Operation barbarossa
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OPERATION BARBAROSSA. THE GERMAN INVASION OF SOVIET RUSSIA, JUNE, 1941. BACKGROUND. DEFINE: “BARBAROSSA” GENRALLY REFERS TO THE INITIAL INVASION OF RUSSIA, JUNE 1941- DEC. 1941 AFTER THAT, THE NAZI-SOVIET WAR IS GENERALLY REFERRED TO AS… THE RUSSIAN FRONT THE EASTERN FRONT

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OPERATION BARBAROSSA

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Operation barbarossa

OPERATION BARBAROSSA

THE GERMAN INVASION OF SOVIET RUSSIA,

JUNE, 1941


Background

BACKGROUND

  • DEFINE:

    • “BARBAROSSA” GENRALLY REFERS TO THE INITIAL INVASION OF RUSSIA, JUNE 1941- DEC. 1941

    • AFTER THAT, THE NAZI-SOVIET WAR IS GENERALLY REFERRED TO AS…

      • THE RUSSIAN FRONT

      • THE EASTERN FRONT

    • HISTORICALLY, MOST RUSSIANS REFER TO THE WAR AS “THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR”

  • CAUSES / ORIGINS:

    • HITLER’S RACIAL THEORY - SEE MEIN KAMPF

    • HITLER’S DESIRE FOR LEBENSRAUM

    • RUSSIA’S SLAVIC POPULATION AS A SOURCE OF SLAVE LABOR

    • UKRAINE’S FARMLAND WOULD PROVIDE FOOD FOR THE GROWING GERMAN EMPIRE

    • SOVIET NATURAL RESOURCES, ESPECIALLY OIL (CENTRAL ASIA)

    • SOVIET MILITARY WEAKNESSES – ENCOURAGE AGGRESSION


Operation barbarossa

  • “YOU ONLY HAVE TO KICK IN THE DOOR AND THE WHOLE ROTTEN STRUCTURE WILL COME CRASHING DOWN.”

    • ADOLF HITLER, 1941


Background cont d

BACKGROUND (cont’d.)

  • PRE-INVASION STATUS:

    • GERMANY IS WINNING IN ALL AREAS OF WAR

    • RUSSIA:

      • STILL SUFFERING FROM STALIN’S 1930’s GREAT PURGE

      • RESULT?

        • MILITARY IS UNPREPARED FOR MAJOR WAR

        • MILITARY IS LACKING IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:

          • LEADERSHIP QUALITY – WHY?

          • CREATIVITY / INNOVATION – WHY?

            • EX. – LACK OF AIRBORNE TROOPS

          • MILITARY TECHNOLOGY – WHY?

          • MILITARY MORALE – WHY?

      • EXAMPLE?

        • RUSSO-FINNISH WAR, 1939

        • MAJOR EMBARRASSMENT FOR SOVIETS

        • HIGHLIGHTS POOR CONDITION OF RUSSIA’S MILITARY


Operation barbarossa

  • “WHEN BARBAROSSA COMMENCES, THE WHOLE WORLD WILL HOLD ITS BREATH AND MAKE NO COMMENT.”

    • ADOLF HITLER, 1941


Operation barbarossa

WAR DIRECTIVE NUMBER 21: DECEMBER 5, 1940OFFICIAL ORDERS FOR OPERATION BARBAROSSA“THE GERMAN WERMACHTMUST BE PREPARED TO CRUSH SOVIET RUSSIA IN A QUICK CMAPAIGN.”


Opposing forces

OPPOSING FORCES

  • GERMANS (& AXIS ALLIES):

    • TROOPS: 4.3 MILLION

    • ARTILLERY: 43,000

    • TANKS: 4000

    • AIRCRAFT: 4,400

  • SOVIET UNION:

    • TROOPS: 3.3 MILLION

    • ARTILLERY: 60,000

    • TANKS: 15,000

    • AIRCRAFT: 11,500

  • MUCH OF THE SOVIET EQUIPMENT, WHILE MORE NUMEROUS THAN GERMANY’S, WAS OF INFERIOR / OUTDATED QUALITY

    • EXAMPLES?

      • TANKS

      • AIRCRAFT


Pre war situation

PRE-WAR SITUATION

  • 1939: MOLOTOV-RIBBENTROP PACT (Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty) SIGNED

    • “GUARANTEES” PEACE BETWEEN TWO NATIONS

    • ARRANGES THE DIVISION OF POLAND IN SEPT.’39

  • EFFECT ON STALIN & RUSSIA?

