Talk:Operation Barbarossa/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Poorly written and missing important facts

poorly written article, no mention of Molotovs diplomatic trip to Germany in 1940, which is often cited as a cause for an immediate breakdown in Soviet-German relations, also the article concentrates on how Hitler wanted to avoid Napoleons mistakes, it's completely unreferenced and is written more like a story book than an encyclopedia article. Gatoclass recently reverted all of the changes I made, including referenced ones, this seems unusual, since a look at his contributions shows he has made no meaningful changes to the article other than rolling back others changes Bleh999 20:27, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Okay, maybe the Napoleonic bit should go. I've had my doubts about its notability myself.
As for your other changes, as I recall I reverted them because they were either original research or else largely redundant. Why does the reader need to know the ultimate fate of Hess, for example, in an article about Barbarossa?.
But my main concern regards article size. This article is already 2 1/2 times longer than the recommended size and contains quite a bit of redundancy (ie repeated statements). Three new and essentially redundant paragraphs on AG South, Centre and North are not what the article needs. I would ask you to give a bit more thought to whether your edits are adding essential information, because the article is already too long and we should really be looking at ways to reduce its size at this stage rather than adding yet more to it. Thanks, Gatoclass 07:07, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Nothing I added was original research, also Hess was only mentioned because the US and Churchill both formally warned the Soviet government about a pending German attack, those were referenced in fact to reliable sources (US government publication and a book by Winston Churchill himself) and its accepted that the Soviets (Stalin in particular) were distrustful of Hess being in Britain. I disagree that information on the main commanders of the 3 German army groups is not needed (the information should also be included about the commanders of the main soviet 'fronts') this is more encyclopedic material than the unsourced stories about Hitler and his generals fantasizing about Napoleons invasionBleh999 08:05, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
When I said original research, I was referrring to the following: That had been Hess's intent, but it was a Nazi delusion. It wasn't a Nazi delusion, it was a delusion peculiar to Hess himself. Hess' trip did not have the party's endorsement and Hitler repudiated him as a madman.
Hess was deputy of the Nazi party before his departure, not to mention that it is speculated that Hitler may have approved of his mission, but the proof is lacking to say conclusively whether Hitler approved or did not know about his 'mission', still this deserves mention in the article as a cause for distrust between the Soviet union and Britain Bleh999 11:27, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
As for information on the commanders, there are already separate articles on AG North, South and Centre respectively, such details are not necessary to the understanding of the campaign and thus better included there than here since as I've already mentioned this article is too long. Gatoclass 10:22, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
  • and what historical consensus is there for splitting up 'eastern front WWII' and 'operation Barbarossa' neither the Germans nor Soviets made such a distinction, 'Barbarossa' was just a codename for the planned attack, Hitler did not say 'Barbarossa is over in December 1941'. I can understand making such a split for keeping each article from growing too long, but then this article should be renamed to reflect that he split in the articles is a wikipedia created one. Also note the German wikipedia does not have separate articles for eastern front WWII and operation Barbarossa. Bleh999 22:43, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
There are plenty of scholarly works dealing exclusively (or primarily) with Barbarossa, as the reference section demonstrates. If they can treat it as a separate topic, so can we. Gatoclass 07:07, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what scholarly works you refer to, but its never been proven that such a distinction is valid, right now this article is more about the causes of Barbarossa, but fails to adequately explain this and the article name is deceptive since the start of Barbarossa to the end in 1945 is all 'eastern front WWII'. This article should note to readers that the article is dealing only with the opening stages of the war between Germany and the Soviet Union and this distinction is for the sake of keeping each article from growing too large but has no actual factual basis, operation barbarossa was not declared over after the battle of Moscow. If you really wanted to be accurate, the article on operation Barbarossa would be the plans as outlined by Hitler for an attack on the Soviet Union . Bleh999 08:05, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Barbarossa was a distinct military operation designed to defeat the Soviet Union in 1941. It failed. The operation and the reasons for its failure are the subject of this article. They are also the subject of numerous scholarly works dealing exclusively with this operation. I'm afraid it's your claim that Barbarossa cannot be distinguished from the rest of the campaign which is contentious, not the subject of this article. Gatoclass 10:22, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Can you quote Hitler or Stalin saying Barbarossa is only the 1941 campaign? Otherwise I consider that claim by you to be Original research The plan may have been to take all of the soviet union in 1941, but thats not what happened and that doesn't mean that Barbarossa should be about 1941 only. The distinction between 1941 and 1942-45 was created here on wikipedia. Bleh999 11:21, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
The opinions of both gentlemen hardly matter. What matters is that it is extremely common to limit the name "Operation Barbarossa" to the 1941 campaign, for the simple reason the 1942 campaign was based on a profoundly changed strategy, Fall Blau.--MWAK 16:13, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Let me answer some points:
  1. Yes, much needs to be done.
  2. The article is not completely unreferenced but indeed needs a lot more footnotes. Please add.
  3. Though style can be much improved, the "story book" tag is inappropriate; this has been made for much, much, much worse cases. You wouldn't believe how bad some are. :o)
  4. The reference to Napoleon is indeed deceptive.
  5. Please mention Molotov's trip as you see fit.
  6. If you intend to continue to be active on Wikipedia, you will have to get used to others reverting your edits. Whether Gatoclass has made himself any substantial contributions is irrelevant — though in fact he did :o).
  7. One shouldn't confuse the question of "naming" with that of "splitting". It's practical to have a separate lemma for the German 1941 offensive — in time the German wiki also will adapt itself to this truth :o). Then we have to decide what name to give it. There is no doubt that this German campaign of 1941 is conventionally referred to as "Operation Barbarossa", so it is an entirely appropriate lemma name.--MWAK 07:01, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the storybook tag is inappropriate. Most of the article is reasonably well written, if a bit repetitive.
I considered removing the Napoleonic bit originally but then thought perhaps it helps put Barbarossa in a wider historical perspective. But if there's a consensus for it to go, so be it.
I don't think Molotov's trip is important enough to mention. Hitler long intended to invade Russia for lebensraum, some minor diplomatic event was hardly going to change his plans.
As I've said my concern is about article size. There are hundreds of things that could go into an article on Barbarossa but we need to focus on the main issues and avoid the peripheral stuff as much as possible, or we are going to end up with something huge and essentially unreadable. In fact as I've said I think we should probably be looking at this stage to cut down the article size as best we can rather than add more to it. I was actually going to put a size sticker on the article the other day, maybe I should do that now to try and avoid getting into further disputes of this type. Gatoclass 07:24, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Here is why I added the story tag the article begins with long winded references to Hitler and his generals discussing Napoleons invasion and then ends with When the severe winter began, Hitler became fearful of a repeat of Napoleon's disastrous retreat from Moscow if that isn't a story style of writing, I am not sure how you could define it. There are more examples but I think that one proves my point adequately.
Also I disagree with Gatoclass that Molotovs 1940 trip is not important to the article, it deserves mention even if you strongly believe that Hitler had planned to invade the Soviet Union for 'lebensraum' also the article mentions that the Germans claimed that the war was preemptive and the claims by Viktor Suvorov, so why not include the details of an actual diplomatic trip? Hitler discusses the meeting at length in the secretly recorded audio tape of the meeting between himself and Mannerheim head of state of Finland and Goering mentioned it a post war interrogation as the 'final straw' for causing Hitler to make up his mind to go ahead with the attack. Mostly these disputes were over Soviet demands for territorial concessions including parts of Romania (threatening the oil fields needed by Hitler) and Soviet desires to annex Finland.Bleh999 08:24, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I've yet to read a history of the conflict that names the Molotov trip as an important factor in Hitler's decision to invade the USSR. Perhaps there is one out there somewhere but I think it would be an exception, in which case, given the length of this article, I don't think it warrants inclusion. Gatoclass 10:22, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the size, I think it is good to understand that 32kb is not the recommended size for an article; it is only recommended to give some consideration when reaching it to the question of whether the article isn't too long. Given the importance and complexity of the subject and the need for a coherent treatment the answer in this case is probably "no". It could be written a lot more succinct though :o)--MWAK 16:13, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm certainly not suggesting it should be rolled back to 32K! And I quite agree with you that it's a fairly complex subject. But it's well and truly past the recommended size and could definitely use some pruning. In fact I think there's enough redundancy in there that you could probably cut the size by a third to a half and not lose any information.

