The German Invasion of the USSR too soon?

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by James2019, May 19, 2020.

  1. James2019

    James2019 Member

    Hi all,

    I woul like to get your take on The German Invasion of the USSR. I personally think that the invasion was to soon for the Germans. If i were in charge of the german army, i wouldn't have attacked the USSR in 1941. In fact, i would never set a fixed date. This is beause, i would've planned it in more detail. By this i mean i would've need to concentrate on 2 major things:

    1) Men and equipment

    2) Supplies

    In terms of Men and equipment, this is where i feel that the Germans lacked both, espicailly in manpower. I do know that before the invasion, the Germans had done a few recon mission's. Also when they advanced deeper into Russia, their weapons were totaly useless. This is because in 1941, one of the worst winters on record basically halted the german advance. The poor weather conditions stopped the germans' weapons working properly. In terms of their guns, the cold weather froze the gun barrells and the only thing the guns could be used for is bayonet. Also, duen to the cold weather, their tanks were usless aswell, because they had no reserve fuel.

    In terms of manpower, with the research that the germans done by doing recon missions before the invasion, surely they would've realised that they had no real chance of defeating the USSR?

    Now, when it comes to supplies, the Germans made the exact same mistake that they had made in the North African Campaign. That mistake was is that they couldn't get the supplies to the front quickly enough. This is where i would have done more detailed plans i.e bringing in more supplies via the sea ports available to me at that timecand perhaps even the Luftwaffe could help.

    Of course , this is just my opinion on what i would've have done, but i would like to get your thought on this. Whether you agree or disagree with me and what you would've done. Would you invade the USSR in the first place? or would you wait until you had enough men, equipment and supplies etc?

  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    You are repeating the same basic mistake made in earlier threads on this subject. The original strategy was to finish off the USSR before the winter of 1941. Hitler believed that if the war continued into 1942 the USA could well enter it and the British blockade would also begin to bite (he was haunted by the effects on German morale and willingness to support the government of the blockade in 1918). If the USSR was subjugated in 1941 he believed that Britain would come to terms and the USA would have no incentive to enter the war. Hence the ability to withstand winter of 1941 is irrelevant to his approach
    stolpi likes this.
  3. James2019

    James2019 Member

    ok, cheers for the info. But i feel that the Germans could never have won against the USSR, mainly because the USSR has an endless sluppy of men and the germans did not. Also, the Germans didnt realise (like they made on North Africa) that the further they travelled, the harder it would get to suplly the invasion force
  4. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Wasn´t too soon...simply was too megalomaniac...plain and easy
    stolpi and Owen like this.
  5. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    You need to read ‘The Wages of Destruction’ by Adam Tooze.

    It very clearly lays out why the invasion of the Soviet Union was doomed before it started.

    The strand that runs through his book is that the German economy was never big enough to take on so many wealthy adversaries that had much larger economies. American industrial capacity and Soviet manpower - acting together, was simply too much for Germany.


  6. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Of course but Hitler thought that the Soviet state would collapse long before. He was wrong but that's the assumption that was made.
  7. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Was a common (and clandestine) joke in the 3rd Reich:

    Little Fritz and his mother looking at a large world map:
    Little Fritz asks: Mom, what is this huge red country to the east?
    This is the Soviet Union, my son.
    And what is that large blue country there overseas, Mom?
    This is the USA, my son
    And all these green countries worlwide?
    That´s the British Commonwealth, my son
    Ahhh...and where´s the greater German Empire, mom?
    Look there, in the middle of Europe – that little brown dot: This is the greater German Empire..
    Mother – do you think the Fuehrer knows that map?
    stolpi and Tullybrone like this.
  8. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    Love it.


  9. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    The German General Staff, in doing their logistic calculations for Op BARBAROSSA, very quickly realised that they simply did not have sufficient fuel stocks to defeat the Soviets.

  10. James2019

    James2019 Member

    wow thanks for the response guys, that is the sort of info was after,


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