  • THE GREAT PURGE (1937-38): DEFINE:

    • ORDERED BY STALIN

    • “LIQUIDATION” OF KEY INDIVIDUALS W/IN THE FOLLOWING GROUPS:

      • THE COMMUNIST / BOLSHEVIK LEADERSHIP

      • THE MILITARY

      • SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY

  • SO WHAT? EXAMPLE – WHAT WAS THE EFFECT ON RUSSIA’S MILITARY?

    • TOP LEADERSHIP WIPED OUT*

    • MOST CREATIVE LEADERS ARE GONE**

    • RUSSIAN ARMY STAGNATES TECHNOLOGICALLY / STRATEGICALLY***

  • *GREAT PURGE DEATH TOLL AMONG ARMY OFFICERS:

    • 3 out of 5 Marshalls

    • 13 out of 15 Army commanders

    • 110 out of 195 Division commanders

    • 186 out of 406 Brigadier generals

  • **STRATEGIC TOLL:

    • OFFICERS WHO UNDERSTAND MODERN BATTLEFIELD TACTICS ARE HARD TO REPLACE

    • WHAT IDEAS? EXAMPLE:

      • “DEEP BATTLE” & ARMOR THRUSTS

      • “DEFENSE IN DEPTH”

  • ***TECHNOLOGICAL / STRATEGIC TOLL:

    • NO LARGE / EFFECTIVE AIRBORNE FORCE EVER DEVELOPED

    • QUALITY TANK PRODUCTION SLOWS

    • SMALL ARMS-MACHINE GUNS PRODUCTION INSUFFICIENT

    • AIRCRAFT DESIGN IS LACKING COMPARED TO GERMAN


Soviet deep battle concept

SOVIET “DEEP BATTLE” CONCEPT


Early warnings

EARLY WARNINGS

  • LARGE-SCALE GERMAN TROOP / EQUIPMENT BUILD-UP BEGINS FOLLOWING BALKAN CAMPAIGN

  • WHERE?

    • POLISH-SOVIET FRONTIER

  • ARE RUSSIANS WARNED?

    • YES-REPEATEDLY

    • EVEN W/OUT WARNINGS, COULD THEY HAVE KNOW ABOUT GERMAN PLANS?

  • BY WHOM?

    • MARCH, 1941: U.S. GOV’T. WARNS MOSCOW OF POSSIBLE GERMAN ATTACK

    • APRIL 1, 1941: SOVIET AGENT IN TOKYO WARNS MOSCOW BASED ON INTEL. UNCOVERED

    • APRIL 3, 1941: CHURCHILL WARNS OF SAME THING BASED ON DECODED GERMAN MESSAGES

    • JUNE 13: BRITISH AGAIN WARN MOSCOW BASED ON NEW INTEL.

    • JUNE 15: COMMUNIST SPIES IN NEUTRAL SWITZERLAND WARN MOSCOW BASED ON INTEL.

  • STALIN’S REACTION:

    • BELIEVES THIS IS ALL DESIGNED BY GERMANS TO “PROVOKE” RUSSIAN AGGRESSION

    • STALIN BELIEVED GERMANY COULD BE CONTROLLED BY BARGAINING

    • DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?

    • STALIN REFUSES TO BELIEVE GERMANS WILL INVADE


Invasion

INVASION

  • JUNE 22, 1941

  • GERMAN PLAN FOR CONQUEST:

    • WERMACHT DIVIDED INTO 3 SEPARATE “THRUSTS”, OR ARMY “GROUPS”

    • EACH ARMY GROUP HAS A SPECIFIC RUSSIAN CITY FOR IT’S OBJECTIVE

    • EACH OBJECTIVE IS TO BE TAKEN BY LATE OCTOBER (BEFORE WINTER).

  • ARMY GROUPS:

    • NORTH – OBJECTIVE = LENINGRAD

    • CENTER – OBJECTIVE = MOSCOW

    • SOUTH – OBJECTIVE = KIEV & THE OIL FIELDS OF ASIA

  • TIMETABLE REQUIRES…

    • MASSIVE LOGISTCAL MOVEMENTS

    • QUICK ELIMINATION OF OPPOSITION

    • BLITZKRIEG ON A MASSIVE SCALE

  • PROBLEM?


