World War 2 Essay
German Invasion of Russia
World War 2 Essay: Introduction
The World War 2 was one of the most horrifying times for human history. Nazi German committed severe crimes against humanity and killed millions of people because of their ideology. There was anger behind the II. WW, and they could not accept the fact that they lost in the I. WW and hated the Jewish community. They tried to get revenge by occupying European countries, Balkans and Russia. In the 20th century, technology was improving, and after the I. WW, along with communism, fascist regimes were on the rise in Europe. These ideologies were opposing forces to each other. Also, under Stalin's regime, Soviet Union became one of the most powerful countries on earth, and their industrialization improved drastically. They had major natural resources and the largest land. Stalin was a fascist leader as much as Hitler and Mussolini. Red Army was the major threat to Nazi German, and Hitler knew it. Therefore, the war between them was inevitable, and the result of this fight had changed the fate of the II. WW because Nazis learned that they could be defeated. After all, this paper focuses on Germany's invasion of Russia and provides insights into history One can infer that it is critical to understand what happened and take lessons from it because, in the 21st century, a war like that can destroy countries and annihilate cultures within seconds.
Hitler had extraordinary intelligence and a talent to persuade the masses according to his beliefs. He understood the command chain and brainwashed his society. Germans had been believed that they were the superior race on earth and the only ruler of Europe. After the I. WW, Germany regained its power drastically and owned the major technological industry, which made them one of the most powerful countries in Europe. They had high technology tanks and weapons. Also, they had the greatest air force. However, Hitler's ideology was to expand Germany's lands and annihilate the damaged people in their country. In his eyes, Bolshevist was equal to Jewish, and they had enormous amounts of natural resources and land, which Germany did not have.
At the beginning of II. WW, Stalin was aware of Hitler's power, and they signed a non-aggression treaty, and their alliance allowed Germany to ignore Western politics and invade Poland (“Operation Barbarossa” para. 1). More specifically, Stalin told their army to stay away from anything that would upset Hitler. Also, Soviet Union supported them with oil reserves and other manufactured materials, which helped them invade Poland and France. However, the treaty had not lasted long because the Nazis understand their power when France was fallen. Therefore, the next move was to start Operation Barbarossa.
Hitler knew that Nazis needed more natural resources in order to maintain their superiority in the war because it required a lot of resources. The Soviet Union had these resources that would help Nazis win the war. Hitler’s goal was to invade the Soviet Union and take all of their natural resources such as oil reserves and grain. Also, with the invasion of Russia, he would annihilate the most powerful enemy, and his people would expand their land on the East.
However, he did not make his move until the Nazis secure the southern flank between the Soviets and Germany, which included Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece (Davidson n.p). After the invasion of the Balkans in 1941, the Nazis were ready to invade the Soviets. However, Russia's land was three times bigger than the Balkans. Therefore, invading Russia was a challenging task. Operation Barbarossa included more than 3 million soldiers, 2 thousand aircrafts, 19 panzer divisions, 3 thousand tanks, and 7 thousand artillery pieces, and it was the largest army invasion force in human history (Royde-Smith para. 4). Hitler thought that the Soviet invasion would take three weeks. However, the fight with Red Army took two years. The original plan of Hitler was to attack the Soviets with three armies. The plan called for three simultaneous thrusts: army group north would attack the Baltic states and invade Leningrad. More specifically, Leningrad was the heart of the Soviets in terms of industrialization, and it provided many of the Red Army's tanks and weapons along with other supplies. Therefore, it was a critical place for the Soviets, and Hitler aimed to cut Red Army's supply channels one by one.
The Army group center was to attack Moscow, and the army group south would invade the Ukraine and Kiev. Hitler's plan carried significant risk because some of his generals thought that it would spread their forces too thinly, and they were right (Davidson n.p). Stalin was a much more determined leader than Hitler, and he decided to defend Moscow for the last and knew their land better than the Nazis. After all, Stalin knew that the Red Army would resist them and fight until they took advantage of the war.
