1941: Outbreak of the War
The main foreign policy goal of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party was the destruction of the Soviet Union. Nazi planned to occupy soviet territory and to acquire its national wealth. They considered the conquest of the Soviet Union as a prerequisite for their world dominance.
The Second World War in Europe started with German invasion of Poland in September 1939. Soon after a quick defeat of Poland, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and France, Nazi switched their attention eastward. The German General Staff started to draft the plans of the war against the USSR in July 1940. It expected to win it within one short campaign. This victory would remove the last obstacle to the German dominance in the continental Europe. It was believed in Berlin that their triumph in “the war in the East” would immensely enrich Germany, and would make it really invincible and strong enough to bring the whole world under its hegemony.
The Führer signed the Directive No. 21, which consisted of the final plan of the war against the USSR and was codenamed Barbarossa on December 18, 1940. The idea of this plan was to crash the Red Army and to defeat the USSR within a few months in a quick, blitzkrieg style campaign.
The German troops crossed the Soviet border after intense preliminary bombardment at 4:00 am on June 22, 1941 along its entire length from the Barents Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south. They did it in violation of the bilateral non-aggression pact, signed in August, 1939. In this offensive Germans were accompanied by Hungarian, Romanian, Finnish, Italian, Slovakian, Croatian troops, the Spanish Blue Division, as well as different “volunteer” formations from other European countries.
Vyacheslav Molotov, the People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs, made a radio address to Soviet citizens later that day. He ended his speech with the legendary words, “Our cause is the right one! The enemy shall be defeated! The victory shall be ours!”
So it happened 1418 days later, due to unparalleled heroism of Soviet military men and steadfastness of the entire Soviet people.