Initial german advance june september 1941

INITIAL GERMANADVANCE, JUNE- SEPTEMBER, 1941


Phases of battle

PHASES OF BATTLE

  • INVASION HAS 3 PHASES:

    • PHASE 1: June 22 – July 3, 1941

    • PHASE 2: July 3 – October 2, 1941

    • PHASE 3: October 2 - December 5, 1941

  • ALL OBJECTIVES ARE TO BE REACHED QUICKLY

    • WHY?

  • GERMAN INVASION PLAN RELIES HEAVILY ON WHAT TWO ELEMENTS FOR SUCCESS?

    • SURPRISE

    • SPEED

  • BY DEC. 2, 1941 ALL OBJECTIVES HAVE BEEN REACHED, BUT…ONLY ONE HAS BEEN CAPTURED

    • KIEV – CAPTURED BY ARMY GROUP SOUTH

    • MOSCOW – SUBURBS REACHED

    • LENINGRAD – SUBURBS REACHED


Phases of battle cont d

PHASES OF BATTLE (cont’d.)

  • RED ARMY LOSSES ARE EXTREMELY HIGH DURING ALL THREE PHASES

  • WHY?

    • SOVIETS HADN’T CREATED “DEFENSE IN DEPTH” (define)

    • SOVIETS TRIED TO DEFEND ENTIRE BORDER

    • RESULT? BORDER IS THINLY DEFENDED AND EASILY PENETRATED

    • SO WHAT? RED ARMY UNITS ARE EASILY SURROUNDED AND DESTROYED

    • EXAMPLES?

      • JUNE 22-25: 3900 SOVIET AIRCRAFT DESTROYED

      • LATE JUNE: BATTLE OF MINSK = 600,000 KIA, MIA, WIA, POW

      • JULY: BATTLE OF SMOLENSK = 180,000 POW

      • SEPTEMBER: BATTLE OF KIEV = 665,000 POW***

        • ***STATISTICS ARE DISPUTED


Phases of battle cont d1

PHASES OF BATTLE (cont’d.)

  • BOTH SIDES EXPERIENCE MAJOR PROBLEMS:

    • SOVIETS:

      • POOR EQUIPMENT

      • LACK OF TRANSPORTATION/ MOBILITY

    • GERMANS:

      • SPEED OF ARMOUR OUTDISTANCES INFANTRY

      • SUPPLY LINES BECOME OVEREXTENDED

      • NO WINTER GEAR / EQUIPMENT READY

  • RED ARMY RESISTANCE IN ISOLATED POCKETS CAUSES PROBLEMS

    • WHY? GERMAN ADVANCE IS DELAYED

    • WHY? TROOPS / ARMOUR USED TO WIPE OUT POCKETS

  • RESULT? ADVANCE ON MOSCOW IS DELAYED


Operation typhoon

OPERATION TYPHOON

  • RUSSIAN’S HAD BEGUN USING A “SCORCHED-EARTH” POLICY (define)

  • SUPPLY LINES BECOME EXTENDED & THIN

  • GERMAN DELAYS ALLOW SOVIETS TO...

    • REINFORCE MOSCOW w/ RESERVE TROOPS

    • BUILD DEFENSES AROUND MOSCOW

  • OPERATION TYPHOON BEGINS

  • WHEN? OCT. – DEC., 1941

  • GEN. GEORGI ZHUKOV = COMMANDS RED ARMY IN MOSCOW

  • SOVIETS BRING SIBERIAN TROOPS TO REINFORCE MOSCOW

  • WEATHER DETERIORATES…

    • LUFTWAFFE IS GROUNDED

    • FROSTBITE, EXPOSURE INCREASE GERMAN CASUALTIES

    • EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS INCREASE IN COLD WEATHER

  • DEC. 5, 1941: RED ARMY COUNTERATTACK PUSHES GERMANS BACK 200 mi.

