Directive 21: why Hitler changed the date of the attack on the Soviet Union

History of the Directive 17/03/20 21: why Hitler changed the date of the attack on the USSR

At the end of 1940, Hitler signed the ominous document – the Directive 21, which became known as the plan “Barbarossa”. The attack on the Soviet Union originally planned for may 15: the German command planned to end with the red army before the onset of autumn. However, Germany started the Balkan operation to capture Yugoslavia and Greece delayed the date of the attack on June 22.

if you Want peace – prepare for war

the Appearance of the plan “Barbarossa” at first glance may seem strange. Only a year ago, was signed the Treaty of non-aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union – the so-called Ribbentrop-Molotov, providing for the redistribution of spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. What has changed in the relationship between the recent “allies”? First, in June 1940, before the German armies capitulated France is the most serious continental opponent of Hitler. Secondly, the recent winter war the USSR against Finland showed that the Soviet war machine is not that powerful, especially against the background of German success. And third, after all Hitler was afraid to start a military operation against England, having in the rear of the Soviet divisions. Therefore, immediately after the signing of the French surrender, the German command began to plan the military campaign against the Soviet Union.

a tooth for a Tooth

a major role in the implementation of the plan “Barbarossa” was supposed to play Finland and Romania. More recently, the Soviet Union seized the Finns Karelian isthmus with Vyborg, the Romanians – Bessarabia, i.e. land, formerly part of the Russian Empire. The leadership of these countries longed for revenge. According to the plan “Barbarossa”, the Finnish troops had to tie up Soviet troops for its offensive in the North and Romanian in the South. While German troops will inflict a crushing blow in the center.

the neutrality of the Swedish

During the Second worldswar Sweden has officially declared its neutrality. However, Barbarossa, the role of Sweden is clearly spelled out – the Swedes were supposed to provide their Railways to transport 2-3 German divisions to the aid of Finland. Everything went according to plan – in the first days of the war through the territory of Sweden was ignored by the German division for operations in Northern Finland. However, the Prime Minister of Sweden soon promised the Swedish people are scared that through the territory of Sweden will no longer miss any German division and that the country will not enter the war against the Soviet Union. However, in practice, through Sweden turned the transit of German war materials to Finland; German transport ships carrying troops there, hiding in the territorial waters of Sweden, and until the winter of 1942/43 the city they were escorted by a convoy of Swedish naval forces. The Nazis had made deliveries of Swedish goods and transport them mainly for the Swedish courts.

Stalin Line

30 years on the Western borders of the Soviet Union had built a powerful system of fortifications, which consisted of fortified areas from the Karelian isthmus to the Black sea, in the West it was called the Stalin line. Fortified consisted of casemates, positions for field artillery, bunkers for anti-tank guns. After the partition of Poland and the return of Western Ukraine and the Baltic States, the border moved and the line of Stalin was in the rear of the weapons were transported to the new frontier, but Zhukov had insisted on disarming sections of the preserved part of the artillery weapons. The plan “Barbarossa” provided a breakthrough in the border fortifications of the tank troops, but Stalin line, the German high command, apparently in the calculation did not take. Subsequently, some fortifications played a role in the war, their assault was enabled to delay the advance of the Nazis and to thwart the blitzkrieg.

And we go South!

the Fierce resistance of Soviet troops, a large viscous forces, the guerrilla war in the rear led to the fact that Hitler decided to look for happiness in the South. August 21, 1941, Hitler issued a new Directive, which stated that the most important task before the onset of winter is not the capture of Moscow and the capture of the Crimea, industrial and coal areas in the Donets river and blocking the supply routes of Russian oil from the Caucasus. The plan “Barbarossa”, which included a March on Moscow, fell apart at the seams. Part of army group “Center” were sent to help army group “South” to achieve strategic advantage in the Ukraine. As a result, the attack on Moscow began only in late September – the time was up and ahead loomed the Russian winter.

people’s war club

Developed by German generals plan did not take into account the resistance of the civilian population. With the onset of autumn the German advance slowed significantly, the war dragged on and the civilian population greeted the winners not as submissive the Europeans and at the first opportunity – inflicted invaders strike back. The Italian observer Curzio malaparte said: “When Germans become afraid, when a mysterious German fear creeps into their hearts, especially begin to fear for them and feel sorry for them. They look pathetic, their cruelty sad, courage silent and hopeless. Here the Germans they get angry… They start killing the prisoners, who had blisters on her feet and can’t walk anymore. They burn the village, who have failed to provide in compliance with the requirements of the quantity of grain and flour, barley and oats, cattle and horses. When almost no Jews, they’re peasants.” On the atrocities of the Nazis people responded with care to the guerrillas, people’s war club, not seeing anything, I began to nail the Germans in the rear.

General “Winter”

the Plan of blitzkrieg was so fascinated by Hitler that in its development the fact that the protracted war was not even considered. The attack was initially planned for 15 may, to end with the Soviets before the onset of autumn, but in fact Hitler started the Balkan operation to capture Yugoslavia and Greece pushed the date of the napatania June 22 – a required time for transporting troops. In the end, the Russian side made a General “Winter” as it was nicknamed by the Germans. By winter, Hitler’s army was totally unprepared, captured by the Germans he was dressed in work clothes, stretched over shaped pants, jackets and padded with unnecessary paper, including leaflets calling for surrender, which aircraft were scattered behind the front line on the Russian locations. Hands without mittens froze to the metal parts of the weapons, and frostbite became no less formidable enemy of the Germans than against the pushing Soviet units.

Russian Seven

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