On June 22nd 1941, German forces crossed the Russian frontier and
began to fight their way into Soviet territory. Operation Barbarossa,
Hitler's codename for the attack on Russia, had begun. In this essay I
am going to describe the causes, events and consequences of Operation
Barbarossa. What happened when the 'unbeatable' Hitler and Germany met
the sheer determination and patriotism of Stalin and the USSR?
There were many reasons that contributed to Hitler's invasion of the
Hitler had always harboured a hatred for the Slavs, he thought they
were inferior, impure people who were only fit to be used as slaves.
This was a racist attitude that had been with Hitler for many years
before he became 'Fuhrer.'
There was always bound to be conflict between Germany and the USSR, as
they were neighbours. This meant they were both easy to invade; hardly
any transporting of troops would be required. Hitler resented being so
close to the 'untermensch'; he did not want to be associated with
Hitler was an ex-soldier of World War I. This made him very bitter
about what happened, he felt defeat was unjust and was devastated by
the peace treaties. All the land Germany gained from Russia from the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was lost, and Hitler felt this was a disgrace;
the Germans should never have signed the armistice.
Hitler believed the German people needed 'Lebensraum' - living space.
He felt it was needed for the natural progression of the German race.
Hitler had a policy called 'drang nach osten' - drive to the east - so
he had planned to move Germany's borders into the USSR...
... middle of paper ...
...icy. It was impossible to calculate the
number of dead, but it is estimated at several million.
However, Churchill was very suspicious of Stalin, and believed a
powerful Russia could be just as big a threat as a powerful Germany.
Churchill wanted to 'shake hands with the Russians as far to the east
as possible,' to stop them gaining more land. This was exactly the
opposite of Stalin's plans. He aimed to create a 'buffer zone,' so
Russia would be safe from attack.
The Battle of Stalingrad made all of these things possible. Up to this
point, the future of the Soviet Union and of Stalin was in doubt.
After the battle took place, it was only a matter of time before the
Germans were driven out of Russia and pushed and pushed for another 3
brutal years until they finally met with the Western Allies at Berlin
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