To what extent did Operation Barbarossa fail due to overconfidence?
Operation Barbarossa was the largest military attack in WWII, and its aim was to take control of Russia in order to gain ‘living space’ for Germany, take resources and destroy communism. Germany amassed 117 army divisions compared to the 132 amassed by Russia. The overconfidence of Germany, as well as many other factors led to Germany’s failure.
One of the reasons leading to Germany’s failure was the weather conditions in Russia. The weather conditions in Russia caused a lake to freeze and form the ‘Road of Life’, the only path to one of the major cities being attacked during this operation. The Road of Life allowed essential resources for the population to survive, supplies for the army resisting the German invasion, as well as allowing civilians to be evacuated, therefore preventing Russia from breaking down and being forced to surrender. The weather conditions also hindered the German army as they were not prepared to fight in conditions such as Russia, as many soldiers were unequipped to deal with the cold conditions. This also caused delays in attacks on Russia, and delayed the whole operation. Compared to Russia, Germany’s tanks were not protected against the cold weather and often failed to cope in the conditions while Russia’s were able to operate in cold weather.