why did Hitler attack the soviets in summer 1941?

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by arnhem44, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    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) .:huh:

    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 ?:confused:
  2. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Lebensraum,,If that is the correct translation, it coms out as "Living room " That was the call at the time
  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    As Brian states Lebensraum, contained in Hitler's declaration of foreign policy at the Reich Chancellory meeting with his military leadership on November 5 1937.It was a restricted meeting intended for those who needed to know and not the full "cabinet"

    Fortunately,Hilter's military adjutant, Hossbach took notes and produced in secrecy,comprehensive minutes of the procedings five days later ....later to be referred to as the Hossbach Memorandum.At Nuremberg,the Memorandum was used as evidence that Hitler intended to wage war two years before the assault on Poland.

    The Memoradum covered the intent of Germany to achieve autarchy,ie to be self contained as regards the materiel to wage war.Interestingly, autarchy was thought not to be possible with food stuffs.(Germany as in the Great War would find that the naval blockade would lead to problems feeding its population.....looting of foodstuffs from overrun countries became the norm throughout the war)

    The other aspect to the meeting was the German intent to marginalise the British through the erosion of it Empire, a situation that Hitler thought that Britain,could not hold on to its Empire by power politics alone.Japan was thought to be the medium of the weakening of Britain's position in the Far East.

    However there was a post war view by A J P Taylor that the agenda of the Hossbach conference, primary dealt with the armaments industry and did not neccessarily indicate that Hitler planned for war.

    But in the background was Goering,in charge of the 4 year plan which was an economic model based on rearmament.As regards oil supplies,there was no discussion on this and deprived of lightening wars,this was to become one of the major headaches for the likes of Speer to keep inmdustry and the German military machine fuelled up.
    JhpN and James S like this.
  4. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    A large part of the decision probably involves the situation with Japan and the United States. The following from wikipedia makes interesting reading:-

    On 5 March 1941,Willhelm Keitel, chief of OKW issued "Basic Order Number 24 regarding Collaboration with Japan":

    • 1. It must be the aim of the collaboration based on the Three Power Pact to induce Japan, as soon as possible, to take active measures in the Far East. Strong British forces will thereby be tied down, and the center of gravity of the interests of the United States of America will be diverted to the Pacific. The sooner she intervenes, the greater will be the prospects of success for Japan in view of the still undeveloped preparedness for war on the part of her adversaries. The Barbarossa operation will create particularly favorable political and military prerequisites for this.
    • 2. To prepare the way for the collaboration it is essential to strengthen the Japanese military potential with all means available. For this purpose the High Commands of the branches of the Armed Forces will comply in a comprehensive and generous manner with Japanese desires for information regarding German war and combat experience, and for assistance in military economics and in technical matters. Reciprocity is desirable, but this factor should not stand in the way of negotiations. Priority should naturally be given to those Japanese requests which would have the most immediate application in waging war. In special cases the Führer reserves the decisions for himself.
    • The harmonizing of the operational plans of the two parties is the responsibility of the Naval High Command. This will be subject to the following guiding principles:
      a. The common aim of the conduct of war is to be stressed as forcing England to the ground quickly and thereby keeping the United States out of the war. Beyond this Germany has no political, military, or economic interests in the Far East which would give occasion for any reservations with regard to Japanese intentions.
    • b. The great successes achieved by Germany in mercantile warfare make it appear particularly suitable to employ strong Japanese forces for the same purpose. In this connection every opportunity to support German mercantile warfare must be exploited.
    • c. The raw material situation of the pact powers demands that Japan should acquire possession of those territories which it needs for the continuation of the war, especially if the United States intervenes. Rubber shipments must be carried out even after the entry of Japan into the war, since they are of vital importance to Germany.
    • d. The seizure of Singapore as the key British position in the Far East would mean a decisive success for the entire conduct of war of the three powers. In addition, attacks on other systems of bases of British naval power – extending to those of American naval power only if the entry of the United States into the war cannot be prevented – will result in weakening the enemy's system of power in that region and also, just like the attack on sea communications, in tying down substantial forces of all kinds (e.g. Australia). A date for the beginning of operational discussions cannot yet be fixed.
    [*]4. In the military commissions to be formed in accordance with the Tripartite Pact, only such questions are to be dealt with as equally concern the three participating powers. These will include primarily the problems of economic warfare. The working out of the details is the responsibility of the main commission .with the co-operation of the Armed Forces High Command.
    [*]5. The Japanese must not be given any intimation of the Barbarossa operations.
  5. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Beautifully put Harry. But by heck, that is a long time ago. I expect like me, you recall the antics that Hitler got up to. The excuses to invade. Sudetenland . the Danzig corridor, that was disputed as an excuse to war. While Chamberlain floundered completely out of his depth when dealing with Hitler. The shameful return from Munich waving a bit of paper saying "I believe we have peace in our time"

    Sadly it reminds me only too clearly of the similar state of our country now, to those dire days in the late thirties. W are just about as weak now, as we were then....The lowest number in our army since the middle of the 19th century...Next time there will be no time to hold on while we rearm......

