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Why did the Germans lose in Russia?

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Introduction

Why did the Germans lose in Russia? When Hitler invaded Russia he expected the invasion to be over quickly as he thought that the Russians were slow, stupid and backward thinking and so would be easy to be defeat. He would also use Blitzkrieg, or 'lightning war'. It was a quick attack using tanks, planes and armoured vehicles that caused as much confusion as possible therefore causing the enemy to surrender with as little loss to the attacking side as possible. It was very successful in the west when used to invade France - the invasion of France was over in a matter of weeks. When the Germans invaded Russia in Operation Barbarossa in the summer of 1941, Blitzkrieg was used and the Germans moved quickly and successfully into Russia. However, after a few months the tide had turned and soon the Germans were losing. There were many reasons for this. There are many factors that aid victory in a battle or war such as tactics, technology, equipment and supplies, position, communication, numbers, terrain, leadership, weather, morale, flexibility of tactics, intelligence, cause for fighting and discipline; Germany had very few of them on its side. Firstly, Russia was too big for the Germans and their tactics were unprepared for an attack on it. Their tactic of Blitzkrieg that had worked well in France was unsuited for the size of Russia. France was a lot smaller than Russia and this was probably one of the reasons why Blitzkrieg had been so successful there. ...read more.

Middle

Their simplicity meant that they could be manufactured a lot easier than the German weapons that were a lot more complicated. As they were manufactured easier, more of them could be made so the Russians had more weapons than the Germans. The Russian designs worked better because of their simplicity too. The Russian tank the T-34 had few moving parts to prevent it breaking down, wide tracks as there were hardly any or no roads in Russia and the ones that were there were bad quality and often just tracks. The wide tracks meant the tank didn't sink into the mud caused by melting snow or rain. The wide tracks also meant it was more stable on slush. The Russian tanks also had a sloped front so shells would bounce of them and of course, there were more of them as they were easier to make. In comparison, the German tanks had lots of moving parts and fancy bits meaning they broke down easier and more often and were a lot more difficult to repair, often having to be sent away to be fixed. Once they were sent away, they were hard to transport back as the railway track were blown up by the Partisans. This caused the Germans to lose tanks. The German tanks also had narrower tracks causing them to sink in mud and be unstable and sink in slush made by the heavy Russian winter snow. The German tanks didn't have the sloped surface of the Russian tanks and so were easier to blow up by shells. ...read more.

Conclusion

At least twenty-thousand Russians were killed in this way. The Russian men also had an advantage over the German men as they knew the terrain, roads and towns in which they were fighting. This helped the Russians in combat in towns and cities as they knew alleyways, buildings, hidey-holes and tunnels that the Germans didn't. The Russians used underground tunnels a lot when fighting the Germans and this meant that they could ambush and launch secret attacks on the Germans; the Russians had an element of surprise that the Germans didn't have. The last, and one of the main reasons for Germany losing in Russia was the Germans second leadership problem; Hitler was crazy. Instead of letting someone else taking control of the war he conducted the whole war often making stupid decisions that cost many lives. Hitler thought he was invincible and so thought that he would be able to win the war himself, so he told his generals what to do and they did it, even if they thought it wasn't a good idea. Stalin, on the other hand, let his generals conduct the war for him. Zhukov is the man that led Russia to victory against the Germans. Even if Stalin was insane like Hitler, he had sense when it came to fighting wars, meaning that Russia could, and did defeat Germany. After losing in Russia, the tide turned completely for Germany. Previously they had been winning the Second World War but now, from 1942/1943 onwards, Germany began losing, probably because of their defeat in Russia, and by the end of 1945 World War II was completely over. ...read more.

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