6 Ericson, Edward (1999). Feeding the German Eagle: Soviet Economic Aid to Nazi Germany, 1933–1941 . Praeger Publishing. ISBN 978- 0275963378.
Operation Barbarossa 4 (Operation Barbarossa ) even before the conclusion of the war against England.” 7 Operation Barbarossa was thought up by a group of German generals and then approved by Adolf Hitler on December 18, 1940. Operation Barbarossa took form in Directive no 21. Directive no 21 was originally scheduled for May 15, 1941, however it would be postponed until June 22, 1941. This plan was Hitler’s vision of an “apocalyptic war for the conquest of living space” 8 . Operation Barbarossa had three main objectives: the first, to exploit Soviet resources. The second was to destroy Great Britain’s hold in the Middle East, and finally the third was to establish new defense perimeters for Germany. For Operation Barbarossa, the Germans used over 3 million men including 142 divisions with over 3,000 tanks along with 7,000 pieces of artillery. 9 Despite the man power and the massive size of the German army, they were unsuccessful at completing the goals of their operation. The war plan provided by the German generals only created objectives but lacked in a clear and concise strategy as to how to achieve these goals. Hitler had a clear policy, yet his execution was poor. Hitler and his generals could not enact a coherent strategy in order to accomplish the political goals set by Directive no. 21 because he was not able to turn these objectives into a strategy . On June 22, 1941, Hitler sent his armies eastward in a massive invasion attempt against the Soviet Union. The three million soldiers marched across the frontier and into Soviet territory. Hitler’s invasion covered from the North Cape to the Black Sea, totaling a distance of two 7 Adolf Hitler, "Führer Directive 21," December 18, 1940, . 8 Geyer, Michael. 1986. German Strategy in the Age of Machine Warfare, 1914-1915 . Princeton University Press. 579 9 Addington, Larry H. 1984. Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century . Indiana University Press. 213
Operation Barbarossa 5 thousand miles. The German army had reached its’ highest point of effectiveness in both training and fighting ability. The forces invading Russia for some of the finest armies to fight in the twentieth century. 10 At 3:30 AM, leaving its’ Polish and East Prussian assembly areas the German army embarked on what would be the largest land battle in history. 11 Army groups North and Center advanced onward towards Leningrad and Moscow while Army group struck toward Kiev and the Ukraine. The Luftwaffe, the aerial branch of the German army, destroyed artillery positions, command posts, along with resupply columns. Sixteen hours later, the German army had unhinged the Northwestern and Western Soviet fronts as their border defenses collapsed. 12 By mid-July, the Baltic states had been largely cleared with the German army averaging about 18 miles a day. By mid-August, Germany’s army had reached the outskirts of Leningrad.
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