Barbarossa



When Germany invaded Russia in 1941, they did so neither near-sighted or as a

?back-handed? diplomatic ploy. While Russia remained a key objective to

Hitler, it was also seen as a necessity for long-term victory and survival in

Europe for Germany. ?Plan Yellow?, as developed by Field Marshal Erich von

Manstein, called upon the pre-emptive strike against an imperialistic Russia,

using speed and superior leadership as keys to victory. To always remember the

axiom: ?History is written by the conquerers,? is key to the history of the

German-Russian War 1941-1945.

This paper intends to not only convey the necessity and the upside of a

German attack and subsequent victorys but also the Russian Army?s offense

stance of 1941. As Field Marshal Fedor von Bock wrote in his diaries ?A sense

of fright came over the OKH? (German High Command) ?With no more enemies, who

do we wait for to fight? Alas they had been waiting for us.?

Germany in 1941 had reached a high point. The German economy, bolstered by

it?s newly conquered lands, stood by itself with no equal. The citizenery had

not witnessed victory like 1939-1941 since the day of Fredrich the Great.

Germany, bolstered by such a booming economy and national morale, had yet to

truly begin it?s ?witch-hunts,? nor had any of it?s concentration camps. While

Jews were politically and often violently blamed and attacked for Germany?s

ills, Hitler and the Nazi regime had at this point not begun the holocaust nor

the mass killings. Most of Europe belonged to the Axis powers and Field

Marshal Erwin Rommel?s Afika Korps, and the Italian Army had beaten the Allies

to the far reaches of Africa. Mexico was being courted by the Axis diplomats

and Brazil had remained nuetral, but swayed to Germany, (it?s imperialist

conquerer). Japan had taken much of China and had moved towards Australia.

Germany had no equal: economically, militarily, and no threat of one.

The reasons for an invasion of Russia are many, but very simply, in all

respects it made perfect sense to retain and protect the security and future

of Germany. Contrary to most opinions, Germany was not embroiled in a

two-front war in 1941, mainly because of Britain?s inability to bring

significant pressure to bear on Germany by land, sea, or air during the

proposed time period of ?Plan Yellow.? The naval blockade of German sea ports

was failing miserably as the German empire was overly sufficient without

imports. Britain?s traditional ?trump card?: sea power and naval blockades of

German ports would be rendered obsolete by a victory in European Russia.

If Germany defeated or eliminated Russia from the war, any British posture,

even with the support of their empire would be meaningless in the face of

German control of the fuel, iron, ore and agricultural resources of the entire

continent. Britain would be at a complete loss and it would be her economy to

collapse. Britain?s only option for obtaining critical materials, or victory

of any sort, would appear to be in Africa. However, German air and ground

forces freed from the continent (inner France, Germany, Austria,

Czechoslavakia), could easily be diverted to Africa to prevent this. The

destruction and conquest of European Russia would not only provide Germany

with immense resources and capabilities to expand those resources, but it

would also make Britain unable to carry on a fruitless war.

Hitler?s Lebensraum, or literally ?living space?, is misleading as Germany

was not overcrowded and had conquered an immense buffer zone against her

enemies and neighbors. Lebensraum sought resources- iron, ore, fuel, food,

factory space- it did not have inside the boundaries imposed in the Versailles

Treaty of 1917. Hitler, in each of his military endeavors sought out these

necessary resources above military strategy, even above diplomatic means.

Hitler had so handily conquered Poland, annexed both Austria and

Czechoslavakia, defeated Belgium, and a large British Expeditionary Force, and

France so quickly.The entire armed forces working brilliantly enough to

overrun Norway, nuetralize Britain, and their U-Boats disrupting sea supply

lines from America, Hitler turned to the showdown with Soviet Russia. In late

1940 Hitler suggested to a friendly Russia that she enter and join the

German-Italian Pact of Steel. The negotiations over the spoils of war in the

Balkans and Greece were bogged down, and a mutual distrust ended the

negotiations. A war against Russia, while touted as a religious, ideological

showdown, was really