Hitler wrote, in his book Mein Kampf, that he would liquidate the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles, along with many other things, stated that Germany could only have six battleships, only 100,000 men, and gave no allowance for aircraft. By 1939, Germany had almost one million men, ninety-five battleships, and eight thousand two hundred fifty aircraft. This stirred up mistrust from many nations around the world, including the Soviet Union. Stalin and the Soviet Union made an unsuccessful attempt at a collective-security agreement, against Germany, with Britain and France. Negotiations with a peace agreement between Russia and Germany began shortly after, and would prove to be successful. Stalin made this deal for the purpose of building the Red Army back up after the purge, but did not inform the Germans; but Hitler had plans of his own, and broke the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression pact in June 22, 1941 by launching a full scale attack on the Soviet Union, officially starting Operation Barbarossa.
During Operation Barbarossa, Hitler’s arrogance prompted him to underestimate the power of the Soviet Union. William Shirer writes, “It is becoming even clearer, Halder wrote in his diary, August 11, that we underestimated the strength of th...
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...ed with the objective of occupying the important center of communications and of armaments manufacture, Moscow” (Mawdsley 86). This was the most fatal mistake Hitler made in his campaign and push for Russia, and ended up becoming the first major loss for Germany since World War I, and a huge blow in confidence of the entire Nazi party.
Operation Barbarossa was the beginning of the end of Germany’s Nazi party. Many historians believe that without Hitler’s underestimation of the Red Army, the Soviet’s response, and more importantly, Hitler’s mistakes leading into the Russian winter, Germany could very well have come out victorious in not only Operation Barbarossa, but World War II. The reasons of failure, clear but not concise, show that many different strategic decisions could have changed the outcome, as well as many other things in the world today.
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