But until someone buckles down and does that, the last thing the article needs in my view is yet more stuff added to it, especially if it's only relatively minor stuff that adds little to the overall picture. Gatoclass 17:32, 5 June 2007 (UTC)


I read about the barbarossa operation and also read wikis own history (and other sources on internet) about Alfred Rosenberg. The article of barbarossa claims that Alfred Rosenberg saw the slavian people as a subhuman race and that's not correct fact. In fact Alfred Rosenberg studied in Moscow, married a girl from Estland/Russia and was on the fighting with the russian white armys counter-revolution party. I think the barbarossa article is very bad written about Alfred Rosenbergs hatered for the slaves when the fact he was agains the red army communists. The race theory facts from Alfred Rosenberg have nothing to do with the military act he did agains sovjet soldiers (read article about Alfred Rosenberg, he even saw russians as part of arian people).

Cold

Why did someone even mention cold? No serious source or historian would dare to say that winter inflicted any casualties on any side of conflict. It is utterly laughable to seriously consider winter as something decisive. If someone wishes to introduce winter as one of the major reasons for failure of Barbarossa, please provide sources, but so far, all there is to this article is stating how bad everything was in winter, and just to note, winter of 1941 was NOT even cold by meteorological standards. Please either provide serious, credible sources or do not even mention winter as something decisive. Thank you. Pavel Golikov. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.98.216.68 (talk) 05:45, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Modifications

This article lives for some long time, and its content is settled. Some prinicipial issues , such as victory/defeat and others were result of long discussions, and these parts are not to be modified without reaching consensus in the talk page. `'Miikka 17:02, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

The Tactical/Strategic victory/defeats:

Usually I would agree. But there are two outcomes to consider. 1 - The outcome of the campaign, June-Dec 1941, 2 - To consider how this effected the war on the Eastern front as a whole. To call it one or the other only ignores the Axis victories and Soviet defeats or ignores the strategic Soviet Defensive victories and Axis failures. It was a conbination of the two.

I agree on reaching a consensus, but there isn't one. Everyone supports different outcomes (counting every earlier post), so who gets to decide? You? The only way to resolve the issue is by using authoritative sources. I had several I was going to list, but you deleted it and put your own theory in, which seems a popular trend in this article - citations are a rare commodity for such a large subject matter. As there is no point in editing any further, as it will just be deleted, I wash my hands of this article. Dapi89 22:50, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Mikka, don't try to pretend there was ever any kind of consensus on this talk page for excluding "Axis tactical victory" from the results section. In fact if anything, it's the opposite, with numerous editors supporting a qualification to the "Axis strategic defeat" description.
Indeed, you seem to be about the only person on this page who has doggedly argued for the exclusion of the "tactical victory" line. And given that Dapi has now come up with an eminent source which employs the term, your position appears to be untenable. Gatoclass 02:06, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Don't play with words here. This is not a piece of trivia and the outcome must be covered in the body of the article, not just a passing reference. Regardless, two points against the change.

  • The article speaks only about German defeat. The goal was not reached. Period. Exactly because the operation failed the whole long war lasted.
  • The operation was of strategic scale, and to speak about its tactical victory is ridiculous. One most certainly may speak that it was a long chain of tactical victories during this operation, but no way it was a tactical victory. `'Miikka 21:06, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Does this mean we can then use this same reasoning in other places also? For example for the Winter War? I'd be glad to refer you when I change the result there.:-) --Whiskey 22:52, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why funny face. I remember a discussion there, and as a result we have "Result: Interim Peace", instead of endless POV debates why Soviets won and why Soviets lost. And this corresponds to the text of the article, which says "The results of the war were mixed". Whereas the article Operation Barbarossa in many places speaks prominently "failure...failure...failure..." What exactly do you have in mind and why do you want to refer to me?
Now, back to the current article. I am not saying that the current "outcome" entry is entirely correct. But the proper entry must be a result of reasonable discussion, rather than someone's opinion. `'Miikka 00:35, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't matter what the article says. Wikipedia is not a reliable source ya know. Just because this article (according to you) says "failure failure failure" doesn't mean it is so.
I actually argued for the term "Axis strategic failure" but some people objected. But many people here have pointed out that describing Barbarossa only as an "Axis strategic defeat" is highly misleading. In many respects, it was an outstanding victory - perhaps one of the most brilliant victories in history. The Nazis advanced 900 miles in three weeks and destroyed virtually the entire pre-war Soviet army, capturing huge amounts of equipment and killing or capturing literally millions of enemy soldiers in the process. It was only a "defeat" in the sense that the Nazis totally underestimated the depth of Soviet reserves due to bad intelligence. So they did not achieve their primary goal of wiping out Soviet resistance in a lightning campaign.
But they still held the strategic initiative, and had every reason to believe their victory had not been denied but only delayed until the following year. Unfortunately, Hitler with incredible hubris decided the Soviets were already defeated and failed to resume the goal of destroying the Soviet army in 1942. But it was to be three years before the Germans finally had the initiative wrested from them in the battle of Kursk.
That is why describing Barbarossa only as a "strategic defeat" is a gross misrepresentation. Gotta run. Gatoclass 10:57, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with that. I ojbect to Mikkalia's comment regarding "opinions". This is extremely ironic. I have sourced my information, and the only opinions entered have been yours mikkalia. I would remind your deletionist attitude is vandalism, removing reliable sources is against wikipedia's policy, cease and desist! I am not sure you have heard of A.J.P Taylor but his so called "opinions" are very factual, he is one of the world's most recognised Historians. To disregard his work is outrageous - you are not the worlds authority on operation Barbarossa, and you do not own this article. As I said before lacking a clear consensus leaves us no option other than to consult the most reliable sources available. The introduction will be modified and the ref's re-added. If you remove them again, I'll have no option but to report this, and then the proper authorities can deal with you.Dapi89 16:18, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

