By Robert Kirchubel
While Hitler ordered the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, thousands of German squaddies flooded into Russia, believing that their fast blitzkrieg strategies might bring about the a simple victory just like those loved via the Wehrmacht over Poland and France. however the large human assets on the disposal of the Soviet Union, and the numerous distances and overstretched provide traces that the Germans needed to conquer, observed the doubtless invincible armored spearheads begin to sluggish. ultimately, in sight of Moscow, the German invasion flooring to a halt. Hitler's goals of a brief victory have been shattered and the resultant conflict of attrition was once to bleed Germany white, robbing her of manpower and gear in a single of the bloodiest episodes in human heritage. totally illustrated with distinctive Osprey art, new maps, and modern pictures, Operation Barbarossa tells the tale of 1 of the definitive campaigns of global warfare II and examines how the failure of the invasion contributed to the ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany.
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Additional info for Operation Barbarossa: The German Invasion of Soviet Russia
As Red Army chief of staff and member of the Military Soviet from 1926–34, Tukhachevsky had focused on defending the Ukraine and the twin “capitals” of Moscow and Leningrad. By 1940, however, much had changed and the German blitzkrieg campaigns had turned the military world on its head. While Stalin acted the good neighbor to assuage Hitler, Soviet military thinkers put Tukhachevsky’s offensive doctrines on hold until they had found a way to halt the blitzkrieg. Red Army planning became more defensive – if only for the first few weeks of a future war.
Although Ludendorff’s defensive line ultimately stretched from Finland to the Crimea, the German forces and their Habsburg allies had ample experience with Russian weather and terrain. They knew their own manicured forests were nothing like the common eastern wildernesses (referred to as the Urwald). German and Austrian soldiers lived with Russian filth, vermin, disease, and poverty. Ironically, terrible roads and poor communications had been a major cause of Russian failure in 1914–17. 9 As indications of his confidence in his own military abilities and the importance of the ideological struggle against Communism, Hitler put his mark on Barbarossa’s operational details like no previous campaign.
In simulating the south, Kiev Special Military District commander Zhukov led the German troops and won as expected; after all the Soviet High Command had seriously neglected defensive doctrine. indd 54 03/05/2013 09:39 OPPOSING PLANS simulation Zhukov successfully defended the Ukraine and even launched a limited attack into Hungary and Rumania. His successes and highvisibility roles confirmed the primacy of the south in Red Army calculations. Results of wargames in December and January of 1941 painted a gloomy picture.