On the contrary, Hitler did not think of his plan ultimately because his plan sought that invasion would be over in three weeks, but it continued two years. Nazis were not prepared for a long-term invasion plan, and when the winter came early in 1941, their progress slowed because of muddy roads and rough lands. However, at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, three Nazi armies rapidly progressed and captured a lot of Red Army’s soldiers, and many of their air force was destroyed by them. At the end of the 1941 summer, the army group center was only a few hundred miles away from Moscow. If Hitler commanded them to attack Moscow, the invasion would have resulted in favor of the Nazis. He made the first strategic mistake with the group army center because he was obsessed to possess Kiev's and Leningrad's natural sources as they needed them to continue. After all, sending an army group center to support army group south and north was a critical mistake.
Hitler made a massive mistake by delaying Moscow's invasion because he provided them with a chance to regain their power and prepare for defending. Many of the Russian soldiers were captured or killed, but Stalin found ways to gather new troops and weapons. When Hitler betrayed him, the Soviets became allies with Britannia and the United States. They provided them supplies for fighting the Nazis, and Stalin knew that when the winter came, Nazis would not stand long as they were not prepared for hard weather conditions.
On the other hand, Red Army was prepared for the winter fight, and the conditions were on their behalf as they waited for the right moment. More specifically, the Nazis were exhausted and got so little supply to continue. Also, hard weather conditions block them to move forward, their tanks had not run, and their clothes did not protect them from the cold. In the 1941 winter, many Nazis got cold bites and died because of the lack of supply. When the spring came, they slowly regained their power and started to attack again. However, Soviet forces were ready to fight them back as they brought new T34 tanks, which played a critical role in defeating Nazis.
During the Soviet invasion, Hitler made severe strategical mistakes that led the Nazis to failure. The first one was to delay of occupation of Moscow; secondly, his plan was no good for the long term, and he constantly ordered armies to go in different directions. He sent the army south to north for Leningrad's invasion, which was a game-changer move because the Soviets knew that they were going to invade there. By the time they invade Leningrad, Red Army has already reinforced new soldiers, regained its power and ambushed them in there. More specifically, at first, the Nazis thought that they had won the city, but Red Army surrounded them and blocked their way out. Many Nazi soldiers were killed and captured.
Hitler's failure was to change their armies' directions constantly, and he was obsessed with occupying Leningrad. Also, it was said that he ordered them not to retreat in there, which led them to death. However, the most important result of defeat was that the Nazis lost many of their tanks and weapons along with soldiers. His lack of determination affected the fate of the invasion. For instance, he dismissed many of his generals and did things the way he wanted. He also thought that the Soviets would not resist invasion because the Nazis had the wrong logistics and intelligence. In other words, they underestimated their enemy and learned false information about the Red Army troops. Also, the Soviets brought T34 tanks, which was known as the tank killer (“Operation Barbarossa” para. 24). In the long run, the Soviets had the tank superiority and strategical intelligence that affected the fate of the invasion. Hitler made a lot of strategic mistakes, and all of these components led them to failure. After all, Germany did not have the supplies and resources that would support two years of invasion in Russia. Therefore, they failed and defeated both in the Soviet invasion and II. WW.
World War 2 Essay: Conclusion
Consequently, II. WW was the biggest blood bath in human history. The fight severely damaged nations and millions of people lost their lives because of an ideology that saw one nation more superior to the others. This paper focused on analyzing the German invasion of Russia and provided insights into it. If the Soviets had not won the war, the result of the IIWW could have been different. However, Red Army was determined and resist the Nazis until they found advantages. Also, Hitler made critical mistakes which led the Nazis to fail. The II. WW was a crime that should never happen again. People learned a harsh lesson from it. Therefore, it is critical to understand what happened because, in the 21st century, a war like that can destroy countries and annihilate cultures within seconds.
Davidson, Nick, director. THE GERMAN INVASION OF RUSSIA Military History World War II Documentary. YouTube, YouTube, 13 Sept. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkT0taITvfc&t=3130s.
“Operation 'Barbarossa' And Germany's Failure In The Soviet Union.” Imperial War Museums, www.iwm.org.uk/history/operation-barbarossa-and-germanys-failure-in-the-soviet-union.
Royde-Smith, John Graham. “Operation Barbarossa.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., www.britannica.com/event/Operation-Barbarossa.