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On June 22, 1941 Operation Barbarossa took the Soviets by surprise. By blitzkrieg tactics, the three million Germans strong force struck deep into Russia, capturing whole Russian armies. Though expecting the raid, Russian president, Josef Stalin, was forced to sacrifice huge numbers of troops to stop the Germans’ approach. The Germans were quick in forcing Russia to surrender due to the harsh conditions of the approaching Russian winter.
Operation Babarossa was the codename used for the invasion of the Soviet Union by Hitler and his men. While only 3 million German soldiers entered in the raid, 5 million died in total, when it was all over. This figure is minuscule if compared to the 20 million Russians that lost their lives. Operation Babarossa was also the largest war fought during World War II, and also the bloodiest.
Josef Stalin the current leader of Russia was surprised even though he new the raid was coming. Even though the German?s got the drop on Russia, Russia possessed an inhospitable climate, a vast area, and tremendous manpower reserves. Hitler said this to one of his generals, “We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down,” but shortly later he also stated, “At the beginning of each campaign one pushes a door into a dark, unseen room. One can never know what is hiding inside.” Coupled with the element of surprise, the Germans possessed better training, more extensive experience, and were able to obtain superiority at the points selected for attack, thus keeping the war on their side. The Russians had large amounts of obsolete equipment, were poorly deployed to meet the attack, and lacked defensive positions, but did have the help of their climate in the end.
Stalin finally decides to go to serious action and stop the Germans from invading Moscow. He makes a public announcement to all his people and asks them to put all their efforts into the war, even though charities like the Red Cross were helping. He went on to announce a “scorched earth” policy to deny the Germans “a single engine, or a single railway truck, and not a pound of bread nor a pint of oil.”
All of Stalin?s efforts finally paid off when the Russian winter came around and not only due to the cold climate but also the scorched earth policy Hitler ordered all troops out if Russia. These late tactics Stalin by and some luck on the Russian side left Operation Barbarossa a failure in its implements and also a failure all together.
Fernandez, Jose A. ?Operation Barbarossa? 22 Oct. 2000
Wilson, Mike ?Operation Barbarossa? 22 Oct. 2000
?Invasion of Russia? 22 Oct. 2000
?Nazi Invasion of Russia? 22 Oct. 2000
?German Invasion of the Soviet Union?
Knight, Amy ?Joseph Stalin? 23 Nov. 2000
Microsoft Encarta 2000 Encyclopedia
Colton, Timothy J. ?Union of Soviet Republics? 23 Nov. 2000
Microsoft Encarta 2000 Encyclopedia
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