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|Part of the Eastern Front of World War II|
| Nazi Germany
|Commanders and leaders|
| Adolf Hitler
Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb
Fedor von Bock
Gerd von Rundstedt
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
| Joseph Stalin
|~3.9 million (including reserve),
46,000 artillery pieces
|~3.2 million at the beginning (later 5 million+)
35,000-40,000 aircraft (11,357 combat ready on 22 June 1941)
|Casualties and losses|
2,093 aircraft destroyed
2,758 tanks lost
|802,191 killed (Documented losses only)
21,200 aircraft destroyed
20,500 tanks lost
Operation Barbarossa (German: Unternehmen Barbarossa, named after Federick I) was the code name for the European Axis's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II which began on 22 June 1941. More than 4.5 million men attacked along 2,900 km front. It also involved 600,000 motor vehicles and 750,000 horses. Planning for the operation started since December 1940.
Even though the Soviets were in a terrible condition, the Axis did not complete its objectives. Tactically, the Germans held some of the most important economic areas of the Soviet Union, mainly in Ukraine. However, the Germans were pushed back from Moscow and could not start an attack as large and long as Operation Barbarossa on the Eastern Front again. The failure led to Hitler's demands for more operations, but all of them failed.
Russia had one of the worse winters ever. German equipment broke down in the cold, and men were still wearing summer uniforms which they stuffed with newspapers in an attempt to stay warm.
Operation Barbarossa was the largest military operation in human history, both by the number of men involved and by the number of people who died. The operation opened a theatre in which more men were involved than ever before in history.
References[change | change source]
- Bergström, p130
- Bergström 2007, p. 131-2: Uses Soviet Record Archives including the Rosvoyentsentr, Moscow; Russian Aviation Research Trust; Russian Central Military Archive TsAMO, Podolsk; Monino Air Force Museum, Moscow.
- Krivosheev, G.F, 1997, p.96. Documented losses only
- About the German Invasion of the Soviet Union
- THE TREATMENT OF SOVIET POWS: STARVATION, DISEASE, AND SHOOTINGS, JUNE 1941- JANUARY 1942
- Bergström, p117
- Krivosheyev, G. 1993
- Note: Soviet aircraft losses include all causes
- World War II Chronicle, 2007. Legacy/ Publications International, Ltd. Page 146.
- Yad vashem - Chronology of the Holocaust
- A.J.P Taylor & Colonel D. M Proektor, p. 106
- A.J.P. Taylor & Colonel D. M Proektor 1974, p. 107
- Peter Antill, Peter Dennis. Stalingrad 1942. Osprey Publishing, 2007,ISBN 1-84603-028-5, 9781846030284. p. 7.