    Those days were times to live through Harry. Those days, and the time after Dunkirk were times when this land was at its very best... To stand alone in Europe.
  6. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    Why did Hitler attack the soviets in summer 1941? the Ecomomy which is why he always invaded somewhere.
  7. L J

    L J Senior Member

    Lebensraum was irrelevant,it only was anexcuse.
    After the British decision to continue the war,Hitler was in a desperate situation:it would be a long war,which he could not win,and,the US would intervene (thiswas a given),and,if the SU was alsointervening,it was over for Germany.
    There was only one possibility:toget the SU on his side,and,if thiswas not possible,to eliminate the SU BEFORE the US were intervening .
    All the rest are the usual post war excuses of the German generals :Hitler spoiled the German victory by attacking the SU for Lebensraum(haha)
    There was no German victory,and Barbarossa was the only possibility for an impossible Sealion .
  8. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    Thanks ClankyPencil , that's a good post from Keitel's HQ. It makes sense in its nonsense. :)

    L J 's answer seems smart, but I don't know if you can tell that in early 1941 those thoughts/beliefs were in the heads of German HQ and Hitler ("US would intervene is a given", and "the SU would intervene after the US intervened" ).
    I would say Hitler/HQ thought quite the opposite : the US would supply UK, but never go to war if it could be avoided...
    and Stalin would not backstab Germany for as long as germany and UK/France//US kapitalists battle it out.. Stalin did not advance in 1940 either when the 1940 blitzkrieg was raging (which makes me wonder why indeed did Stalin not seize that opportunity then ?).
    But for sure -in the heads of Keitel/Hitler, there would come a time that Stalin would feel strong enough to invade the rest of europe, and Hitler had to beat that moment.

    Thanks to all other contributions.
  9. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Hitler blundered into war with the West, if anything he misread Munich in 1938 and he ended up in a pact with his "natural enemy" , his war with the Western powers was something he was stuck with in 1939.
    His invasion of Poland gave him a frontier with the Soviet Union , it failed to give him the freedom he would later want.
    Hitler would have gone to war in the West , he was going avange himself for the "wrongs" of 1918 but first russia and his obsession with Jewish -Bolsheviks had to be "sorted",.
    Hitler was not a rational individual when it came to reasons why he "had" to go to war , avenging himself on the "1918 criminals" , Jews and Communists came first.
    In 1940 Hitler could have defeated Britain , the Middle east and Mediterranean provided an opportunity which demanded only a moderate investment of resources the fall of which and the isolation of India might have pushed Gb into a very difficult position and would have brought other countries into a German / Axis "sphere of influence" and would still have left Russia vulnerable in 1941.
    Making war on the USSR , it was always going to be a priority of Hitler's fortunately for GB the time given by the Russians really worked in our favour.
  10. L J

    L J Senior Member

    What would have more influence in London :the Germans in Alexandria? Or,the Germans in Moscow?
    It is obvious that it would the latter.
  11. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    L J 's answer seems smart, but I don't know if you can tell that in early 1941 those thoughts/beliefs were in the heads of German HQ and Hitler ("US would intervene is a given", and "the SU would intervene after the US intervened" ).

    But 1941 doesn't matter. 1940 does, which is when the decision was taken, around July.

    And in 1939/1940 Stalin used Hitler's pre-occupation with the west to invade Finland, Romania (which supplied a lot of oil to Germany and Italy), and the Baltic States. They started the proceedings for the Baltic states around the time of Dunkirk. For Bessarabia and Bukovina during the final stages of the battle for France.

    So this:

    Stalin did not advance in 1940 either when the 1940 blitzkrieg was raging (which makes me wonder why indeed did Stalin not seize that opportunity then ?).

    is quite wrong.

    As the Romanians said when they re-occupied it: they think it's Moldova. It's Chisinau.

