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Operation Barbarossa

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History - Operation Barbarossa Joe mills 1. Hitler had a number of reasons to invade the Soviet Union in June 1941. The Soviet Union was officially established in 1922 as a union of Russia. Germany was expanding quickly and in 1941 it had power over most of Western Europe, the next oblivious step for Germany was to invade Russia (to the East). Hitler wanted power over Europe. Russia was the biggest threat this was why Hitler invaded Russia before Russia became too strong. In June 1941 Russia were building up its army again. Hitler wanted to expand east as he realised that this would gain more land for Germany. Russia was a very rich country and contained many raw materials, like iron, oil and coal which attracted Hitler as he thought these would greatly benefit Germany. Hitler wanted to expand Germany; one of his main goals in being fuehrer was giving Germany "Seizing Lebensraum" (living space). Hitler planned to use the resources provided by Russia to feed his greater Germany as he thought Russia wasn't worthy of it, being communist. Hitler had an incredibly strong belief in the German Aryan race and claimed them to be superior over all, he wrote about this in his book "Mein Kampf". Hitler also wanted Ukraine for its farming land and Hitler saw this as an opportunity to grow food to feed Germany and its growing nation. ...read more.


By giving the army equipment such as skin tight summer boots, it stopped them from being able to put extra layers of socks on, therefore a very high rate of frostbite was introduced, crippling the German army and stopping any chances of invasion. If Hitler presented his troops with a new winter uniform, it could have meant the victory for Germany. Source B shows a soviet propaganda poster, written in 1942, which doesn't support the term of Operation Barbarossa being a failure on the specific term of "bad preparation" as instead it shows that Germany's failure was due to high Russian moral. The most likely purpose of this poster is to create courage and make the country feel more patriotic so that they would be willing to do anything to support their country, for example the scorched earth policy involved farmers having to set their farm alight if it is about to be over taken by Germans. This shows that maybe there are more reasons behind the failure of Germany than just bad Preparation, but perhaps the determination and high spirit of the Russian people lead to it also. The poster reads, "Let us defend Mother Volga" which is basically a call to the Russian people asking for more defence. By using the name "Mother Volga", which is a very well known river of which the Russians saw as a life line to their country so would want to defend it, the high Russian spirits would make them very hard to defeat. ...read more.


This tells us that moral for Russia was going down at this point, despite the government's use of propaganda, and that they had the knowledge of Stalin's secret police. At this time, Germans were so close to Moscow that the Russian people were sure to have blamed Stalin if the Germans took control. Germany taking over Moscow would very much have meant a secured success for the operation, as the army could have sheltered much from the fierce Russian weather. The interview was carried out after the fall of Stalin and the cold war, because of this, the source is very reliable as it allows the interviewee (Yevgenia Dubrozhestva) to say his story without being punished. Overall the source tell us that even with poor Russian moral, the German invasion still didn't make it to Moscow, which supports with the term of Germany's poor preparation. In conclusion, I believe that the failure of Operation Barbarossa was partly due to Germany's poor preparation but also to the Russian people's high moral. If Hitler issued his troops with the correct winter clothing and equipment and rallied the troops to Russia quicker, then it is a very high probability that Germany would have conquered Russia. However, if it wasn't for the high moral and resilience given by the Russian people, by using the "scorched earth" policy and holding out against the German forces until winter, Hitler would over taken Russia rapidly. ?? ?? ?? ?? Year 11 Coursework - History Joe Mills 2008 1 ...read more.

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