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GERMAN INVASION OF SOVIET UNION, 1941



GERMAN PLANS GO SOUTH


The German invasion of Russia came on June 22, 1941, 127 years to the day after the Grande Armee of French emperor Napoleon I invaded Russia., despite of a number of conciliatory proposals by Stalin. The German invasion, code named Operation Barbarossa, was launched with campaigns against British in both the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic in complete, Hitler was ready to take on the major risk of fighting on multiple fronts because he was convinced that the war with Russia could be finished by the on set of the Soviet winter. The objectives of the mission were to destroy Soviet armed power, industries west of the Ural Mountains, capture the fertile grain-producing Ukraine, and the oil-rich Caucasus region. To attain these goals, three main German military drives were needed. One through the Baltic States toward Leningrad in the north, another up the middle toward Moscow, and the third through the Ukraine and Caucasus region in the south. If the Germans succeed in their mission, their was potential increased immeasurably, with adequate food stuffs, and labor force that extend the war indefinitely.

By July 3 German Army Group North was quickly approaching Leningrad; Army Group Center had broken through Soviet defenses and was rapidly advancing upon Moscow; Army Group South had already claimed much of the Ukraine. The prospect of acquiring the summer harvest of the Ukraine along with the oil fields of Caucasus, led Hitler to transfer troops driving toward Moscow to aid the operations in the south.

Later this decision was considered a major turning point in the war by Hitlerís generals. The transfer of troops south delayed the drive toward Moscow until October. By this time and early winter had set in, greatly impeding the German advance and eventually bringing to a halt only 18 miles from Moscow in early December.

In hindsight Hitlerís critical fault was transferring the troops to the south to capture the rest of the Ukraine and Caucasus. If he had not done this Germany would have been able to continue on with the whole war indefinitely, and perhaps today we would be living under a Fascist regime.

By Andy "The Bear" Johnston

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