Operation Barbarossa

Article

July 6, 2022

Operation Barbarossa (Directive No. 21. Plan "Barbarossa"; German Weisung Nr. 21. Fall Barbarossa, Italian. Operazione Barbarossa in honor of the King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Staufen, nicknamed Barbarossa) - developed in December 1940 - June 1941, the strategic plan for the attack of Nazi Germany on the USSR and the military operation of the same name, carried out in accordance with this plan at the initial stage of the Great Patriotic War. Hitler's decision to carry out Operation Barbarossa against the USSR marked a turning point in the history of Nazi Germany, leading him to a two-front war and the collapse of the Nazi regime less than four years later. When developing the Barbarossa plan, designed only for a "blitzkrieg", the enemy was initially underestimated and the possibility of a fleeting war developing into a protracted one was not taken into account. By September 30, the blitzkrieg (lightning war) had lost its momentum. This allowed the Red Army to stabilize the front line. As a result, the failure of Operation Barbarossa was the turning point of World War II.

Military-political situation

With the coming to power in Germany of the NSDAP and Adolf Hitler (1933), revanchist sentiments sharply increased in the country. Nazi propaganda convinced the Germans of the need to conquer living space in the East. Already in the mid-1930s, the leadership of Nazi Germany announced the inevitability of a war with the USSR in the near future. In 1939, planning an attack on Poland and foreseeing the possible entry into the war on its side of Great Britain and France, the German leadership decided to secure itself from the east - in August a Non-Aggression Pact was concluded between Germany and the USSR, after which the Reich and the USSR were divided among themselves " spheres of interest" in Eastern Europe, mutually suspended propaganda against each other and began multilateral cooperation. On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland, causing Britain and France to declare war on Germany. On September 17, the Soviet Union invaded Poland, annexing what is now Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. A common border appeared between Germany and the USSR. In 1940, Germany captured D