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Hitler’s War

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  1. Hitler’s War Leading up to Operation Barbarossa

  2. Hitler, Adolf

  3. Political Objective for Hitler • “Destruction” of Jewish Bolshevism • Bolshevism • Defeat of USSR would cause London to surrender

  4. Resources, resources, resources • Germany wanted direct access to the food and mineral resources of Russia • In FWW, Germany’s lack of resources led to defeat

  5. Invading Russia “was not fatal” • It can be argued that: • Invading Russia was not the fatal mistake of Germany • Rather, the mistake was the invasion of Poland that ultimately led to war

  6. Attack was not preemptive • Goebbels: • “Stalin and his people remain completely inactive. Like a rabbit confronted by a snake.”

  7. War of annihilation • “Vernichtungsschlacht” • Annihilation of the enemy’s forces • Halder and General Marcks

  8. Marcks and Halder

  9. Looked similar to France and Poland – but… • Hitler intensions • extinction

  10. Barbarossa was Imperialistic • Russia would provide food and raw resources for the Germans • The Reich expected mass starvation

  11. Political extinction • Soviet System could not be allowed to survive

  12. Generalplan Ost • General Plan for the East • Subjugation of the Slavs • Annihilation of the Jews and all officials of the State and the Soviet Party

  13. German versus Soviet Officers • German officers were better trained and more experienced • The purges did there job

  14. Germans Officers • German army stressed education and initiative

  15. Soviet Officers • Much less freedom on the battlefield • The purges depleted the officers Corps • Very few experienced officers left

  16. Idiots • The People’s Commissar of Defence from 1925 up until May 1940 was an incompetent crony of Stalin’s • Voroshilov