    All the best

  12. L J

    L J Senior Member

    Thanks ClankyPencil , that's a good post from Keitel's HQ. It makes sense in its nonsense. :)

    L J 's answer seems smart, but I don't know if you can tell that in early 1941 those thoughts/beliefs were in the heads of German HQ and Hitler ("US would intervene is a given", and "the SU would intervene after the US intervened" ).
    I would say Hitler/HQ thought quite the opposite : the US would supply UK, but never go to war if it could be avoided...
    and Stalin would not backstab Germany for as long as germany and UK/France//US kapitalists battle it out.. Stalin did not advance in 1940 either when the 1940 blitzkrieg was raging (which makes me wonder why indeed did Stalin not seize that opportunity then ?).
    But for sure -in the heads of Keitel/Hitler, there would come a time that Stalin would feel strong enough to invade the rest of europe, and Hitler had to beat that moment.

    Thanks to all other contributions.
    15 june 1940 : order of the OKW to disband 37 divisions,the Army would have only 120 divisions and,the production of weapons and ammunition would be diminished.

    19 june 1940 : order of Hitler: the war economy must give priority to the LW

    20 june 1940: Fromm (commanding the reserve army) received the order to disband the reserve army as quick as possible .

    30 june 1941: after the victory in the east,the LW would again receive priority and its strength would be quadrupled .

    All these measures are indicating that the war against Britain had priority.
    Britain continued the war,why? From Hitler's POV,because it hoped on the US and the SU.
    Indications (always following Adolf) that the US would intervene:

    Cash and Carry
    Lend Lease
    Arcadia (Churchill and Roosevelt meeting each other on the coasts of NFLand)
    The US mobilisation
    The USN intervening in the Battle of the Atlantic
    August 1940:the GOP conventing is choosing Willkie (the republican FDR) as candidate,not Lindbergh:it is the end of isolationism.
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    "Why did Hitler attack the Soviets in Summer 1941?"

    I think this question requires to be qualified.Does it refer to Hitler's motivation and his vision for The Greater German Reich and all that it means...Lebensraum as indicated in the Hossbach Memorandum?.The requisition of living space up the Urals was central to that policy as was his desire to unite and head the German speaking peoples of Europe such as Austria and those of the Sudetenland.Additionally he was driven by the wrongs as he saw it and as a majority did, of the German population, of the Versailles Treaty...his wish was to reoccupy Danzig and Alsace Lorraine.(Bear in mind when Hitler occupied Western Europe he envisaged staying there quoting previous claims to France as far west as Calais and as far south as Burgundy.At times his policies were created on the hoof without any input from his "cabinet")

    As regards the loyalty of the Wehrmacht,apart from the likes of Beck, they sold their souls in 1938 in terms of the oath to Hitler.They were up to their neck in what Hitler declared as his covert foreign policy.

    Coming to why he choose the summer of 1941 to attack Russia,analysts might refer to his poor management of events and his lack of focus to maintain the planning critical path, essential for a German overall victory.

    First of all it has to be accepted that Hitler planned his campaigns as short term...victory being envisaged after several months of conflict and the defeated would pay the cost of the the war.He never envisaged that his campaigns would be extended....his inner feeling was that he wished for the Greater German Reich to be established before he retired to the halcyon which he regarded as Linz. The regime had the confidence that it would last for a thousand years and despite the setbacks from early 1943, continued to dominate the the German mindset.

    The British in the late 1930s were thought to be inert by the Germans....Britain's official policy of appeasement satisfied Hitler that Britain would not act positively against him....further, he was assured by the likes of Ribbentrop that influential British personalities were not supportive of challenging the regime. Moreover these personalities favoured the course of action Hitler had introduced to manage the German economy.There was also admiration by these influential personalities that Hitler was a bulwark against the spread of communism across Europe such that Hitler was seen as not a threat to democracy and was not feared as those in the Kremlin.

    Coming now to the dynamic events of the first two years of the war.Hitler never thought that Britain represented a threat to him on the continent after the BEF withdrawal from France.Plans were laid down for Sealion but RAF had not succumbed to the Luftwaffe in the first stage of the plan.Then even if this was successful there was the presence of the Royal Navy,the Germans would have to dominate the seas and have suitable naval ships to carry out an invasion.But Hitler was focused on his real enemy,Stalin and his ideology.

    Even before the B of B had started,Hitler instructed the German High Command to begin planning for an invasion of Russia in 1941.Hitler had a overwhelming confidence in his armed forces who had brilliantly swept away every army in 1939 and 1940.But he underestimated the will of the Soviets to defend their homeland. After all, the Russians had been defeated by the Japanese in 1904 and then again in 1917 by the Kaiser.They had shown little purpose against the Finnish army in 1939 and were considered weak on leadership from Stalin's purges of the Red Army in 1938.Hitler was so confident that he declared to Jodl "we have only to knock in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down".

