Operation Barbaross: the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union during the WWII

Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the USSR, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during WWII. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany’s ideological aims to conquer the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans, to use Slavs, especially Poles, as a slave-labor force for the Axis war effort, and to seize the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories.

The Axis invasion of the USSR during the WW2
Reddit user: Jeff_Strongmann

At its greatest extent the front line stretched from the Black Sea in the south to the Barents Sea in the north – roughly 2900km. It would become larger in 1 942 when Germany launches its Caucasus offensive ‘Case Blue1. This would further extend the line to be around 4000km long.

The A-A(Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan) line was the end goal for the operation. The plan required the Red Army to be defeated west of the line before the winter of 1 941. Occupying this region would also deprive the USSR of over 85% of its petroleum assets.

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