Hitler invades the USSR

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Hitler invades the USSR

Operation BarbarossaJune 1941-1944Hitler invades the USSR

Why did Hitler want to invade Russia and the USSR?

Why did Operation Barbarossa the plan to conquer Russia and USSR) fail?

On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany and its Axis allies began a massive invasion of the Soviet Union named Operation Barbarossa -- some 4.5 million troops launched a surprise attack deployed from German-controlled Poland, Finland, and Romania. Hitler had long had his eye on Soviet resources. Although Germany had signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR in 1939, both sides remained suspicious of one another, and the agreement merely gave them more time to prepare for a probable war. Even so, the Soviets were unprepared for the sudden blitzkreig attacks across a border that spanned nearly 2,900 km (1,800 mi), and they suffered horrible losses. Within a single week, German forces advanced 200 miles into Soviet territory, destroyed nearly 4,000 aircraft, and killed, captured, or wounded some 600,000 Red Army troops. By December of 1941, German troops were within sight of Moscow, and they laid siege to the city. But, when the notorious Russian winter (nicknamed "General Winter") set in, German advances came to a halt. By the end of this, one of the largest, deadliest military operations in history, Germany had suffered some 775,000 casualties. More than 800,000 Soviets had been killed, and an additional 6 million Soviet soldiers had been wounded or captured. Despite massive advances, Hitler's plan to conquer the Soviet Union before winter had failed, at great cost, and that failure would prove to be a turning point in the war.

A German infantryman walks toward the body of a killed Soviet soldier and a burning BT-7 light tank in the southern Soviet Union in in 1941, during the early days of Operation Barbarossa

A German half-track in front of German tank units, as they prepare for an attack, on July 21, 1941, somewhere along the Russian warfront, during the German invasion of the Soviet Union

German soldiers cross a river in a stormboat, sometime in 1941, during the German invasion of the Caucasus region in the Soviet Union.

With a burning bridge across the river in the background, a German sentry keeps watch in the recently-captured city of Kiev, in 1941

German infantrymen watch enemy movements from their trenches shortly before an advance inside Soviet territory, on July 10, 1941.

German Stuka dive-bombers, in flight heading towards their target over coastal territory on November 6, 1941.

Machine gunners of the far eastern Red Army in the USSR, during the German invasion of 1941.

Russian soldiers, left, hands clasped to heads, marched back to the rear of the German lines on July 2, 1941, as a column of Nazi troops move up to the front at the start of hostilities between Germany and Russia.

Russian men and women rescue their humble belongings from their burning homes, said to have been set on fire by the Russians, part of a scorched-earth policy, in a Leningrad suburb on October 21, 1941.

Red Army soldiers examine war trophies captured in battles with invading Germans, somewhere in Russia, on September 19, 1941

A view of the destruction in Riga, the capital of Latvia, on October 3, 1941. The Russians had withdrawn and it was in Nazi hands

Some of the 650,000 Russian prisoners which were captured at Bryansk and Vyasma. They are here seen waiting to be transported to a prisoner of war camp somewhere in Russia.

German infantrymen in heavy winter gear march next to horse-drawn vehicles as they pass through a district near Moscow, in November 1941. Winter conditions strained an already thin supply line, and forced Germany to halt its advance - leaving soldiers exposed to the elements

Part of Operation Barbarossa

1941-1944The siege of Leningrad

The Siege of Leningrad 1941 -44The city of Leningrad was surrounded by the German army for ________________ years. Nearly _____ million people lived there.The Germans shelled the city continuously and stopped food and supplies from getting in._______ million Russians died there.The food in the city lasted only until November ________ despite rationing. The people of Leningrad survived by ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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