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Operation Barbarossa

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Operation Barbarossa   >   German Forces

   
 

German Forces in Operation Barbarossa


German Troops
Broadly speaking, Germany had three main objective areas in Operation Barbarossa:
  1. In the North, the conquest of the Baltic states, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, followed by the capture of Leningrad and a link-up with Finland.

  2. In the center, the capture of Minsk, followed by Smolensk, and eventually Moscow.

  3. In the south, the capture of the Ukraine, with its rich farmland and industrial resources, and eventually a march onwards to capture the Caucasus oil-fields.
For each of these objectives, the Germans assigned an Army Group consisting of one or more German Armies, backed by separate Panzer (tank) formations, Panzergruppe, and Luftwaffe air force support: In addition:
  • A small German force in the far North of occupied Norway, also attacked with the objective of capturing Murmansk and the Murmansk-railway.

  • Finland, with an army of seven corps, commanded by Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, attacked the USSR in the "Continuation War", in an attempt to regain territory previously lost to the Soviets.

  • German allies, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Italy all sent forces to fight on the Eastern front, especially with Army Group South (although some of these forces did not arrive until some time after Operation Barbarossa had commenced). Germany's troops were also supplemented by volunteers and other forces from all around occupied Europe, and even by a division of volunteers ("Blue Division) from Franco's Spain.


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