Operation Barbarossa

During WW1 the Nazi’s from Germany launched an invasion on Russia. The codename for this operation was Operation Barbarossa. Following is all the information a layman must possess regarding it:


The operation was a result of Hitler’s desire to conquer Soviet territories; it was outlined in Hitler’s 1925 manifesto “My Struggle”. Historians believe that this desire had an ideological origin.

The plans for the operation were laid out a year before it took place, following Germanys striking success in France. This triumph, combined with the idea that the “Weak” Soviet force was undersupplied and this led to a feeling of optimism in Germany.

The Operation was launched on 22 June 1941, when Hitler ordered his armies to mount an invasion on the Soviet Union. At this time the effectiveness of the German combat had reached its apex, and the units which invaded Russia were amongst the finest in the twentieth century.


The Operation had three main objects:

To gain control of regions North Moscow, Ukraine’s resources and the southern regions.

This meant that the army’s focus was divided, and resulted in Hitler being widely criticized by his generals. It is believed that Stalin’s refusal to believe the evidence that the invasion was being prepared led to him being caught by surprise. Despite the extensive planning, the German’s made several mistakes and failed to make a significant blow to the Russian army. They underestimated the Russians and so they’re logistical preparation was inadequate for the campaign.


This operation meant that the Soviets had no other option but to meet head on with the Germans. This is when the resources of the Soviet Union were brought into play, time was on their side. The Eastern Front would become a graveyard of the German armed forces, as men, tanks and aircraft were thrown into an increasingly unwinnable conflict.

Despite this, the Operation ended in failure in March 1942. It is believed that Hitler’s orders resulted in this failure; when he ordered the armies to move away from their advance on Moscow to overcome resistance on two fronts, the north and the south. This diverted the army’s attention and slowed their progress to Moscow. By the time the German army reached the capital, the Soviets had been able to gather their resources; as a result they were able to launch a counter attack, using fresh troops, and drive the Germany army back.

The Operation was abandoned as the cold harsh Russian winter began.