Operation Barbarossa (1941 Barbarossa plan) is a plan for a military attack and the swift capture of Hitler’s territory of the USSR during World War II.
Hitler’s plan and the essence of Operation Barbarossa consisted of quickly and unexpectedly attacking Soviet troops in their territory and, taking advantage of the confusion of the enemy, defeat the Red Army. Then, within two months, the German army was supposed to advance deep into the country and conquer Moscow. Control over the USSR allowed Germany to fight the United States for the right to dictate its terms in world politics.
Hitler, who had previously managed to conquer almost the whole of Europe, was confident in his victory over the USSR. However, the Barbarossa plan was a failure, and a protracted operation turned into a long war.
The Contents Of Operation Barbarossa: Hitler’s Plans
Although Germany and the USSR made peace in 1939, Hitler decided to attack Russia, as this was a necessary step on the path to world domination of Germany and the Third Reich. Hitler instructed the German command to collect information on the composition of the Soviet army and this basis, draw up an attack plan. That is how the Barbarossa plan came about.
After verification, German intelligence officers concluded that the Soviet army was, in many ways, inferior to the German. It was less organized, less prepared, and the technical equipment of Russian soldiers left much to be desired. Focusing precisely on these principles, Hitler created a plan for a swift attack, which was to ensure the victory of Germany in record time.
Implementation Of The Plan And Outcomes
From the very first days, the operation began to go not so successfully as planned. First of all, this was because Hitler and the German command underestimated the Soviet troops. According to historians, the Russian army was not only equal in strength to the German, but in many ways, surpassed it. The Soviet forces were correctly trained. Also, military operations took place on Russian territory, so the soldiers could use the natural conditions that they knew better than the Germans, in their favor. The Soviet army was also able to resist and not fall apart into separate units thanks to good command and the ability to mobilize and make lightning decisions.
At the beginning of the attack, Hitler planned to quickly advance deep into the Soviet army and begin to crush it into pieces, separating troops from each other to avoid mass operations on the part of the Russians. Although he succeeded in moving forward, he did not succeed in breaking up the front. The Russian troops quickly gathered together and pulled in new forces. This led to the fact that Hitler’s army, although it was winning, was advancing deep into the country catastrophically slowly, not by kilometers, as planned, but by meters.
Only a few months later, Hitler managed to approach Moscow, but the Germans did not dare to launch the attack. The soldiers were exhausted by lengthy military operations, and the city was not exposed to bombing, although it was planned differently. Hitler also failed to bomb Leningrad, which was besieged and blockaded but did not surrender and not destroyed from the air.
Reasons For The Barbarossa Plan Failure
Hitler’s plan failed for several reasons:
- The Russian army turned out to be stronger and better prepared than the German command expected. The Russians compensated for the lack of modern military equipment with the ability to fight in severe natural conditions, as well as with competent authority;
- The Soviet army had excellent counterintelligence: thanks to scouts The command almost always knew about the next step of the enemy, which made it possible to quickly and adequately respond to the actions of the attackers;
- The third reason is the Inaccessibility of territories. The Germans did not know the area of the USSR well since it was challenging to get maps. Also, they did not know how to fight in impenetrable forests;
- The fourth reason is loss of control throughout the war. The Barbarossa plan quickly proved its failure, and after a few months, Hitler completely lost control throughout hostilities.