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

Operation Barbarossa

Extracts from this document...


Nicholas Page Assignment 3: Operation Barbarossa 1) Why did Hitler order the German invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941? "In Mid-June 1941, in the Kremlin, the Russian leaders remained oblivious of the Nazi threat, or if not oblivious, then complacent as if, by ignoring it, it might disappear. Yet millions of German troops were poised along the Russians border to launch the bloodiest land battle in history, the battle that was eventually to decide the Second World War". In 1940, Hitler had returned from France at the pinnacle of his power, "Our optimism was tremendous after the rather easy victories in Poland, in France and in the Balkans". It was the Russia's turn next. It seemed like the perfect moment as German soldiers in Poland had reported that Russian soldier equipment was very poor, also Stalin had weakened his own army by eliminating all the top commanders because he was a very paranoid man and trusted nobody. Therefore Hitler thought the morale of the Russian army was extremely low. However, some of the Generals objected to the invasion of Russia as they were putting themselves in a very vulnerable position by fighting a war on two fronts. ...read more.


Operation Barbarossa was a three pronged attack on the cities of Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad. The plan would lead to the destruction of the Soviet Union and would give Germany access to the wheat fields of the Ukraine and the oilfields of the Caucasus. Germany would also gain Lebensraum (living space). I do not agree with this interpretation because it is a bit simplistic. Although the poor preparation was a mayor cause for the failure there were other factors that played a part in the German fall. Firstly, the Allied offensive in Greece and the Operation Retribution in Yugoslavia put the German invasion of Russia back five weeks so already was a delay in the operation which meant the start was in June. At first the Germans made a quick advance, it was planned to be done in four months, everything seem to be going to plan, three Russian divisions were annihilated in the first day, in the second day 2000 Russian planes were destroyed, mostly in the ground. In a week the Wehrmacht was halfway to Moscow, in a month the Germans had won an area double the size of their own country, and half a million Russians were killed in the first fortnight. ...read more.


The Germans had been issued with boots that fitted them exactly and so they could not wear more than one pair of socks, by contrast according to Source E the Russian soldiers were issued boots that were two sizes too large, enabling the wearer to insulate them with straw or newspapers and their tanks used special winter oils and lubrications. The Germans found that the tanks were frozen in the ground and unable to move, and the weapons could not fire because of lack of lubricating oils as well as the lack of road markings delaying their advance. By November 26th they were 35 miles from Moscow, however the artillery had become completely unusable, and frostbite was taking more men than battle. Still, Hitler did not want to see that this crisis was the end of his strategic plan. Another reason for the Soviet Unions survival was help from the USA. In November 1941, the American government began giving aid to the USSR in the form of food, medical supplies, weapons, fuel and transport equipment. On 6th of December morale was at its lowest when Zhukov unleashed the Siberian army, the Russian tanks were mobile and there were Russians everywhere therefore the Germans started to retreat. Two days after the Russian offensive, the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbour and the war was taking a very different turn. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 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 GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. How Successful Was Roosevelt’s New Deal?

    This source was published in Britain after the death of Stalin. Source L is a balanced account because it describes the flaws of Stalin and also his strengths. Source L claims that Stalin was a 'gifted politician' and the author even goes so far as to say that Stalin was 'one of the greatest political figures of the twentieth century'.

  2. Why did Hitler order the German invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June ...

    Russia was preparing itself, so he decided to invade Russia in 1941 because the later he waited to invade them the stronger and more powerful Russia's army would have become.

  1. Stalin man or monster

    However this source is biased as it is published in the Soviet Union and at the time of Stalin being alive. However some of these qualities are true the fact he is devoted to his party and his iron will has contributed to communism.


    Conditions were terrible with sub-zero temperatures and snow. The German soldiers were not equipped for these conditions and they were held up by Russian resistance at Leningrad and Moscow.

  1. Purges and Hysteria in the Soviet Union

    In an interview that he gave in Moscow to a correspondent for New York's Daily Worker, Robeson is reported as saying that wherever he turned in Moscow he had found happiness and "bounding life, the feeling of safety and abundance of freedom."

  2. The blance sheet for russia.

    accept that the most important decisions affecting their lives are taken by others, by the "people that know" - politicians, civil servants, judges, "experts" - but at critical moments, the "ordinary" people begin to question everything. They are no longer content to allow others to decide for them.

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