Evaluate the View That Operation Barbarossa Was the Major Turning Point of the European War.

Topics: World War II, Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany Pages: 4 (1520 words) Published: July 8, 2013
Evaluate the view that Operation Barbarossa was the major turning point of the European War. As the European War progressed, early German advances and gains were decreasing by the mid-years of the war as it became evident the tide was turning against the Axis powers and in favour of the Allies. Operation Barbarossa and the entire Russian campaign can be seen as one significant turning point that helped to change the course of the war and yet it can be argued that this was not the sole and most major turning point. The Battle of Britain in the air war and the Battle of El Alamein in North Africa have also been labeled as turning points in the war due to their significance and the contribution they have equally played, along with Operation Barbarossa, in assisting the eventual Allied victory. By 1941, Hitler had taken over the majority of Europe as his aim to takeover all of Eastern Europe was almost complete. However the Soviet Union was yet to be attacked by Germany, and so it was no surprise when Germany broke the Nazi-Soviet Pact as Evan notes that neither Hitler nor Stalin had expected the pact to last for the full 10 years. The Soviet Union was of great significance to Hitler as if the nation could be defeated, it would ensure Germany lebensraum, provide a vast amount of resources and isolate Britain in the war. Therefore Operation Barbarossa was launched and the Soviet Union was invaded on June 22nd, 1941, and yet this was a month later than scheduled due to German actions in the Balkans. This proved to be of crucial importance as although the attack on Russia was immense and used thousands of Axis troops, Germany needed a quick victory. Germany had many early successes, such as the brilliant campaign to capture Kieve in September, and made much progress over an area twice the size of Germany within a month. However despite this, the drive of the German forces had slowed and instead both sides were stopped by a siege. Hitler attempted to break the Soviet...
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