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Operation Barbarossa in WWII When Operation Barbarossa is launched the world will hold its breath - Adolf Hitler On the night of June 22 1941 more than 3 million German soldiers 600 000 vehicles and 3350 tanks were amassed along a 2000km front stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea Their sites were all trained on Russia This force was part of Operation Barbarossa the eastern front of the greatest military machine ever assembled This machine was Adolf Hitlers German army For Hitler the inevitable assault on Russia was to be the culmination of a long ezding obsession He had always wanted Russias industries and agricultural lands as part of his Lebensraum or living space for Germany and their Thousand Year Reich Russia had been on Hitlers agenda since he wrote Mein Kampf some 17 years earlier where he stated We terminate the endless German drive to the south and the west of Europe and direct our gaze towards the lands in the eastIf we talk about new soil and territory in Europe today we can think primarily only of Russia and its vassal border statesi Hitler wanted to exterminate and enslave the degenerate Slavs and he wanted to obliterate their Jewish Bolshevist government before it could turn on him His 1939 pact with Stalin was only meant to give Germany time to prepare for war As soon as Hitler controlled France he looked east Insisting that Britain was as good as defeated he wanted to finish off the Soviet Union as soon as possible before it could significantly fortify and arm itself We only have to kick in the front door and the whole rotten edifice will come tumbling downii he told his officers His generals warned him of the danger of fighting a war
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