler for many years before he became 'Fuhrer.' There was always bound to be conflict between Germany and the USSR, as they were neighbours. This meant they were both easy to invade; hardly any transporting of troops would be required. Hitler resented being so close to the 'untermensch'; he did not want to be associated with them. Hitler was an ex-soldier of World War I. This made him very bitter about what happened, he felt defeat was unjust and was devastated by the peace treaties. All the land Germany gained from Russia from the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was lost, and Hitler felt this was a disgrace; the Germans should never have signed the armistice. Hitler believed the German people needed 'Lebensraum' - living space. ...read more.

Middle

By August, he had taken more than 2 million Soviet prisoners, destroyed 7000 aircraft and almost all their tanks. It seemed he might beat his prediction, but then, against all advice, he halted the march on Moscow. Hitler insisted Moscow was an 'unimportant target,' even though it was the centre of a highly centralised command economy, and nearly all rail links passed through the city, including those carrying vital reinforcements from the East. By late September, Hitler decided it was time to assault Moscow. By now, the defence had had time to build major defences around the city. However, this wasn't enough and by mid October the Germans were well into the city of Moscow. Then came the USSR's saviour: Winter. The German soldiers were not equipped to deal with the extreme conditions they now encountered. The soldiers began dying in large numbers, and Hitler was forced to suspend activity for the remainder of 1941. The Germans now had to defend. They had come within sight of the Kremlin, but had been stopped by nature and therefore lost their early advantage of preparedness. One of Hitler's biggest errors was turning the people of Russia against him. At first the people welcomed the Germans as liberators. They gave them supplies such as food and clothing, and provided shelter. When the Germans moved on Stalingrad it is estimated that accompanying them were about half a million Soviet volunteers. However, Hitler did not want their help because they were the Untermensch. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stalin became increasingly popular after the campaign, seen as the great leader whom they had followed to victory. The confidence of the masses increased, the pattern of defeats interrupted. It was hailed as a victory of the people, of Communist supremacy. Britain and the USA were very impressed with the USSR's ability. The British public were glad to see Germany suffering after the hardships of the Battle of Britain. This lead to the USSR gaining 'great power status,' and an unlikely alliance between Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. Russia now had to be taken seriously. Operation Barbarossa's consequences were not all good for Russia. They also suffered massive losses. The land was destroyed, partly due to Stalin's 'scorched-earth' policy. It was impossible to calculate the number of dead, but it is estimated at several million. However, Churchill was very suspicious of Stalin, and believed a powerful Russia could be just as big a threat as a powerful Germany. Churchill wanted to 'shake hands with the Russians as far to the east as possible,' to stop them gaining more land. This was exactly the opposite of Stalin's plans. He aimed to create a 'buffer zone,' so Russia would be safe from attack. The Battle of Stalingrad made all of these things possible. Up to this point, the future of the Soviet Union and of Stalin was in doubt. After the battle took place, it was only a matter of time before the Germans were driven out of Russia and pushed and pushed for another 3 brutal years until they finally met with the Western Allies at Berlin in 1945. By Hayley ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Why was the Battle of Stalingrad a turning point in the war against ...

    At the end of 1942, it is Germany that seems on the edge of collapse. The Wehrmarcht has by now lost half its strength. It is greatly outnumbered and, for the first time, faces soldiers as effective as its own.

  2. Hitlers Germany

    What were the Nazis telling the German people that made them so attractive to certain groups? The Nazis successfully managed two fundamentally opposite approaches to the German voters. First of all, in their election campaigns they specifically geared their themes to the needs and fears of different social groups.

  1. Evaluate historical comparisons of Hitler and Stalin and their regimes

    Hitler did not have this fear as his leadership position was structurally more safe than Stalin's. Stalin's paranoia ultimately led to the purges in which he killed many generals of the communist party out of fear for his own position.

  2. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    It provided the opportunity for getting rid of the Kulaks - who, eyes of the communists, hoarded food for their own consumption. This led to pressure on the government to rid the country of this capitalist class. To fall to do so would hold back the progress towards socialism.

  1. consolidation of Bolshevism

    By 1923, all other parties had been stripped of their rights and disbanded. The treaty of Brest-litovsk Lenin knew he needed to keep his promise of peace to the people, as that would be the downfall of the Provisional government and the Tsar. Russia with the treaty of Brest-litovsk (1918)

  2. The Hidden Facets of Bolshevism - Friends and Foes of the Working Class.

    and the Soviet dictatorship, more repressive than anything imaginable under the former Russian Empire, which had emerged from his ideological improvisations and actions. Lenin's late death-bed conversion to idealism will have little subsequent effect on Soviet history, but it will inspire a myth among reform communists and intellectuals about a

  1. Does Source A adequately explain the reasons for German Surrender at Stalingrad?

    The Russians could also have used the photo for Moral uses. It showed the sixth army surrendering to a Russian force. This was the first major victory that the Russians had won so far, and so if the Generals showed this to troops elsewhere in Russia then they would get

  2. The Impact of Stalins Leadership in the USSR, 1924 1941. Extensive notes

    Reasons for the plans: 1. Sort out the grain shortage of 1927-8. 2. Lead the USSR into Socialism. 3. Buy western technology to make production more efficient. 4. NEP inefficient. 5. Provide more technology for agriculture to speed up agricultural efficiency.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work