Operation
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Operation Barbarossa

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Operation Barbarossa   >   Facts

   
 

Operation Barbarossa Facts


Here are some key facts about Operation Barbarossa:
  1. Operation Barbarossa was the codename for the German invasion of the USSR in 1941.

  2. Operation Barbarossa was named after Frederick I Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor from 1122 to 1190.

  3. The German attack on the Soviet Union commenced on June 22nd.

  4. Although the attack was led by German forces, they also had a number of allies who sent forces to fight on the Eastern Front. These included forces from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Italy, and Finland, as well as a volunteer division from Spain, and units from occupied Europe.

  5. German forces in the attack were divided into three main subgroups:


    In addition, a small German force in occupied Norway attacked towards the Soviet Arctic port of Murmansk. Finland's seven corps were, strictly speaking, co-belligerents rather than German Allies - as they fought a separate parallel war (the "Continuation War") to regain territories previously lost to the USSR.

  6. The German objectives for the campaign were to capture Moscow, Leningrad (today known as "Saint Petersburg"), and the Ukraine, and then to eventually occupy all of European Russia upto a line from Archangel in the North to Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea (the "A-A line").

  7. The initial German attacks caught the Soviets completely by surprise, and they surrounded huge numbers of Soviet troops in the frontier battles, and the subsequent Battle of Smolensk.

  8. Army Group North advanced right upto Leningrad, but was unable to capture the city,. The Siege of Leningrad was to last 872 days, and result in the deaths of more than 1,500,000 Soviet citizens.

  9. Hitler diverted Panzer forces from an immediate attack on Moscow in order to win a major victory at the Battle of Kiev. Although hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops were captured in this battle, the delay caused the Germans serious problems as it meant the weather was worsening by the time they attacked Moscow.

  10. The German attack on Moscow was called Operation Typhoon. It failed, because of bad weather, German exhaustion, and strengthening Soviet resistance.

  11. In the depths of Winter, the Soviets launched a counteroffensive that drove the Germans back from Moscow.

  12. Britain and the United States both sent huge amounts of aid to the Soviet Union during World War II. However, the amount of Western aid that arrived in 1941 was quite limited - most of the Western aid came later in the war.

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