Deception & Surprise
Army Group North
Army Group Center
Army Group South
Battle of Smolensk
Battle of Kiev
Siege of Leningrad
Why Did Barbarossa Fail?
In the Media
The Road to Stalingrad
The German's divided their forces into three Army Groups: North, Center and South. Army Group North's objective was to seize the Baltic states and then capture Leningrad (today called Saint Petersburg), Army Group Center was to advance through Smolensk and ultimately capture Moscow, and Army Group South was to seize the Ukraine, southern Russia, and ultimately the oil-fields in the Caucasus.
The Germans seriously underestimated Soviet military strength and production, the amount of resistance that the Red Army would be able to provide, and the geographical obstacles facing them. As a result, while the initial German attacks scored great successes, the objectives that they hoped to reach were very far beyond their means. Ultimately the German offensive stalled in the mud of Russia's Autumn rains, before being stopped, within site of the Kremlin, by the Russian Winter and fierce Soviet counter-attacks.
In 1942, the Germans renewed their offensive. However, lacking the strength to attack along the entire front, they attacked only in the South, hoping to capture the Caucasus oil-fields. Eventually, this offensive also failed to achieve its objectives, and the Germans suffered a disasterous defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad.
Germany's final major offensive in the East, was Operation Citadel in 1943. This attack was quickly halted by prepared Soviet forces. From then on, Germany remained on the strategic defensive in the East, unable to stop Soviet advance. The Soviet Red Army ultimately took Berlin in 1945, and Germany surrendered soon after, ending the war in Europe.
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