why did germany invade the soviet union
 Hitler later declared to some of his generals, "If I had known about the Russian tank strength in 1941 I would not have attacked". The two main policies of the Nazi party was first to stop the spread of Bolshevism, the second was a Greater Germany, created of all the German-speaking areas of Europe, inhabiting an area, including that to the east of present day Germany. This assault would extend from the northern city of Arkhangelsk on the Arctic Sea through Gorky and Rostov to the port city of Astrakhan at the mouth of the Volga on the Caspian Sea.  Attempting to explain matters, Hitler issued Directive N. 39, which cited the early onset of winter and the severe cold as the reason for the German failure, whereas the main reason was the German military unpreparedness for such a giant enterprise. Furthermore we had had a very wet spring; the Bug and its tributaries were at flood level until well into May and the nearby ground was swampy and almost impassable. The VVS, although faced with the same weather difficulties, had a clear advantage thanks to the prewar experience with cold-weather flying, and the fact that they were operating from intact airbases and airports. Since we were silent, the Soviet Russian government went a step further. , Operation Barbarossa was the largest military operation in history – more men, tanks, guns and aircraft were deployed than in any other offensive.  The German troops had used their initial supplies, and General Bock quickly came to the conclusion that not only had the Red Army offered stiff opposition, but German difficulties were also due to the logistical problems with reinforcements and provisions. , Stavka Reserve Armies (second strategic echelon), Total number of Romanian Divisions: 14, At around 01:00 on 22 June 1941, the Soviet military districts in the border area[n] were alerted by NKO Directive No. With Soviet resistance breaking down, the Finns were able to encircle Viipuri by advancing to the Vuoksi River. Operation Typhoon, the drive to Moscow, began on 30 September 1941. The city itself was taken on 30 August, along with a broad advance on the rest of the Karelian Isthmus.  Hoepner also added that the Germans were fighting for "the defense of European culture against Moscovite–Asiatic inundation, and the repulse of Jewish Bolshevism ... No adherents of the present Russian-Bolshevik system are to be spared."  Stalin disagreed, and in October he authorized the development of new plans that assumed a German attack would focus on the region south of Pripyat Marshes towards the economically vital regions in Ukraine. On 9 July it began its attack towards the Soviet defenses along the Luga River in Leningrad oblast. The agreement was a non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union that was intended to ensure that neither country attacked the other.  On 1 July, Fedor von Bock ordered the panzer groups to resume their full offensive eastward on the morning of 3 July.  Stalin's order, which Timoshenko authorized, was not based on a realistic appraisal of the military situation at hand, but commanders passed it along for fear of retribution if they failed to obey; several days passed before the Soviet leadership became aware of the enormity of the opening defeat. Further south, the Finnish III Corps launched a new offensive towards the Murmansk railway on 30 October, bolstered by fresh reinforcements from Army Norway. This has cemented the belief that the attack was pre-meditated by Hitler rather than pre-emptive and is a line of thought that most historians today follow. 98% of those 395,799 eventually returned to active duty service, usually after relatively short treatment, meaning about 8,000 became permanent losses. By mid-August the encirclement had succeeded and both towns were taken, but many Soviet formations were able to evacuate by sea. Other articles you might be interested in. May God aid us, especially in this fight! On 22 November, Soviet Siberian units, augmented by the 49th and 50th Soviet Armies, attacked the 2nd Panzer Group and inflicted a defeat on the Germans. The operation put into action Nazi Germany's ideological goal of conquering the western Soviet Union so as to repopulate it with Germans. Despite these early successes, the German offensive stalled in the Battle of Moscow at the end of 1941, and the subsequent Soviet winter counteroffensive pushed German troops back. On 7 September, Finnish forward units reached the Svir River. He also personally conducted an aerial inspection of the Minsk-Białystok pocket on 30 June and concluded that his panzer group was not needed to contain it, since Hermann Hoth's 3rd Panzer Group was already involved in the Minsk pocket. The reason most commonly cited is the unforeseen contingency of invading Yugoslavia in April 1941. This became the basis for all subsequent Soviet war plans and the deployment of their armed forces in preparation for the German invasion. The pocket eventually yielded over 500,000 Soviet prisoners, bringing the tally since the start of the invasion to three million.  