EASTERN FRONT 1941-43
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EASTERN FRONT 1941-43. Hitler wants Lebensraum Living space to the East Wants the farm production of the Ukraine. Problems for Hitler: *Mussolini invades Greece, gets pushed out -can’t leave it alone, doesn’t want the Brits to move in *worried about Yugoslavia.

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Hitler wants Lebensraum

Living space to the East

Wants the farm production of the Ukraine


Problems for Hitler:

*Mussolini invades Greece, gets pushed out

-can’t leave it alone, doesn’t want the Brits to move in

*worried about Yugoslavia


Hitler invades the balkans on April 6, 1941

Controls region but costs him time


OPERATION BARBAROSSA

Germany has three groups for invasion


Army Group North

Von Leeb

Army Group Center

Von Boch

Army Group South

Von Runstedt


Germans have:

180 divisions

3,000,000 men

3350 tanks

7200 guns

2800 aircraft

Plus divisions from Romania, Italy, Hungary and Finland


Soviet Union forces:

132 divisions

2,500,000 men

20,000 tanks

18,000 aircraft

Have 132 divisions in Central and Far Eastern Russia

Most are obsolete


Stalin needs time to modernize equipment and replace officers wiped out during purge

60 of 67 Corps Commanders

136 of 199 Divisional Commanders

90% of Generals

80% of Colonels


Stalin ignores warning signs of invasion officers wiped out during purge

Hitler attacks

June 22, 1941


300,000 captured in each officers wiped out during purge

600,000 captured

100,000 captured


Soviet prisoners marched to captivity officers wiped out during purge


Russian tanks counter attack June 1941 officers wiped out during purge


Commissar Order: officers wiped out during purge

Order to kill Political Commissars attached to Soviet units

500 shot 1st month


Einsatzgruppen follow behind the Army officers wiped out during purge

33,771 Jews and other civilians killed outside of Kiev


Problems for Germany: officers wiped out during purge

*Soviets bring units in from East-non-aggression treaty with Japan


*Supply issues officers wiped out during purge

-long supply lines

-not enough trucks

-Railroad wrong gauge

*dispute between Hitler and Generals


* Rain officers wiped out during purge


Rain stops in November officers wiped out during purge

But winter begins

Germans have no winter uniforms


German soldiers during a Russian Winter officers wiped out during purge


German troops advancing across Soviet farmlands officers wiped out during purge



In 1942 Hitler can no longer attack with all groups. Barbarossa

Decides to attack south towards Caucus & Stalingrad


Offensive goes good until they approach Stalingrad Barbarossa

Wermacht not designed for urban fighting – can’t use tanks to full advantage




November of 1942 Soviets attack the flanks held by Romanian and Italian units that collapse instantly

German Sixth Army surrounded-Hitler refuses escape


Sixth Army cut off and Italian units that collapse instantly

Goering promises to supply from air . . .he fails

Sixth Army surrenders January 1943


Germans captured at Stalingrad and Italian units that collapse instantly


T-34 and Italian units that collapse instantly


Tiger and Italian units that collapse instantly


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