This is a repost from a discussion elsewhere (about other topic). Why is it that Hitler wanted "immediately/desperately" to invade Russia asap after the fall of France and the unsuccess of the BOB ? (and so the Italian excursion into the Balkans and forced aid to them was seen as an "unwelcome" distraction..) ...True, Hitler found Communism a threat and despicable, yet he made a pact with Stalin..and as long as that lasts you'll have your hands free. And according to Hitler's remarks he finds the russians not capable of putting up a resistance..not in 1939 (Finland proof) not in 1940, not in 1941..so why would he have feared postponing it to 1942 ? Remember, nothing of the T34 or KV1 and KV2 or Sturmoviks production or plans were known to the Nazis! (or were they ??!). Given this background..it would have been ever so more important to have Britain "out" of the war (be it occupied, be it with a truce) than to start a russian invasion on a set deadline in 1941. +If Hitler indeed found it crucial to defeat Stalin at least from the Ukraine and Belarus area (the main Lebensraum area)..then why didn't he invade russia/soviet occupied Poland/Ukraine FIRST in 1940 ? ..The french and BEF armees showed no aggression whatsoever on the -phoney war- western front. NOT EVEN (heavy) BOMBERS were sent to the Ruhr to attack Germany before may 1940. There were not even PLANS within the French HQ how to invade Germany and what to do there. +Hitler did not seek war with France and Britain in 1939 over Poland and believed they would stay clear of a war declaration. So , he knew/felt that a war with the greater european powers was not good for Germany. And germany needed more time before taking on Russia or France. So how did that feeling change in 1940 ? 1941 ? Yes..the success in France is part of a positive explanation, but on the other hand the tanks, planes and troops in 1941 were not sufficiently strong/convincing to be sure to win all the battles within the vastness of Russia in 1941... Even Hitler would have felt that way. So I am a bit on loss what to make of the "vital" invasion in russia from Hitler's/Wehrmacht's view point (in the spring 1941 situation/knowledge) . Edit note: I was thinking: All through the WW2 and (WW1) campaigns the germans (HQ) always favoured fast/blitz/surprise/firstblowishalfthebattle attacks (be it strategic, or on tactical level) over well deviced defense doctrine. Examples: Battle of Ardennes (rather than use for defense/reserves), blitzkrieg 1940 west and in Norway, Mannstein's counteroffenses rather than stay in defense in 43, etc. So it could well be (conspiracy antenna's up) that in (early) 1941 the germans got wind of Stalin's plans to attack Germany (at a given moment within a year ) and that rather than to put up spread out defenses along the common border and 'wait' for the soviets, the germans opted (from experience of their campaign against France) for offensive attacks on the USSR to ensure greater efficiency. Of course all knowing well how the war eventually developed, the soviet propaganda and the press in the west would n-e-v-e-r disclose that Stalin did have developed plans to attack Germany in 1941...and so it seems now, that Hitler and HQ was simply foolish to attack Stalin in 41... I don't think Hitler was 'that' stupid in the early 40's... and all the stories of how stupid many of the infiltrations and (counter)espionage attempts were of the nazis in USA and UK in midwar time, I am certain there were many occasions (especially in the mid/end 30's) where nazi spies were very effective. The key is a convincing/committed spy network. Within the newly overrun baltic states and Ukraine by the soviets in 1940 I am certain many useful and reliable information would have come from those regions in early 1941 to warn the nazis. Anyone can contribute to explaining the psychic of decision making at the moment of the ones involved ?