In little over a month, the Soviets organized eleven new armies that included 30 divisions of Siberian troops. Hitler knew that the ongoing relations with Russia would be difficult at best, and coupled with growing paranoia it wasn’t long before Hitler decided to initiate Operation Barbarossa, a fail safe contingency plan should Russia turn on them.  An 'order from the Führer' stated that the Einsatzgruppen were to execute all Soviet functionaries who were "less valuable Asiatics, Gypsies and Jews". Some desperate citizens resorted to cannibalism; Soviet records list 2,000 people arrested for "the use of human meat as food" during the siege, 886 of them during the first winter of 1941–42. The same night, Pavlov ordered all the remnants of the Western Front to withdraw to Slonim towards Minsk. On 18 December 1940 Hitler issued Führer Directive 21, an order for the invasion of the Soviet Union. , In the middle of 1940, following the rising tension between the Soviet Union and Germany over territories in the Balkans, an eventual invasion of the Soviet Union seemed the only solution to Hitler. Beginning in March 1941, Göring's Green Folder laid out details for the Soviet economy after conquest. But Brauchitsch, upholding Hitler's instruction, and Halder, unwillingly going along with it, opposed Bock's order. Historian Victor Davis Hanson reports that before the war came to its conclusion, the Soviets had an artillery advantage over the Germans of seven-to-one and that artillery production was the only area where they doubled U.S. and British manufacturing output.  Historian Thomas B. Buell indicates that Finland and Romania, which weren't involved in initial German planning, needed additional time to prepare to participate in the invasion. The Finnish government agreed to restart its offensive into Soviet Karelia to reach Lake Onega and the Svir River.  Hitler by now had lost faith in battles of encirclement as large numbers of Soviet soldiers had escaped the pincers.  On 25 June, the 8th and 11th Armies were ordered to withdraw to the Western Dvina River, where it was planned to meet up with the 21st Mechanized Corps and the 22nd and 27th Armies.  German army commanders cast the Jews as the major cause behind the "partisan struggle". Kleist's 1st Panzer Army took the Donbass region that same month.  Accordingly, it was stated Nazi policy to kill, deport, or enslave the majority of Russian and other Slavic populations and repopulate the land with Germanic peoples, under the Generalplan Ost.  But these large armoured formations were unwieldy, and moreover they were spread out in scattered garrisons, with their subordinate divisions up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) apart. Also, between January 1939 and May 1941, 161 new divisions were activated. There were many factors that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, including political policies, economics, defense spending, and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  The original instructions to kill "Jews in party and state positions" were broadened to include "all male Jews of military age" and then expanded once more to "all male Jews regardless of age."  On 2 July, Army Group North began its attack on the Stalin Line with its 4th Panzer Group, and on 8 July captured Pskov, devastating the defenses of the Stalin Line and reaching Leningrad oblast.  In front of Army Group Center was a series of elaborate defence lines, the first centred on Vyazma and the second on Mozhaysk. These had been freed from the Soviet Far East after Soviet intelligence assured Stalin that there was no longer a threat from the Japanese.  In spite of the progress made, the Wehrmacht was not equipped for such severe winter warfare. ", "The Führer to the German People: 22 June 1941", "Nazi Persecution of Soviet Prisoners of War", Adolf Hitler's Letter to Benito Mussolini Explaining the Invasion of the Soviet Union, The Führer to the German People: 22 June 1941, Adolf Hitler's Order of the Day to the German Troops on the Eastern Front (2 October 1941), Adolf Hitler Explains His Reasons for Invading the Soviet Union, Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, Rape during the Soviet occupation of Poland, Guidelines for the Conduct of the Troops in Russia, Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, Marching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Operation_Barbarossa&oldid=1008420976, Short description is different from Wikidata, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from June 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, German soldiers advance through northern Russia, 1,336,147 sick or wounded via combat and non-combat causes, 31 Rifle, 36th Rifle, 49th Rifle, 55th Rifle and 1st Airborne Corps, 7th Rifle, 9th Rifle and 3rd Airborne Corps.  