Barbarossa: The First 7 Days

Overview

On 22 June 1941 the Germans launched their long expected invasion of the Soviet Union. It was code-named "Operation Barbarossa," after one of Hitler's heroes, the 12th-century Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa. The attack was a culmination of Hitler's long-held desire to extend the borders of the Reich eastwards. In the early summer of 1941, the Germans amassed an army of 3 million men, 3300 tanks, and 2000 aircraft. Facing them was the partially-mobilized Red Army, consisting of 3.5 million men and 20,000 ...
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Overview

On 22 June 1941 the Germans launched their long expected invasion of the Soviet Union. It was code-named "Operation Barbarossa," after one of Hitler's heroes, the 12th-century Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa. The attack was a culmination of Hitler's long-held desire to extend the borders of the Reich eastwards. In the early summer of 1941, the Germans amassed an army of 3 million men, 3300 tanks, and 2000 aircraft. Facing them was the partially-mobilized Red Army, consisting of 3.5 million men and 20,000 tanks. In this crucial first week the outcome of the entire campaign could be decided: if the Red Army could be quickly overrun by the use of Blitzkrieg ("lightning war") tactics, the road to Moscow would be clear. The struggle that followed was one of the most ferocious conflicts in the history of modern warfare.

The German forces advanced in three formations: Army Group North was detailed to capture the Baltic states and Leningrad; Army Group Center was to push for Moscow; while Army Group South was to subjugate the Ukraine. Within six days, the Wehrmacht had captured Riga, Minsk, and Lvov, and Army Group Center had advanced 200 miles deep into the Soviet interior.

With the aid of specially commissioned maps, Barbarossa: The First 7 Days describes the dramatic history of the first week of the invasion of the Soviet Union. The book begins with an extensive overview of the Wehrmacht's success up until 1941, followed by chapters outlining the German High Command's plan of attack and the defensive dispositions of the Soviet forces. The author goes on to describe the opening bombardment, followed by detailed accounts of the three Army Groups' fortunes in the first week of the campaign. The book finishes with an analysis of the remainder of the campaign and the ultimate failure of the Germans to destroy the Red Army and capture Moscow.

With first-hand accounts from both sides, vivid photographs, detailed fact boxes, and specially commissioned maps of the German advance and Soviet defensive actions, Barbarossa: The First 7 Days is a comprehensive examination of the first week of the four-year war on the Eastern Front.

Will Fowler has worked in journalism and publishing since 1972, specializing in military history. He was British Army editor of the British magazine Defence from 1983-90. He has written more than 15 books, including Eastern Front: The Unpublished Photographs, D-Day: The First 24 Hours, and Stalingrad: The Vital 7 Days. He served with the British 7th Armoured Brigade in the first Gulf War (1990-91). He now lives in Hampshire, England.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760780046
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 3/30/2006
  • Pages: 192

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