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Operation Barbarossa (German: Unternehmen Barbarossa) was the codename for Germany's preventive war against the Soviet Union during World War II that commenced on June 22, 1941. It was planned in response to its Soviet counterpart, Operation Groza. The operation was named after the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of the Holy Roman Empire, a leader of the Crusades in the 12th century. It is not at all to be confused with the war on the Eastern Front in its entirety.
B. was the largest military operation of all time, it comprised more than 3 million Axis soldiers, who started heading East on the same day.
The operational goal of Operation Barbarossa was the rapid occupation of the European part of the Soviet Union by a combined force of troops from Greater German Empire, Romania, Finland, Hungary, Italy and several other European countries. It would have been concluded by reaching a line connecting the cities of Arkhangelsk and Astrakhan, often referred to as the A-A line (see the translation of Hitler's directive for details). At its conclusion in December 1941, the Red Army had repelled the strongest blow of the Wehrmacht. Hitler had not achieved the victory he had expected, but the situation of the Soviet Union remained critical. Tactically the Germans had won some resounding victories and occupied some of the most important economical areas of the country, most notably in the Ukraine. Despite these successes, the Germans were pushed back from Moscow and were not able to mount an offensive simultaneously along the entire strategic Soviet-German front again.
The failure of Operation Barbarossa resulted in the eventual defeat of Germany and is considered a turning point for the Third Reich. Operation Barbarossa opened up the Eastern Front, which ultimately became one of the biggest theaters of war in human history. Operation Barbarossa and the areas which fell under it became the site of some of the largest and most brutal battles, deadliest atrocities, terrible loss of life and horrific conditions for the Soviets and Germans alike - all of which influenced the course of both World War II and 20th century history.
Stalin deported German POWs to labour camps. Ethnic groups were also deported en masse to the east. Examples include: in September 1941, 439,000 Volga Germans (as well as more than 300,000 other Germans from various locations) were deported mainly to Kazakhstan as their autonomous republic was abolished by Stalin's decree; in May 1944, 182,000 Crimean Tatars were deported from the Crimea to Uzbekistan; and the complete deportation of Chechens (393,000) and Ingushs (91,000) to Kazahkstan took place in 1944.
Germany's inability to achieve victory over the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa opened up the possibility for Soviet counter-attacks to retake lost land and attack further into Germany proper. Starting in mid-1944, the overwhelming success in Operation Bagration and the quick victory in the Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive led to an unbroken string of Soviet gains and unsupportable losses for the German forces. Germany would never again mount a successful attack on the Soviet Union. Operation Barbarossa's failure paved the way for Soviet forces to fight all the way to Berlin, cementing Germany's defeat in World War II.
David Irving on the changing of Adolf Hitler's attack plans
David Irving explained (below) about the changing of Adolf Hitler's attack plans at the end of the video "The Faking of Adolf Hitler for History .
When Germany attacked Russia (June 22, 1941), Adolf Hitler’s attack plans were an immense encirclement movement with one army going towards Leningrad, the other army going towards Caucasus, and meeting behind Moscow. Hitler said the only thing that will bring the Soviet Union down is to depriving Stalin of his resources, his raw materials, and we taking them over and tilting the balance. That will bring the Soviet Union down.
Unlike Adolf Hitler's plans, the General Staff preferred the old fashioned way of full frontal assault on the enemy capital.
But Adolf Hitler’s attack plans were changed by General Staff when he became severely sick with dysentery.
In the middle of August 1941, Hitler suddenly became severely sick with dysentery. Hitler was debilitated for 2 weeks. So he was unable to take part in any of the war conferences and unable to stand up to general staff.
During these 2 weeks when Hitler was severely sick, General staff completely changed his plans. General Staff recast the whole of these strategies on the eastern front by pulling armies away from North and Southern fronts of this attack which Hitler had devised and throwing into a frontal assault on Moscow with the result of none of these operations succeeded before the winter set in.
David Irving also points out that this was the real cause of Hitler’s real misfortune.
In this same speech, David Irving also reveals that Germany weren't able to attack Russia before June 22, 1941 even if they wanted to.
David Irving - "General Guderian said under interrogation that as things turned out, the waterways and rivers along the frontierline along the frontline area were flooded until mid June 1941. So they couldn't have launched the attack on Russia anyway even if they wanted to in May."
- Multimedia map—Covers the invasion of Russia including Operation Barbarossa