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Hitler's attack of the Soviet Union in June 1941

Adolf Hitler's decision to invade the USSR was his most fateful of the entire war. It was this decision that widened the conflict into a global war and ultimately led to the collapse of the Third Reich itself.

This decision continues to be the subject of much debate. What role did strategic factors play? What weight should be given to ideology?

The following numbered outline gives the student a good basis from which to conduct further research into the rationale behind the German invasion of the Soviet Union. I have attached a bibliography.

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Strategic rationale -

1) deprive Great Britain of its hope for a remaining ally and Brits will sue for peace.

2)Encourage Japanese to move south against British/US interests in SE Asia to further weaken Brits and preclude US intervention in Europe.

3) Direct control over Soviet economic resources (Germany was then dependent on Soviet imports) to provide economic autarky (industrial and agricultural) and a base for continental struggle vs the US and remnants of the British Empire.

4) ...

Solution Summary

Hitler's attack of the Soviet Union in June 1941 is described.