May I suggest we reduce the temperature of the argument here a bit? It's getting close to personal attacks. Let us step back.
I think the whole campaign box notion of a choice between "victory" and "defeat" makes little sense when used with operations of this scale. I actually wouldn't mind if it said "See text" or something like that. The fact that knowledgable people argue at length about the outcome of the campaign suggest to me that it is more complex than a simple binary choice.
Having said that, it is also true that Barbarossa was a huge, strategic-level operation and it unquestionably failed. We might cite a few sources on this but there's no question they exist. "German failure" or "Axis failure" is a fair but incomplete statement of the outcome. *If* we are limited to a simple outcome statement that would be a good one. But the scale of Soviet losses, both in terms of troops and equipment lost as well as the huge loss of civilian population and productive resources, makes the term "Soviet victory" inappropriate.
The issue of tactical success is meaningless in this context IMO. At the tactical level the campaign was mostly (not completely) a series of Soviet defeats, but we are writing an article about a campaign, not about companies and battalions. History is full of examples of major campaigns or very large battles in which tactical success did not bring strategic victory.
The issue of operational-level success is perhaps meaningful (the level of Corps and armies) - this is the level at which we should tell the story of repeated German success and huge Soviet losses, and yet the Red Army continued fighting and discipline did not collapse. So some brief statement such as "German strategic failure; operational success" would not be wrong, but must be explained in the article (as it is now, I think).
Finally I'd like to suggest we avoid OR and cite some current, respected sources on this whole argument. While I admire AJP Taylor's work, there is no question that he was highly controversial. There are duller ;) and much more current, well-researched sources for this. DMorpheus 17:08, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for making insightful remarks. My very objection was the simplistic entry in the infobox.
I am also strongly objecting to put any external references into the infobox, which are undue weight for a single author, however respectable he may be. All references and the corresponding discussion must be in the article text, where various opinions may be compared. Something in this direction (i.e., justification of infobox) was done recently by an anon editor. `'Miikka 18:24, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
That editor was me mikkalai. I just had not signed in. I would also add that it was not AJP Taylor's work directly. He edited the work. The author of the section was actually a russian, colonel Daniil Mikhailovich Proektor. So the work is not controversial, nor as DMorpheus implies, not well researched. Dapi89 21:47, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Editor: Believe me or not, I thought so. You have to agree that this way makes much more sense: you can write a lengthy text, with explanations. The issue is not who wrote it. Once again: this issue cannot be referred to a single author. If there is a consensus, then this may be stated in the text. If it is controversial, various opinions may be listed. This is impossible to squeeze into an infobox. `'Miikka 21:56, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I had said earlier that I did not have just one source for this. I hesitated to put all these sources on, as they would probably be deleted.Dapi89 22:02, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I am repeating this again and again, in the main body of the article, you may have as many references as you wish (within reason, of course). `'Miikka 02:04, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
There is absolutely no reason why sources cannot be referenced in infoboxes. You have no grounds whatever Mikka for making such an assertion. Gatoclass 02:39, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Grounds, repeating: (1) unnecessary clutter (2) undue weight to a single person (3) such things must be thoroughly discussed in main text, with all numerous references (4) bad precedent of littering simple infoboxes be refs. `'Miikka 02:57, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I personally still think "strategic failure" is more appropriate than "strategic defeat". As I said above, from the German POV Barbarossa '41 wasn't a victory denied but only delayed. They still had every reason to believe they were going to finish the job in '42, and judging by the ease with which they brushed aside Soviet resistance in the early weeks of '42, that confidence seems well founded. Unfortunately 1942 was also the year Hitler took full control of operations, and his numerous tactical and strategic blunders quickly frittered away the Nazis' advantages and allowed the Soviets to recover and get their awesome productive capacity into top gear. The real strategic defeats for the Nazis were Stalingrad in '42 and Kursk in '43, not Moscow in '41, which was essentially no more than a limited Soviet operational victory coming at the end of a string of Axis operational triumphs. Gatoclass 02:32, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I support the version ""strategic failure". Soviets did not "defeat" Nazis at this moment. But Nazis failed to reach their set goal. `'Miikka 02:52, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Germany had already lost the war in December 1941. Indeed it lost the war simply by invading the Soviet Union. In the spring of 1942 the prospects for the German army were very bleak. A year earlier they had had a large number of fresh divisions, in full strength and fully supplied. Now most units were understrength, there were severe matériel shortages and the supply situation was poor even before the offensive started. Ever since July 1941 they had been unable to execute operations over the full width of the Russian theatre. The summer campaign of 1942 was basically a defensive one in the geostrategic sense, a desperate gamble to snatch away the oil of the Caucasus when this was still possible and then defend it while hopefully building-up the military production capacity quicly enough to ensure the survival of the German empire. Yes, Moscow was only a limited oprational victory — but also a crushing strategic blow to the Germans.--MWAK 06:40, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that interpretation conforms with the facts. Hitler believed the Red Army was "finished" which is why he did not seek to continue the destruction of the Russian armed forces. The ease with which the Nazis brushed aside the Soviet defences in summer '42 indicates that they still held the strategic initiative, and were still very much in control of the summer campaigning season. You don't engage in "desperate gambles" when you are clearly in command of the battlefied, and proceeding on the grounds that the enemy is finished. Rather, you are inclined to grow complacent and do silly things, which is how I see the '42 campaign.
And in any case, subsequent German plans do not support the theory you propose. In 1943, the Germans switched their goal back to the capture of Moscow and thereby the delivery of a hoped-for mortal blow to the Russians. If this was seen as the shortest route to victory in '43, why not in '42? Because of Hitler's determination in '42 that that the Russians were already finished. After Stalingrad, that illusion could clearly no longer be maintained, so the plan switched back to the more important goal of eliminating the enemy forces - which is what it should have been all along. Gatoclass 08:42, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
The reason Moscow wasn't attacked was simply that the German army was in no condition to do so. Only with the greatest difficulty could the mere 65 divisions participating in Fall Blau be brought up to strength and this was only made possible by allowing the units of Army Group Centre and North to remain below 50% of their organic complement; the armoured divisions in their sectors were limited to a single tank battalion. Ammunition stocks were dangerously low. On the other hand the Soviet forces in the north were about three times as strong as those in the south — the more likely explanation of German success there. Of course German operational superiority might perhaps have prevailed and led to a final victory — stranger things have happened in war — but to the Germans themselves that seemed an even larger gamble than attacking towards the Caucasus. Zitadelle in 1943 was again a basically defensive operation, to gain more space and time for the industrial build-up and rather limited in scope. A local victory was sought, hopefully leading to the cancellation of a Soviet summer offensive and allowing enough troops to be freed to defend Italy. Nobody seriously entertained the thought that Moscow might have been captured as a result of it.--MWAK 10:43, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand the Soviet forces in the north were about three times as strong as those in the south — the more likely explanation of German success there.
The Russians also tried to mount a summer offensive in '42, the Nazis rolled with the punch, then cut off the armoured spearhead and annihilated it. Then they started their own offensive. But the fact that the Russians also chose to go on the offensive in the South indicates that they must have built up substantial forces there. Although I sold most of my books on the Russian front years ago, I distinctly remember reading that after the crushing of Timoshenko's armoured spearhead, the road to Moscow from the south was wide open. But the Nazis chose to drive south instead.
Of course German operational superiority might perhaps have prevailed and led to a final victory — stranger things have happened in war — but to the Germans themselves that seemed an even larger gamble than attacking towards the Caucasus.
This simply doesn't gel with Hitler's known belief that the Soviets were "finished" and no longer representing a credible threat. As I understand it, the drive south was more a plan to link up with Rommel, drive the British out of the Middle East and deprive the Western Allies of the ME's vast oil reserves and the Suez canal. But the campaign has never made any sense to me. IIRC, Churchill and Roosevelt had a plan to assassinate Hitler, but after the fiasco of Fall Blau in the summer of '42, they dropped it on the grounds that Hitler was such an idiot, he was more value to them dead than alive!
I admit I'm not up with the most modern scholarship but I'm deeply sceptical of these revisionist claims that the Nazis were simply incapable of defeating the Soviets. I think this idea is just an historical fad. It's not at all uncommon in history to see this sort of thing occur as historians seek to challenge the assumptions of the previous generation of scholars. But in time, a more balanced picture will often emerge which incorporates ideas from both camps. I think that is going to happen with this current "Hitler could never have won" notion. But it probably isn't going to occur anytime soon. Gatoclass 14:45, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