    So on 18 December 1940,Hitlers focus was on Russia and he issued Operation Barbarossa,he mind was clearly on his next conquest....it would open on 15 May 1941,it would be a lightening victory.....it would be over by Christmas and the Slavs would be pushed back beyond the Urals.

    However Hitler's focus was drawn away from his primary objective by happenings in the Balkans.Yugoslavia had rejected German overtures and had to be subdued and Italy proved to be incapable of dominating Albania and Greece and had to be overrrun with German assistance when Allied forces appeared on the scene to attempt to resist German presence in Greece and the invasion of Crete.This deviation with Hitler's planning resulted in the invasion of Russia being put back by five weeks.Some might say Hitler's most catastrophic decision made.

    So Hitler choose to invade Russia after three weeks after occupying Crete.His intention was to overrun Russia by Christmas and before the British had recovered their operational strength and before the US had made a decision to enter a European war.His plan to form a defensive line from Leningrad in the north,Moscow in the centre and Volga in the south.His strongest force was the Army Group Centre whose task was to take Moscow which could have succeeded had it not been for Hitler's attention been drawn to the political prize of Stalingrad.

    One aspect of the Second World War that can be discounted is the influence of Japan on the matter.Although a German -Japanese alliance existed,both sides left the other to manage their sphere of influence.Similarly the Russians and the Japanese kept out of each other's way apart from an early border conflict before the Japanese were involved in the British-US Pacific War.It was not until the first atomic bomb was dropped did Russia contribute to the downfall of Japan by invading Manchuria...here they inflicted the highest casualties upon the Japanese, exceeding the total lost as a result of British and US forces in largely, the jungle conflicts.
    BADHAK, Za Rodinu and Jonathan Ball like this.
  14. Pak75

    Pak75 Member

    The answer to the question has two parts :

    1. Lebensraum - as Hitler foretold in his Mein Kampf - to provide resources and expansion of Germany and German people.
    2. Hitler believed he could win a quick victory in the East - " kick in the door and the whole rotten building will come down."

    OKW were aghast when Hitler revealed his plans for an attack on Russia as this would be conducting a war on 2 fronts, having not subdued Britain- contrary to all conventional military teaching. The result is history....
  15. spidge


    Shortest answer.................

    1. He thought he could defeat Russia quickly.

    2. He underestimated the importance of not defeating Britain first.

    3. He believed his own propaganda.
  16. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    He certainly did believe his own propaganda which is hardly surprising given that he believed that he was born to lead Germany both politically , socially, militarily and the self realisation of his life was to be making war on the demons which haunted him the "Jewish Bolshevist State.
    The war in the west was unplanned and had to be dealt with from July 1940 his eyes were again being drawn to the east...and with Molotov's (failed) hostile diplomatic mission to Berlin they were on a collision course.

    As far as the Germans being in Cario , this might have had a more immediate impact on GB - Hitler had offered Italy German backing when they made their initial move on Egypt , had this offer been accepted the Middle east would have fallen.

    OKW concerns over a war on two fronts did not trouble Hitler as he was being carried along on the wings of what he felt he had been born for and failure was not an option, how could he Adolf Hitler fail , unthinkable.

    Those first few months in 1941 did shape what was to follow but the lost six weeks spent invading the Balkans to clear up the Italian fiasco , did it really deny the Germans victory in Russia ?
    By August they had already over stretched themselves and some of the great victories in the east were incomplete as the Germans lacked the resources and they could not advance and be strong along the entire Russian front , the writing was on the wall, replacements, supplies, spare parts..... all running out and the supply lines were struggling to keep going.

    The invasion of Russia was in Hitler's view to deny Britain their last hope , but this was Hitler's logic not reality and Hitler's rationality lay in his own racially motivated view of a political system which his sworn enemy , they whom he believed had "stabbed Germany in the back" in 1918.
    BADHAK likes this.
  17. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Member

    I've lived and worked in Russia for about 17 years, and generally agree with the research and analysis set out in Rodric Braithwaite's excellent book "Moscow 1941" - I think Hitler was absolutely right in his prediction of a collapse of the soviet regime, and that the Germans were probably just a few days too late in their advance on Moscow (ironically, of course, down to Hitler's own change of strategy). I think if the Germans had concentrated on enveloping Moscow, or had even got there a week quicker, they'd have had a walkover and a complete conquest at least as far as the Urals. If Stalin had gone ahead with the evacuation of the government from Moscow during the night of 16th October, the authority of the Communist party would have collapsed, and with it the raison d'etre of the city defence.
    BADHAK and James S like this.
  18. 17russia

    17russia New Member

    Many people seem to think that Germany could have won the war by defeating the UK. There are really only 2 ways of doing this. The first is by stripping her of her territory and stripping the Suez Canal along with the Middle East from the UK. The second is to waste the only remaining potential ally the UK had on the Continent which was Russia.

    In the first scenario, Germany only has the Italian forces to work with along with German Air & Land forces. Never forget that the base for fighting the UK into the Middle East is the Italian Navy and its supply system. I do concede that the German 4th Air force tore the crap out of the Med while they operated from there. Unreliable at best and after Italy loses 4 battleships to damage and let us not forget the forces of Ethiopia and Greece both stuck it to the Italian general army; you are left with Scenario #2 invading the USSR while it is still weak, disorganized (Officers Purges), re-organizing units along German 1939 panzer division lines (349 tanks) and poorly equipped (The T-34 & KV models were somewhat unexpected but do not forget that in France 1940 the German Armor was not superior).
    Other issues to consider when taking out the USSR are that once the USSR is gone then the UK is not going to go into ruinous debt to repeat the length of the Napoleonic Wars and still could sue for peace with time to re-deploy for what the Japanese had in-store for it. 20,000 good experienced troops would have made the difference in Singapore. Also in the invasion of the USSR then most of the forces are German as well as the logistics, the Germans have more control over basic services and the Italians are just supplying some men and equipment. There is some recent material coming out of Russia that there might have been a USSR plan to “strike first” in 1941 not 1942. This makes some sense when looking at the forward deployment of formations like the Soviet 10th Army on June 22, 1941. Looking back, this would have been the perfect gift to the Germans when taking the effectiveness of the Soviet forces when battle was engaged.
    Personally, I like the rip up the Med idea. No war with the USSR, move the majority of the air, Special Forces, 4 panzer divisions, 4 motorized divisions and 6 inf. Divisions to the Med. And go for the Middle east, Greece, Yugo., Malta, Crete, Cypress, and maybe Turkey along the way (Would be next door to Baku) beginning in the Winter of 1940/1941. The idea being that the USSR never gets the Propaganda value of being the defender, after the 1905 war with Japan, WWI, Revolution, Civil War, Poland in 1920 and the 1939 winter war with Finland the Soviet people would not be that thrilled with another war (Historically they were never thrilled with offensive wars). War with the USSR would have come in 1942 or 1943 at the latest (Not at all from the USSR side if Germany had no Western Front). The Germans would have continued receiving supplies from the USSR and would have taken the Gutz from the UK. The UK would have sued for peace if it meant keeping their Empire (Even if some of it was returned from Germany). Germany would have had a secondary source of crude and other valuable materials as well as access into the Indian ocean. When Japan did strike, Germany just has to not declare War on the U.S.; Japan did not honor its side by staying out of the initial war in September 1939 (Kind of makes you wonder if Japan did follow suit; was there enough tension in 1939 for the U.S. to declare war as well or would Japan have had a field day and 2.3 additional years of peace with the U.S. (If history continues with Pearl Harbor, or the 1939 war gives Japan all the raw materials it needs so no war is needed with the U.S. but Japan could have gone after the USSR later in conjunction with Germany.

    Just some 30,000 foot view thoughts
  19. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    "If" is an interesting word. Never read Baithwaithe, but this is what Blumentritt has to say in a postwar report to he US Army Military History Dept. Apologies for the OCR mistakes.

    Looking at this picture I have my doubts on the ability of the German Army to carry on large offensive operations at that point. The fact (not the "if") remains that for due reasons Fall Blau was launched only half a year later and on a front with a much different geographical outlook. But "If" is a great word, they have even written poetry about it.
    BADHAK likes this.
  20. JhpN

    JhpN Member

    Blitzkrieg definitely was the inended strategy which would defeat the Soviet Union. Hitler wasn't expecting the war to go on for as long as it did, and consume both the Wehrmacht and the Third Reich.
    The Germans would have taken Moscow, were it not for the Siberian Divisions with which the Red Army launched a counter-offensive (during December) :m9: . The Battle of Khalkin Gol in August 1939 dissuaded the Japanese from attacking the Soviet Union again. Had they won, and had they attacked the Soviets at the same time as Operation Typhoon, the Siberian Divisions wouldn't have been there for the USSR to attain eventual victory. Moscow probably would have fallen.
    I think Hitler invaded the USSR in the Summer because:
    a.) he expected to win quickly.
    b.) Summer had the best weather for an offensive on the poor roads of the USSR, which would be dry and solid.
    c.) other easons which more knowledgeable people will know of

    I'm probably incorrect...but it's what i(and Antony Beevor) think...
    I didn't steal AB's opinion btw. I agree with it.
    Sorry for sounding aggressive :/

Share This Page