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Operation Barbarossa
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Operation Barbarossa Articles
Barbarossa - by Patrick Shrier
Failure of Barbarossa - by Mike Ruzza
Barbarossa - by Bevin Alexander

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Operation Barbarossa Articles

Member Article: Was Hitler right to invade Russia in 1941?
by Andrew Wright

It is commonly believed that the invasion of Russia was one of Hitler's greatest strategic blunders. Up to that point the German war machine had conquered and subjugated all her enemies (except for Britain), while at the same time Russia had been providing her with much needed resources such as oil and wheat. England's position was deteriorating quickly and the United States was still neutral. The invasion of Russia cut off those precious supplies, and even though the Russians took unprecedented losses the Germans ultimately failed to take Moscow and suffered heavily in the winter that followed.
Read more... 3,919 words
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Member Article: Operation Barbarossa: The Ultimate Strategic Miscalculation
by Patrick Shrier

By the middle of 1941, Nazi Germany found itself to be the master of three-fourths of Europe. The only nations unconquered or not subordinate to them were neutral Sweden and Switzerland, England, and Russia. On June 22, the invasion of Russia, codenamed Operation Barbarossa, after the sixteenth century Prussian king, began. After massive initial success, the effort would eventually fail and the Soviets would capture Berlin in April 1945, after four years of bitter struggle. Hitler became distracted by the potential if the economic assets of Russia were seized and diverted forces to seize economic areas instead of destroying Russia’s military. The German failure in the invasion of Russia was in losing focus of the ultimate objective, which was to knock Russia out of the war, not seize economic assets, which would follow conquest.
Read more... 4,922 words
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Member Article: The Failure of Operation Barbarossa
by Mike Ruzza

"The German Army could have won the Russo-German War if only its leaders had made better decisions at certain key junctions." Illustrated below are clear examples of how the German leadership, not just those of the Army, squandered away opportunities to not only correctly plan the operation, but also to win it. The failure of Operation Barbarossa to achieve its objectives within a limited time frame caused the Germans to lose the war by December 1941—everything after that was just trading ground for time until the eventual defeat. The factors contributing to the failure of Operation Barbarossa are many: political, military, racial, diplomatic and others. All will be explored through a mostly chronological format, beginning with an action as far back as 1918. According to Hitler, the German General Staff in the Great War (World War 1) were most responsible for the failure and humiliation of Germany over the next 20 years. Thus, he himself had nothing but contempt for and no confidence in those professional officers who made up his own General Staff. Not only had the German General Staff of WW1 made errors of judgment leading to Germany's defeat, but "they bore the responsibility for the most catastrophic single action of the century—the dispatch of Lenin and his colleagues from Switzerland to Russia in the famous 'sealed train.'"[1] 
Read more... 6,926 words
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Member Article: Barbarossa
by Bevin Alexander

The purpose of military strategy is to diminish the possibility of resistance. It should be the aim of every leader to discover the weaknesses of the enemy, and to pierce his Achilles' Heel. This is how battles and wars are best won. This advice goes back at least to Sun Tzu in the fifth century B.C., but it is extraordinarily difficult for human beings to follow. The attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, is the most powerful example in the twentieth century of how a leader and a nation -- in this case Adolf Hitler and Germany -- can ignore clear, eternal rules of successful warfare, and pursue a course that leads straight to destruction. Attacking Russia head-on was wrong to begin with, because it guaranteed the greatest resistance, not the least. A direct attack also forces an enemy back on his reserves and supplies, while it constantly lengthens the supply and reinforcement lines of the attacker. The better strategy is to separate the enemy from his supplies and reserves. That is why an attack on the flank is more likely to be successful.
Read more... 9,368 words
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