BTW, a few words from Dunnigan's Russian Front (the only book on the conflict I have retained because it contained so much useful info): "The Germans had taken some serious blows in the winter but the overall picture at this time was not a bad one. They were poised for their summer offensive and this was the year Hitler expected to cash in on the casualties inflicted on the Red Army the previous year. How they had stayed alive after losing so many men was beyond anyone's calculation but few had any doubts that the Soviets could not survive similar losses and that 1942 would see an end to it."

And again in the following section: "The Soviet [summer offensive of '42] drew the tanks further and further away from the critical shoulders of the bulge so that there was little to resist them when the Germans struck. As it was, the operation was modified so that 6th Army held off Timoshenko while 1st Pz Army made the attack. On 17 May the attack into the Soviet flank began. By 22 May they had cut through the Soviet penetration. Now Timoshenko tried to deal with the problem, pulling back his advanced forces and trying to attack through the German force. Timoshenko's forces attacked for three days before they had spent themselves. When it was over, the Germans held on and they bagged another 240,000 of the enemy, plus 1250 tanks and over 2000 guns. That coupled with Manstein's success gave the Germans over 400,000 more prisoners in the space of three weeks. It is not suprising that the Germans viewed the forthcoming campaign with enthusiasm and optimism."

Dunnigan paints a picture far different to the "desperate gamble" you are trying to tout - of a German war machine confident the Russians are on their last legs and about to be delivered the knockout blow, of commanders looking forward to the summer "with enthusiasm and optimism". I suspect that much of the revisionism around today comes from David Glantz and his heavily pro-Soviet bias (which perhaps explains why he was given access to the Soviet archives). But there have been plenty of Glantzes in the historiography of the Russian front, and my guess is that his take won't survive the test of time much better than that of his like minded predecessors. Gatoclass 15:17, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Gato, you've made some good contributions, but dismissing Glantz is really jumping the shark. Glantz has quite literally made a career, first in the US Army and for a long time now as an author as a leading (maybe *the* leading western) historian on the Soviet/German portion of WW2. I also suggest you not mistake Hitler's or OKH's state of mind/assessments for the cold strategic reality; remember this is the same guy who ordered nonexistent forces around the map during the Berlin battle. You are quite correct that German victory was possible (if very improbable) - nothing is predetermined in history. Probably the Germans, and certainly the British and US Armies, fully expected the Red Army to collapse within weeks of the initial invasion. Most of their other opponents did, and the Soviets were thought to be politically far weaker than they were. That they held on and continued fighting, and that the Soviet regime maintained control over the civilian population, meant that by 12/41 things were bleak indeed for the Germans in the long run. DMorpheus 15:54, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
It's true German commanders were confident in June 1942 that their operation in the south would be initially successful, after they had attained strategic freedom in that sector. I feel confident that confidence would have evaporated at once if they had then be told the next stop was to be Gorki :o). My views on this subject are not particularly revisionist. They conform to the western historical consensus of the fifties and sixties. However that consensus was not always correctly reflected in the popular books. Dunnigan is actually pretty good but I get the impression you interprete his book within the standard popular framework. Today we have the added benefit of being able to "predict" the probable outcome by means of a computer model generating a very large set of possible timelines. Perhaps you should try to get a feel of the basic situation in 1941 and 1942 by using commercially available software, such as The Operational Art of War. Great fun and very elucidating.--MWAK 06:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm not "dismissing" Glantz, but the fact is that every historian has a POV and most people, even well educated ones, often allow their conclusions to be shaped by their existing prejudices. I'm quite sure Glantz has made a very fine contribution to the field and to the understanding of the campaign, but it doesn't mean his conclusions are right. Yes, the Russians had the numbers on their side, but numbers aren't everything. They were never able to match the Germans in mobile warfare. Unfortunately for the Germans however, Hitler was psychologically incapable of yielding ground, he forced the Wermacht to stand toe to toe with the Russian bear and slug it out, which played precisely to the Russians' strength and the Germans' weakness. Of course we will never know what might have happened if Hitler hadn't been such an egomaniac and had had the good sense to let his generals do the job they'd spent a lifetime training to do, but in my opinion the record shows that whenever Hitler stepped away from the front for a few days, or when the generals outright disobeyed him, the Germans started winning, and as soon as he reasserted control, whatever German operation was under way would soon get bogged down again. You see that pattern time and again.

