Operation Barbarossa: German invasion of Russia

Posted in: World War II
Written on 20th June 2013 16:51pm

Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War; it began on 22nd June 1941.

On 22nd June 1941, the largest invasion in the history of warfare began; in which Germany invaded Russia. It has come to be known as Operation Barbarossa, its original code name.


Over four million soldiers of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along 2,900 km front. During the operation 600,000 motor vehicles and 750,000 horses were used.


Adolf Hitler's desire to conquer the Soviet territories proved to be partly responsible for his downfall. The Germans failed in their operation and it marked the beginning of the pivotal phase in deciding the victors of the war.


The invasion caused significantly high fatalities on both sides; 95% of all German Army casualties that occurred from 1941 to 1944, and 65% of all Allied military casualties from the entire war.


Tactically, it was a resounding victory for the Germans as they occupied some of the most important economic area in Soviet Union. However they were pushed back to Moscow and could never mount a simultaneous offensive along the entire Soviet-German front.


The Red Army repelled the Wehrmacht's strongest blow and the operation was not the victory that Hitler expected.


Operation Barbarossa was not just the largest invasion, but the largest military operation in history in both manpower and casualties.

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