Besides the psychological importance of capturing the Soviet capital, the generals pointed out that Moscow was a major center of arms production, the center of the Soviet communications system and an important transport hub. Now with a full army, a breakdown of the DMZ (de-militarized zone) and his eyes set firmly on the Polish Corridor, Hitler was willing to make a temporary truce with his hated enemies to secure his plans.  Stalin did not address the nation about the German invasion until 3 July, when he also called for a "Patriotic War ... of the entire Soviet people". Further west, the attack on Viipuri was launched. Because Hitler wanted oil, and he wanted the British to accept peace. And how did the invasion impact on Germany’s eventual defeat? 1, issued late on the night of 21 June. The Soviet Southern Front launched an attack on 26 September with two armies on the northern shores of the Sea of Azov against elements of the German 11th Army, which was simultaneously advancing into the Crimea. While the true motivations and attackers remain under much discussion today, this fire fueled Germany (and Hitler) to take action against the communist “threat”. However, on 26 June, Erich von Manstein's LVI Panzer Corps reached the river first and secured a bridgehead across it. Large numbers of Red Army soldiers escaped to stand between the Germans and Moscow as resistance continued. It captured the bridge over the Moscow-Volga Canal as well as the railway station, which marked the easternmost advance of German forces.  The death or capture of two-thirds of all Southern Front troops in four days unhinged the Front's left flank, allowing the Germans to capture Kharkov on 24 October. Neither Hitler nor the General Staff anticipated a long campaign lasting into the winter, and therefore adequate preparations, such as the distribution of warm clothing and winterization of vehicles and lubricants, were not made..  Convinced by Hitler's argument, Guderian returned to his commanding officers as a convert to the Führer's plan, which earned him their disdain. Hitler, however, was dissatisfied with these plans and on 18 December issued Führer Directive 21,[h] which called for a new battle plan, now code-named "Operation Barbarossa".  Employing increasingly ambitious and tactically sophisticated offensives, along with making operational improvements in secrecy and deception, the Red Army was eventually able to liberate much of the area which the Germans had previously occupied by the summer of 1944. Facing the Germans were the 5th, 16th, 30th, 43rd, 49th, and 50th Soviet Armies. By 16 July, the first Finnish units reached Lake Ladoga at Koirinoja, achieving the goal of splitting the Soviet forces.  The war ended with the total defeat and capitulation of Nazi Germany in May 1945. , By the end of the first week, the Luftwaffe had achieved air supremacy over the battlefields of all the army groups, but was unable to effect this air dominance over the vast expanse of the western Soviet Union.  Following the invasion, Goebbels instructed that Nazi propaganda use the slogan "European crusade against Bolshevism" to describe the war; subsequently thousands of volunteers and conscripts joined the Waffen-SS. Excludes an additional 395,799 who were deemed unfit for service due to non-combat causes, transported out of their Army Group sectors for treatment, and treated in divisional/local medical facilities. Why did the Nazis invade the Soviet Union?  Soviet spy Richard Sorge also gave Stalin the exact German launch date, but Sorge and other informers had previously given different invasion dates that passed peacefully before the actual invasion. This phrase book was not meant to allow the soldiers to speak to the german people living in germany, but the thousands of german jews which were taking refuge in poland, which was at that point occupide by the Soviets.  He now believed he could defeat the Soviet state by economic means, depriving them of the industrial capacity to continue the war.  