There is also the large number of huge strategic blunders Hitler made - the hubristic running down of the German war machine prior to the campaign, the failure to provide winter clothing in '41 - which alone might have ensured victory in '41 or '42 - the Kiev diversion, the Leningrad halt, the refusal to make Moscow the priority, the Fall Blau strategy, the diversion of Panzers south in the opening days of Fall Blau which deprived the Nazis of their planned encirclement battles, the obsession with conquest of Stalingrad, the refusal to retreat from Stalingrad and later from Crimea (and who knows how many other places), the prohibition on building of a defensive line along the Dniepre, the foolish "hedgehog" strategy of 1944 - or for that matter the refusal to withdraw AG Mitte and Nord after the '43 campaign - the refusal to evacuate the Courland pocket, and on and on it goes.

I mean, given the colossal scale of Hitler's blunders - many of them repeated over and over again - what becomes truly remarkable is how long the Germans managed to hang in there in spite of his appalling leadership. It doesn't seem at all far fetched to me to imagine that, with someone else in command of the Wermacht - a Manstein for example - the outcome of the campaign might have been very different indeed. And I'm afraid that Glantz's research into Soviet inventory, no matter how exhaustive, is never going to be able to come to grips with such imponderables. Gatoclass 16:43, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

What you're espousing is basically the 'blame hitler' school of thought, which is a variant of what in the business world is called "blame your predecessor" or "blame the dead guy". In the 1950s and 60s, and even into the 1970s, when much of the scholarship was cold-war-driven and very heavily based on German accounts, it was convenient and dominated the historiography. With the post-cold war opening of former soviet archives the story has changed a lot, becoming far less dependent on german sources. This is a good thing - imagine a history of US baseball that relied only on the records of one team.
You are absolutely correct that all authors have their biases, which is precisely why I caution you against relying on Dunnigan too heavily - it comes straight from that pre-collapse of the USSR period - the 'lost victories' period if you will, when hitler lost the war all by himself, when the german wehrmacht was superior to all its foes right up till the moment they lost the war, and when the Red Army was an anonymous horde of illiterate, submachinegun-wielding, raw oat-eating barbarians who existed only to respond to German initiatives. I am exaggerating but not by much. The truth is far more complex and I would urge you to read some more current accounts and at least factor them in. At least Glantz asks how many platoons in a horde ;) There were a few Red Army units which were led very skillfully even in 1941, believe it or not. Look up Katukov for example. And it wasn't hitler's personal responsibility to bring the cold weather gear to the USSR. Finally, if you think the Red Army couldn't do high-speed, sophisticated operational-level mechanized operations, you haven't read much about what their Tank Armies and Mechanized Corps did in 1943-45. DMorpheus 19:13, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I know the "blame Hitler" school is unfashionable these days, but I happen to think there's a compelling case for laying much of the blame at his doorstep, especially given the fact that he himself took such close personal command of operations and habitually, even perversely, acted against the advice of his own generals. And I find it really strange how so many people these days are apparently prepared to completely ignore this important factor (not that I'm suggesting you are one). That doesn't mean I think the Nazis would necessarily have won had it not been for Hitler, but I do think his leadership made it very likely the Germans would ultimately be defeated.
But I readily admit that I'm not up to scratch with current scholarship, and I really must get hold of a couple of Glantz's works sometime (any you would recommend?). I have my doubts though, that anything Glantz has to say is going to fundamentally change my views :)
Anyhow, this discussion has all been a little OT. My initial aim was simply to refute MWAK's argument that "Germany had already lost the war in December 1941", but it's not my opinion that matters here. What matters is that there are numerous researchers who refute the notion proposed by MWAK. On that basis therefore, it is wrong to argue that "strategic defeat" is the only valid description for this campaign. In fact I think it's pretty clear, from a post someone made earlier, that scholars differ widely in their views of Barbarossa, and those differences alone ought to be enough to justify taking a moderate position in regards to our description of the campaign. So I still think "strategic failure" would be a more appropriate description here than "strategic defeat", regardless of our individual views. Gatoclass 13:15, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
So you're saying you are closed-minded - without reading anything new you have almost ruled out revising your views, regardless of any new evidence. That is unworthy of you, my friend. You are smarter than that. DMorpheus 16:33, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

No, I'm not saying that at all. I'm simply saying that given what I already know about the campaign, it would take a lot of evidence to persuade me that I (along with a great many historians and military strategists) have been completely misinformed as to the reasons for the Nazi defeat on the Eastern front. I regard that as exercising a healthy scepticism, not having a "closed mind". Gatoclass 05:30, 1 July 2007 (UTC)


But maybe best solution would be simply not having anything as "result" in infobox? Axis failed to capture Moscow and finish off USSR. But at same time Soviet Union lost huge territories at west. Both of those can easily qualify as serious defeats.--Staberinde 13:12, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Further to the request for comment on the Military history project talk page: it would seem to me that the issue has to rest on a "big-picture" assessment of the intention and outcome of the operation. I couldn't see this in the sources - apologies if I missed it - but there is an English translation of Hitler's operational directive for Barbarossa here. This is the only criteria we can really judge by: did Germany manage "to crush Soviet Russia in a rapid campaign"? We all know the answer to that - the fact that the Germans chewed up a few Soviet armies is important, but not relevant. By it's own criteria, Barbarossa was a failure, and a Soviet strategic victory/Axis strategic defeat (or failure). EyeSereneTALK 13:58, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Problem with such approach is that it is only from German viewpoint and ignores Soviet goals. Im not expert in issue but I somehow doubt that Soviet pre-war plans included retreating all the way to Moscow, failure was both sided.--Staberinde 18:54, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Good point - however, the article title is Operation Barbarossa, and this was a German operation. The result then surely has to be quoted from this perspective: did it succeed in its stated aims or not?. Soviet pre-war plans did not include getting invaded at all - but any Soviet goals that then arose were a reaction to Barbarossa. Granted, the Germans succeeded in meeting two of Hitler's five "General Intentions": the destruction of the Western Russian armies and the effective defeat of the Russian air force - but is this, in the overall picture, enough to label the entire campaign even a partial Russian defeat? At no point was Soviet Russia itself defeated. Qualifying the "Axis strategic failure" result seems to me to be unnecessarily complicating the issue - a bit like describing Overlord as an "Axis tactical victory" because the Germans inflicted casualties on the Allied troops and prevented them reaching many of their initial objectives. EyeSereneTALK 08:45, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Dates

The article defines Barbarossa as starting on June 22nd 1941 and ending on January 7th 1942. No argument with the start date, but I think that these dates really ought to be explicitly sourced - did Hitler actually call off Barbarossa, or is this a "common-sense" end date based on the German high-water mark in Russia? EyeSereneTALK 13:58, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

The distinction you refer to was created here on wikipedia Bleh999 19:09, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

killing and capturing millions of soldiers and seizing half of the country is "tactical victory" now?