  • OPERATION BARBAROSSA IS OVER


  • General georgi zhukov

    GENERAL GEORGI ZHUKOV


    German mark iv tanks and apcs russia 1941

    GERMAN MARK-IV TANKS AND APCs, RUSSIA, 1941


    Soviet i 16 mig fighter

    SOVIET I-16 “MIG” FIGHTER


    German pioneer shock troops russia 1941

    GERMAN “PIONEER” SHOCK TROOPS, RUSSIA, 1941


    German pioneer trooper russia 1941

    GERMAN PIONEER TROOPER, RUSSIA, 1941


    Red army troops under shellfire kiev 1941

    RED ARMY TROOPS UNDER SHELLFIRE, KIEV, 1941


    Red army kia june 1941

    RED ARMY KIA, JUNE 1941


    Moscow women digging anti tank ditches 1941

    MOSCOW WOMEN DIGGING ANTI-TANK DITCHES, 1941


    Red army parade moscow november 1941

    RED ARMY PARADE, MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 1941


    Red army troops on parade moscow november 1941

    RED ARMY TROOPS ON PARADE, MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 1941


    Soviet mosin nagant rifle

    SOVIET MOSIN-NAGANT RIFLE


    Soviet ppsh machine gun 1941

    SOVIET PPsh MACHINE GUN, 1941


    Siberian troops on t 34 towed sleds prepare for assault dec 1941

    SIBERIAN TROOPS ON T-34 TOWED SLEDS PREPARE FOR ASSAULT, DEC. 1941


    Soviet t 34 main battle tank

    SOVIET T-34 MAIN BATTLE TANK


    Siberian troops outside moscow 1941

    SIBERIAN TROOPS OUTSIDE MOSCOW, 1941


    Siberian troops outside moscow 19411

    SIBERIAN TROOPS OUTSIDE MOSCOW, 1941


    Siberian troops with anti tank gun 1941

    SIBERIAN TROOPS WITH ANTI-TANK GUN, 1941


    Red army troops duck into trench under advancing t 43 tank

    RED ARMY TROOPS DUCK INTO TRENCH UNDER ADVANCING T-43 TANK


    Operation barbarossa

    • “THE WAR AGAINST RUSSIA WILL BE SUCH THAT IT CANNOT BE CONDUCTED IN A KNIGHTLY FASHION; THE STRUGGLE IS ONE OF IDEOLOGIES AND WILL HAVE TO BE CONDUCTED WITH UNPRECEDENTED, UNMERCIFUL AND UNRELENTING HARSHNESS.”

      • ADOLF HITLER, MARCH 30, 1941


    Operation barbarossa

    • “A CAPITUALTION OF MOSCOW OR LENINGRAD IS NOT TO BE ACCEPTED, EVEN IF OFFERED.”

      • ADOLF HITLER, SEPTEMBER 18, 1941

  • “THE FUHRER HAS DECIDED TO HAVE ST. PETERSBURG (LENINGRAD) WIPED OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH…REQUESTS THAT THE CITY BE TAKEN OVER WILL BE TURNED DOWN…IN THIS WAR FOR EXISTENCE, WE HAVE NO INTEREST IN KEEPING EVEN PART OF THIS GREAT CITY’S POPULATION.”

    • ADOLF HITLER, SEPTEMBER 29, 1941


  • Final results

    FINAL RESULTS

    • MOSCOW IS SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED

    • LENINGRAD IS “SEIGED” (define) BY GERMANS

      • ***SEIGE OF LENINGRAD LASTS FOR 900 DAYS (approximately)

    • UKRAINE IS CONQUERED – ARMY GROUP SOUTH HEADS TOWARDS CASPIAN / ASIAN OIL FIELDS

    • SOVIETS DISMANTLE / MOVE MAJOR INDUSTRIES EAST OF THE URAL MTS.

    • CASUALTIES (approximate #s)

      • GERMANS:SOVIETS:

        • 250,000 KIA802,191 KIA

        • 500,000 WIA3,000,000 WIA

        • 25,000 MIA3,300,000 POW

    • GERMANS ARE NOW IN A MAJOR 2-FRONT WAR


    Nevsky prospect street leningrad under artillery fire 1941

    NEVSKY PROSPECT(STREET), LENINGRAD, UNDER ARTILLERY FIRE, 1941


    Leningrad defense propaganda poster 1941

    LENINGRAD DEFENSE PROPAGANDA POSTER, 1941


    Leningrad citizens during seige

    LENINGRAD CITIZENS DURING SEIGE


    Leningrad citizens foraging looking for water winter 1941 42

    LENINGRAD CITIZENS FORAGING / LOOKING FOR WATER, WINTER 1941-42


    Lake ladoga ice road

    LAKE LADOGA ICE ROAD


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