Operation Barbarossa

Operation Barbarossa, or Case Barbarossa, was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Beginning on 22 June 1941, over 4 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a 2,900 km (1,800 mi) front, the largest invasion in the history of warfare. In addition to troops, Barbarossa involved 600,000 motor vehicles and 750,000 horses. The ambitious operation, driven by Adolf Hitler's persistent desire to conquer the Russian territories, marked the beginning of the pivotal phase in deciding the victors of the war. The German invasion of the Soviet Union ultimately resulted in 95% of all German Army casualties from 1941 to 1944 and 65% of all Allied military casualties accumulated throughout the war.

Operation Barbarossa was named after Frederick Barbarossa, the medieval Holy Roman Emperor. Planning started on 18 December 1940; the secret preparations and the military operation itself lasted from June to December 1941. The Red Army repelled the Wehrmacht's strongest blow, and Adolf Hitler did not achieve the expected victory, but the Soviet Union's situation remained dire. Tactically, the Germans won resounding victories and occupied some of the most important economic areas of the Soviet Union, mainly in Ukraine. Despite these successes, the Germans were pushed back from Moscow and could never again mount a simultaneous offensive along the entire strategic Soviet–German front.

Operation Barbarossa's failure led to Hitler's demands for further operations inside the USSR, all of which eventually failed, such as continuing the Siege of Leningrad, Operation Nordlicht, and Battle of Stalingrad, among other battles on occupied Soviet territory.

Operation Barbarossa was the largest military operation in human history in both manpower and casualties. Its failure was a turning point in the Third Reich's fortunes. Most importantly, Operation Barbarossa opened up the Eastern Front, to which more forces were committed than in any other theater of war in world history. Regions covered by the operation became the site of some of the largest battles, deadliest atrocities, highest casualties, and most horrific conditions for Soviets and Germans alike — all of which influenced the course of both World War II and 20th century history. The German forces captured 3 million Soviet POWs, who did not enjoy the protection stipulated in the Geneva Conventions. Most of them never returned alive. They were deliberately starved to death in German camps as part of a Hunger Plan, i.e., the program to reduce the Eastern European population.

Read more about Operation BarbarossaGerman Preparations, Soviet Preparations, Order of Battle, Events, Reasons For Initial Soviet Defeats, Outcome, Causes of The Failure of Operation Barbarossa, Aftermath

Other articles related to "operation barbarossa, operations, barbarossa, operation":

Max Simon - World War II - Operation Barbarossa
... Simon was involved in the invasion of Russia, (Operation Barbarossa) as part of Army Group North, taking Kraslava and breaking through the Stalin line, where Simon was wounded ...
War Crimes Of The Wehrmacht - Postwar Views - Evolving Analysis
... Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel and chief of operations staff Alfred Jodl, were both indicted and tried for war crimes by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in ... Beyond that, Operation Barbarossa had been portrayed in Germany as a "preventive war" forced on Germany by Soviet attack alleged to be planned for July 1941 ... was so popular that as late as the 1950s some West German historians were still arguing Operation Barbarossa was a "preventive war" ...
Operation Barbarossa - Aftermath
... This offensive again failed in the same way as Barbarossa, the Germans conquering vast amounts of no-mans-land, but ultimately failing to achieve their final goals with the defeat at Stalingrad ... and so the Soviets were finally able to defeat the Germans decisively in Operation Bagration in summer of 1944 ...
Wolfram Freiherr Von Richthofen - Second World War - Eastern Front - Operation Barbarossa
... On 22 June 1941 the Wehrmacht launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union ... Whereas in France, it had to conduct operations 200 miles deep, it had to do this on a front six times as long, many times deeper, and with fewer ... In the opening phase of Barbarossa, Richthofen's units were able to perform very well ...

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