Interesting. We must be talking about some seriously tactical scale. --HanzoHattori 07:54, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps you should take a good look at a map of the Soviet Union. It's indeed a matter of scale ;o).--MWAK 09:54, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Heh? The size of the areas operations are not important to the tactical/strategic issue. The outcome revolves around what was achieved.Dapi89 15:42, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

The size of the state does not relate to achievement of wartime strategy by its enemies. The outcome of strategies is a "strategic" outcome, and so can not be said to be "tactical". Indeed, despite a myriad of tactical victories, and operational also, the Operations as a whole failed to achieve objectives and can be said to be a strategic failure for the Wehrmacht. The outcome of the operation is always given in terms relevant to the plans of the conflict initiator.--Mrg3105 (talk) 04:16, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

It was obviously an operational victory (yes, there's more than tactical/strategic). The overall goal of the operation was not achieved (not decisive victory), but the losses of personnel, material and territory were so disproportionate that under most circumstances it would even be called "decisive". tactical - concerning a battle operational - a series of battles for a common mission strategic - deciding a war

"The outcome of the operation is always given in terms relevant to the plans of the conflict initiator." WRONG. Plain wrong. Most commonly considered are the loss ratios and who withdrew from the battlefield/who lost terrain. That's especially like that because the initial plans usually lose their significance very quickly. Lastdingo (talk) 01:34, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

oggoshilompan92.2.115.206 (talk) 12:05, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Commanders in infobox

I've trimmed down the no. of Axis commanders in the infobox, which was overflowing.

  • This is an article about Operation Barbarossa, not the Eastern Front as a whole. In 1941 people like Kluge, Manstein, Guderian, et al were army commanders, not army group. Listing every army commander would be silly for an operation on this scale, especially if you extend it to the Soviet side.
  • Similarly I'm unaware that the various non-German commanders (with the exception of Mannerheim in Finland) had any significant operational independence, so I've taken them out.

-- Hongooi 11:00, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Conversely, I reckon the Soviet list is on the short side, especially given how Stalin kept firing failed commanders. Added Kuznetsov (Northwest Front), Voroshilov (replaced Kuznetsov), Pavlov (West Front), Budyonny (Southwest Front), Tyulenev (South Front). Malinovsky was a corps commander, and Antonov was a front chief of staff in 1941, so I've dropped them. -- Hongooi 11:33, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that given it is a strategic operation, strategically important commanders should be given.--Mrg3105 (talk) 04:17, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I have replaced the German commanders, including Luftwaffe (how can they not be considered significant?!) and added the more significant allied Axis commanders also (the Hungarian wasn't there at all!). The rationale is that they were important and commanded strategically significant forces. A German Armee was significantly larger then the Soviet Armiya, so yes, there probably isn't a need to list all the Soveit Army commanders although they were strategically significant if you consider the three Armies on the Northern Front (23rd, 7th and 14th), or some of the other Armies. These commanders were significant to the operation while a large part of the article content is barely relevant.--Mrg3105 (talk) 05:06, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

And here is the inconsistency of it. While two Soviet Front commanders were omitted, Konev who commanded 19 Army until October is included no doubt for his later fame, Voroshilov for all his prominence (commander North Western Direction) is not mentioned anywhere in the article, Timoshenko is not mentioned until Moscow although he did much to recover in the Western Front after removal of Pavlov, Vasilevsky should be just under Zhukov on the General Staff, Budyonny is towards the bottom of the list although he was commander of the Southwestern Direction, Zhukov was Chief of the General Staff, but he is at the bottom also. --Mrg3105 (talk) 06:15, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I suppose that all officers who replaced those who commanded at the start of the operation in the roles before it ended should be added? Maybe its will be sufficient to name them at the point of the operation when a given officer took over the role?--Mrg3105 (talk) 06:29, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Middle phase

I have changed the wording in this section as it goes completely against a multitude of texts on the subject. Hitler did not vascilate between taking Moscow and taking Leningrad, and finally decided that Moscow should be taken, and Leningrad straved into submission. That is a misinterpretation of the facts.

Hitler wanted both objectives taken, Leningrad first then Moscow. On the subject of Leningrad he is quoted as saying 'complete destruction of the city, with no prisoners taken', and 'the Fuhrer did not see the reason for the existance of a large Slavic city in that location'. Von Lieb, in charge of Army Group North was loaned a Tank Army entrusted with accomplishing the Leningrad task within the first ten days of September. However this was turning out to be harder than anticipated due to fanatical defence, and the fact that tank armies lose their mobility in street fighting. After a week of slow advance, Von Lieb pleaded with Hitler for one final week as he believed the fall of the city imminent. As the Germans closed in on Leningrad they came within range of the Baltic Fleet Canon, which somewhat evened out the scores in heavy artilery. As a result by the 17'th of September Leningrad had still not fallen and Hitler lost patience with Von Lieb and instructed the tank army to turn south east for Moscow which he wanted captured before winter set in.

(He was called "von Leeb".) Lastdingo (talk) 01:38, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

There is no mention of Army Group Centre suffering greatly for lack of tank army. It was dug in to the east of Smolensk and was not engaged in any offensive action at the time. Its air superiority provided adequate protection, though there was a limited success of the Soviets against it at Yelnya during this period.

Also there is no need to bring in such people as Rosenburg to explain atrocities during the German occupation. Orders for such atrocities came from much higher Himmler, and Hitler himself, and are well documented. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.5.217.3 (talk) 04:12, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

Ref Anthony Beevor, Stalingrad. World at War, Alexander Warth, Notes of a Field Marshal, Zhukov —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 203.5.217.3 (talk) 04:00, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

wwII?

first coming to motives:

based on theory of gains, we can safetly say that germans invaded russia. this can be seen in many of their initial actions. rest can be dismissed as speculations.

also, it is interesting to see that with 90% of casualities in german-russia war, the war itself is termed as WW II. how appropriate is that?

germany motive may well have been russia with all guns for it. rest of the war may be 'if it comes ok, otherwise forget it'. this is reflected in uk-germany war where germany decided to let it go after initial effort.

germany might have wanted to become a larger country with a presence and including russia would have provided that size and power.

also, how inapproprite are history books which term normandy as turning point.! and russian war is just a line in whole of wwII related chapters :)

also, it would be interesting (and correct) to write history based on human behavior of action and response rather than speculations or paper proofs. action and behavior never lies.

also, some of the things are mentioned as "grave mistake" etc. that again is speculation. the so called "grave mistakes" are the "best decisions" made under the set of circumtances :)

like what if the so called "grave mistakes" brought "unforseen gains".. he he,, then you would have written what a leader he was :)

Z0011 08:01, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Biggest vs one of the biggest

Cross referencing is not a good source, I assume. Yet the Eastern Front article claims same "biggest theater". Well, no big deal really. With respect, Ko Soi IX 21:34, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I trust you're not suggesting we should make both articles wrong to maintain consistency? With respect, I'll go look at that one. DMorpheus 01:02, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
No, I'm not. However, why are you so sure that this is wrong? All we need is a good source or two, I think I'll dig something up in a few days. On the other hand, the term "biggest" doesn't specify biggest in what; while I'm positive that in terms of men involved and casualties inflicted it was the biggest ever, but geographically? Well, unless I find something definitive, you version stays. With respect, Ko Soi IX 05:47, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Geographically it is not the largest theatre. The entire Pacific ocean, or at least the portion west of Hawaii, constituted a theatre of war. In terms of casualties it may be the biggest. I don't know; the only other theatre that might be close would be China, and that might depend on who you count as a casualty. DMorpheus 13:09, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
So just say "largest land theatre" since 'biggest' is such a supermarket word anyway:)--Mrg3105 (talk) 04:20, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Barbarossa results

Ko Soi IX, I consider your characterization of Barbarossa as a "Soviet strategic victory" to constitute original research. This is a highly tendentious claim in my opinion, and you will need to supply a reliable source in support of it. Thanks. Gatoclass 07:52, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps, we need to look for an alternative? "Soviet strategic victory", while being much more accurate than "indecisive", simplifies the matter to the point it too starts to lose some objectivity. Not too much, though. However, in case no alternative is found, I will strongly support the "Soviet strategic victory" and request that you provide sources for your baseless "indecisive", while maintaining that there doesn't have to be a source to obvious statements, such as the undeniable and decisive failure of Operation Barbarossa. With respect, Ko Soi IX 08:06, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

You may be able to find a source or two describing the campaign as a strategic defeat for Germany, I don't know. But in any case, it is obviously a disputed claim. Most authors clearly regard the result in '41 as either indecisive or a stalemate. We are on much safer ground sticking to a conclusion that the bulk of sources agree upon. The problem with describing it a "Soviet strategic victory" is that it misleads the reader into thinking he is reading about a crushing and decisive victory, when it fact the Soviets' main achievement in '41 was simply to survive into '42. Gatoclass 08:25, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, if "most authors" clearly regard the failure of Barbarossa as indesicive or stalemate, I'm sure you'd have no problem providing one or two good sources to back up your claim. (David Glantz surely didn't think Barbarossa ended in "stalemate" or anything like that, but I don't have any of his books here, so citing him properly is impossible at the moment). I haven't noticed such consensus between majority of historians; quite the opposite, I'm afraid. However, it's not the point. I agree that we have to make sure that it is not misleading for a reader with little info on the matter. Perhaps, we could have it say "Soviet strategic victory; for details see the article" or something like this, only in a less clumsy form?
That being said, I must agree with you that the Soviets' main achievment in 41 was to survive into 42. Only I would phrase it differently. The Soviets stopped Barbarossa. The largest invasion in written history was stopped. If this is not a strategic victory, than please tell me, what is? With respect, Ko Soi IX 08:46, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Most serious writers consider the outcome of Barbarossa as having been catastrophic for Germany.--MWAK 09:33, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
MWAK again! Dammit man, why do you always have to pop up on this page two minutes after me? :b Gatoclass 10:16, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
The largest invasion in history was stopped - Ko Soi
No, it wasn't stopped. The Nazis ended up with vast swathes of the Soviet Union under their control, including the breadbasket of the Ukraine and numerous major industrial and population centres. They also entirely destroyed the USSR's pre-war army. And the campaign's overall objective - to destroy the Soviet Union as a political entity - remained extant. The only part that had clearly failed at this point was the overambitious goal to destroy the SU in a lightning campaign - but the Germans still threatened the vital existence of the Soviet state, and in fact still held the strategic initiative.
Now, I concede that there are probably a few historians who believe that Germany's failure in 1941 doomed them to eventual defeat. There are even some who believe that Germany never had the capability to defeat the SU in the first place. But there are no shortage of others who argue, along with the German generals, that the result was by no means a foregone conclusion by the end of '41, and that it was the Nazis' strategic blunders in the ensuing years that ultimately sealed their fate. Gatoclass 10:08, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Only now I understand the point of the argument. It's a misunderstanding. When I say "stopped" I mean just that. First the Germans were advancing. Than they were forced to stop advancing, and, as the strategic initiative passed to the Soviets, the Germans were forced to retreat - but that's already the Battle of Moskow, Battle of Rostov etc. Yes, Soviet success turned out to be temporary, as 1942 clearly demonstrated. In no way am I saying that the failure of Barbarossa was the only detrimental factor in the Soviet victory, nor that after the strategic soviet victory the Germans were utterly vanquished, or totally doomed. I think it's safe to assume that until Stalingrad and Kursk the war was not fully decided.
Allow me to illustrate my point with the Battle of Borodino. The battle was lost by the Russians, not because they were annihilated, or at least severly beaten at the battlefield, but because the goal (defence of Moskow) was not accomplished. Thus, for the French the Battle of Borodino is a victory. Same with Barbarossa. The Germans planned to accomplish certain goals, which they didn't. Their plan didn't work. Yes, the pre-war RKKA (Western part, of course) was mostly annihilated by the Germans, but the Soviets employed a weapon that saved them from certain doom - permanent mobilization. New divisions would take the place of the destroyed ones. Germans didn't reply in kind in 1941 - and lost Barbarossa. And if they lost it, than doesn't it mean that the Soviets won? With respect, Ko Soi IX 10:42, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Let me try to illustrate my point by way of analogy. You have a high jumping champion who goes to the Olympics with the goal of setting a new world record. He wins the gold medal, but fails to set a new record. Has he failed? In his stated objective, yes. But by any other measure, he's had an outstanding games.

It's much the same with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. They had an overambitious goal - that of destroying the Soviet Union in a lightning campaign. But in most other respects, the campaign was an outstanding success. In fact, it represents one of the most outstanding feats of arms in history. They killed or captured millions of enemy troops, destroyed scores of enemy divisions, took millions of square kilometres of enemy territory and captured or destroyed vast quantities of enemy equipment. So it was for the most part, a highly successful campaign - except in its overambitious goal of finishing off Russia in a single season.

I really don't think you can summarize such a performance as a "strategic defeat". It's only a defeat, as for the Olympic high jumper, in the sense that the bar defining success was set too high. The German strategic goal could not be achieved in a single season, but it's a very long leap to conclude from that that the objective could not be achieved at all. And while some scholars have chosen to make that leap, others have not. Gatoclass 12:45, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I must agree with KSIX and MWAK that the campaign was a German strategic disaster. I don't think there'll be any sweat broken finding respectable sources on that. A look at the archived discussion will show that this ground has been fought over many times; go have a look at the rubble. DMorpheus 13:13, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I must agree with KSIX and MWAK that the campaign was a German strategic disaster
Perhaps so, but it wasn't exactly a rip-roaring success for Soviet arms either, was it?
The point is that different sources have different opinions on this. You can't just advance one opinion - the one you happen to concur with - and ignore the rest. If there's a difference of opinion regarding the outcome of the campaign, then that has to be appropriately represented, in the "results" field as well as in the main body of the article itself. Gatoclass 14:14, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, if I may, I'll continue with your analogy. Say we have an article about this champion's attempt to set a world record. It seems rather logical to me that in the infobox it will give the result of his attempt, while the article itself would deal with both the golden medal and the result of the attempt.
It's a simple yes or no question. Was operation Barbarossa a success overall? No, it wasn't, since the final goals were not achieved. Did the German armed forces perform well? Yes, they did, the destruction of Soviet forces, even though unmobilized and undeployed in the beginning, was no easy task, for the USSR was no France. Yet, the Germans weren't able to fully utilize their tremendous first strike advantage. After Barbarossa, the RKKA never fought in such terrible conditions, when German could destroy the Soviet armies one by one. And while the fortunes still hung by a thread until 1943, no more would the Soviets be confined to deploying in a "thin red line". So Soviet performance, given extremely unfavourable conditions, flaws in organization of the army and the airforce, etc. etc. was also quite amazing. I'm more than sure that no western army, except the germans and maybe the finns, could endure something like this without breaking.
So really, what are you proposing? Indesicive? But Barbarossa had a clear victor. And a clear loser too. For the Germans, despite their first strike advantage, despite their experience and their organization, despite the well distinguished talent of many of it's commanders, despite the traits of the german national character and their fanatical, totalitarian regime, that made them such good soldiers, despite syphoning resources from fallen european countries, failed to achieve their goal and destroy the Soviet Union. And since the Germans failed to achieve this strategic goal (while having numerous tactical and operative successes - like the tragic battle of Kiev), the operation was a strategic victory for the Soviet Union. With respect, Ko Soi IX 13:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
But Barbarossa had a clear victor. And a clear loser too
Ah, but that's the whole point. It didn't have a clear victor. It resulted in a stalemate, one that was to last another 18 months, until the Soviets finally got the upper hand at Kursk. Up until that time, the basic objective of Barbarossa was still being pursued by the Germans. After Kursk of course, there was no longer any question of the Nazis defeating the Soviet Union - it was just a battle for survival. Gatoclass 14:25, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point. Success or failure of a strategic offensive operation doesn't have to end or decide the war. As for stalemate - sorry, I'm not buying that, for Barbarossa ended under the walls of Moskow, with initiative firmly in Soviet hands, even though temporarily, with German troops retreating nearly on the whole front, abandoning their equipment and suffering heavy casualties. With respect, Ko Soi IX 14:45, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Box should retain "Soviet strategic victory". Barbarossa did not achieve its goals and in fact weakened German forces so much so that no similar operation could be mounted ever again. Binksternet 15:52, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. That's the bottom line, whatever term we use in the info box (I sense people are a lot more comfortable with "Axis Failure" than they are with "Soviet victory", which is fine with me). There are many complex secondary issues here but Binksternet has captured the main one. May I also add that those who argue that the campaign was 'indecisive' may be missing this point: the German armed forces and economy were structured to win wars quickly, precisely to avoid long wars they knew they could not win. Thus even a stalemate/indecisive result (which I *do not* concede) would be a major failure and strategic disaster for them. Regards, DMorpheus 16:40, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Well you've managed to put your finger on the problem for me. I am indeed content with "Axis strategic failure". I can even live (although just barely) with "Axis tactical victory, axis strategic defeat". What I object to is the bald "Axis strategic defeat" or "Soviet strategic victory" labels which in my view misrepresent the nature of the campaign.

In going back through the talk page, I see that "Axis strategic failure" actually seems to have had the most support, but it appears that over time the page has drifted through "Axis tactical victory, strategic defeat" to just "Axis strategic defeat" and now "Soviet strategic victory". There is no consensus for these latter changes. I will indeed be prepared to stop bothering everybody if the label "Axis strategic failure" is restored. Gatoclass 16:55, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Most infoboxes in wikipedia contain the victor side, not the loser side. Axis strategic failure = Soviet strategic victory, no? So, why not keep the article in line with the others, and put Soviet strategic victory? The introductory paragraph must be altered a little, some essential stuff about mobilization and deployment is missing. It'll take me some time though - gotta find my Isaev books... With respect, Ko Soi IX 17:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Axis strategic failure = Soviet strategic victory, no?
No. If I thought "defeat" and "failure" were interchangeable, I wouldn't be arguing in favour of one and against the other.
Anyhow - this is all rather academic. I think before continuing this debate any further, I might pop down to my local library to review a few sources. Gatoclass 18:15, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Maybe something like "Massive German land gains but overall strategic failure", of course wording probably can be made better.--Staberinde 18:27, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Anything along those lines would be fine by me. Just something to balance it out a bit and not leave the impression that it was a hugely one-sided event. Gatoclass 23:49, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Comrades, we have the article for details; we can't explain everything in one line - so obviously it will be an oversimplification. The most accurate thing I can think off is "Initial Axis operative success, strategic Soviet victory", and yet it sounds so cubersome. Also, I fail to see how "Strategic Soviet victory" would create the impression that it was a hugely one-sided event. It's right under a map showing the extent of the German advance (btw, the map is very inaccurate). Or how it's more of a "German failure" than of a "Soviet victory"? With respect, Ko Soi IX 00:14, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, simple "Strategic Soviet victory" seems to be too serious oversimplification unless Stalin and co actualy planned to retreat all the way to Moscow from the beginning, which I seriously doubt. And we would not lose anything with slightly longer explanation but on other hand we could(hopefully) end this never ending debate about this thing.--Staberinde 14:17, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Really, the plans of the Soviet leadership don't have much to do with this, as the initiative was in the German hands for most duration of Barbarossa. Anyways, this debate does seem to go nowhere. So we must find a compromise. What do you think of "Initial Axis operative success, strategic Soviet victory"? With respect, Ko Soi IX 14:22, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, I do believe that both sides plans deserve to be looked at, no matter who held the initiave. But anyway, I am fine with you compromise proposal. Personally I probably would prefer "German failure" to "Soviet victory" but I dont consider it importnant enough to prolong this argument so let it be like that.--Staberinde 14:31, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

New approach to the problem

In looking at some other Wiki pages, particularly on the Arab-Israeli conflict, I've come to the (rather obvious in retrospect) realization that other pages don't try to sum up complex campaigns in a single phrase and neither should we - especially for a campaign as large and multifaceted as this one. The many debates on this talk page demonstrate only too clearly the impossibility of summarizing this campaign in a single phrase, so I've done the obvious thing and expanded the explanation in line with other Wiki articles. Hope you guys find it satisfactory. Gatoclass 23:35, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Not satisfactory at all. A simple statement is sufficient here; the reader can read the freakin' article for more detail. As far as I can see, the Arab-Israeli conflict says ONE word: ongoing. Perfectly apt. