Hitler’s Invasion of the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R)
Codename - Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the codename Hitler gave to his surprise invasion of the Soviet Union. Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941 using his Blitzkrieg (lightning war)tactics.He invaded the Soviet Union(Communist Russia) primarily to gain lebensraum (living space) for his German Aryan master race and for resources.
Hitler invaded in 1941 because he believed that the Soviet Union was then very weak and that their army could not put up a fight against his experienced troops who had conquered most of Europe.
Hitler’s’ first mistake
One key problem here is that Hitler had spent very little time on gathering intelligence, spying or scouting before attacking the Soviet Union. The General that Hitler picked didn’t even speak Russian.
Hitler’s second mistake
Due to this lack of intelligence,Hitler did not realise how many resources or types of supplies he needed to achieve his objective of capturing Moscow and the other key Soviet cities. One such mistake was the lack of supplies such as clothes and equipmenthe gave his soldiers. In Russia, winters are hard and the temperatures are often 20 below zero.The bitter cold
prevented the German army from fighting and carrying on its invasion.It lost its strength through the winter.
The German army was totally unprepared for fighting in this huge country.
It was exhausted and stretched to the limit, and was already suffering badly from the winter. The Russians saw their chanceandStalin (their leader) counter-attacked near Moscowand Stalingrad using fresh reinforcements which were brought from the far Eastern side of Russia, from Siberia and the Far East. These fresh forces which were perfectly equipped for extreme winter conditions stopped the German advance and even pushed the Germans back. Moscowand Stalingradwas saved, the Germans were stopped, and that marked the limit of what the German military could achieve in the eastern front.
This was one of the turning points of the war. Over 250,000 German soldiers (the best of the German army) were captured. Although the German army had won great victories in the pastRussia (with its endless resources and territory and its tough winter and people) was too much for them. After the battle of Stalingrad in 1942 the German army was always on the defensive against the Soviet Union.
Now it’s your turn to tell the story of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) using the images overleaf. Imagine you are a war reporter in the Soviet Unionwriting for a British newspaper at the time.
Cut each one out and use all of them to help you explain the events in order to report events that we have just talked about. You must stick them in your book with relevant descriptions/storylines written next to them.
WARNING! They are currently not in the correct order!