Hitler disagreed with economists about the risks and told his right-hand man Hermann Göring, the chief of the Luftwaffe, that he would no longer listen to misgivings about the economic dangers of a war with Russia. The German military plan called for an advance up to a hypothetical line running from the port of Archangel in northern Russia to the port of Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea … With the Finnish refusal to conduct further offensive operations and German inability to do so alone, the German-Finnish effort in central and northern Finland came to an end. By Richard Tedor, researcher in the European theater of World War II; The German people can now be told that the Serbian coup against Germany was under both the English and Soviet Russian flags. Stalin's Secret War Plans.  Himmler believed the Germanization process in Eastern Europe would be complete when "in the East dwell only men with truly German, Germanic blood". The northern section, which contained the army group's only panzer group, was in southern Poland right next to Army Group Center, and the southern section was in Romania. By the end of July, the Germans were regularly killing women and children.  She also contends that detection of such instances was limited by the fact that sexual violence was often inflicted in the context of billets in civilian housing. These simulated preparations in Norway and the English Channel coast included activities such as ship concentrations, reconnaissance flights and training exercises. Operation Barbarossa was the code name Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union during the Second World War that started on 22nd of June 1941. Trapped between their pincers were three Soviet armies. How would the World War 2 have ended without interference of the Soviet Union? Large Red Army reinforcements then prevented further gains on both fronts, and the German-Finnish force had to go onto the defensive.  Although the majority of German soldiers accepted these crimes as justified due to Nazi propaganda, which depicted the Red Army as Untermenschen, a few prominent German officers openly protested about them. " Later the same morning, Hitler proclaimed to his colleagues, "Before three months have passed, we shall witness a collapse of Russia, the like of which has never been seen in history. Germany had previously suffered from various terrorist attacks and the infamous alleged communist attack on the Reichstag building.  The Soviet 3rd and 13th Armies were now encircled. Of the AFVs, Askey reports there were 301 assault guns, 257 tank destroyers and self-propelled guns, 1,055 armored half-tracks, 1,367 armored cars, 92 combat engineer and ammunition transport vehicles.  Accompanying the German forces during the initial invasion were Finnish and Romanian units as well.  Therefore, although about 75 percent of all the officers had been in their position for less than one year at the start of the German invasion of 1941, many of the short tenures can be attributed not only to the purge but also to the rapid increase in the creation of military units.  The encirclement of Soviet forces in Kiev was achieved on 16 September.  On 13 October, the 3rd Panzer Group penetrated to within 140 km (87 mi) of the capital. , On 2 July and through the next six days, a rainstorm typical of Belarusian summers slowed the progress of the panzers of Army Group Center, and Soviet defences stiffened. , At the start of the invasion, the manpower of the Soviet military force that had been mobilized was 5.3–5.5 million, and it was still increasing as the Soviet reserve force of 14 million, with at least basic military training, continued to mobilize. On 7 August it captured Kestenga while reaching the outskirts of Ukhta. Nowhere was the Soviet levée en masse spirit stronger in resisting the Germans than at Leningrad where reserve troops and freshly improvised Narodnoe Opolcheniye units, consisting of worker battalions and even schoolboy formations, joined in digging trenches as they prepared to defend the city. Sign a pact of non aggression to begin with secondly.  With Army Norway switching its main effort further south, the front stalemated in this sector.  In reality, Soviet losses were likely higher; a Soviet archival document recorded the loss of 3,922 Soviet aircraft in the first three days against an estimated loss of 78 German aircraft.  The operation was named after medieval Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of the Holy Roman Empire, a leader of the Third Crusade in the 12th century. [i] Red Army soldiers were considered brave and tough, but the officer corps was held in contempt.  (See Reasons for delay.  Additional snows fell which were followed by more rain, creating a glutinous mud that German tanks had difficulty traversing, whereas the Soviet T-34, with its wider tread, was better suited to negotiate. Rumors and military deserters lacked adequate transportation 197 ] at around 07:15, could. 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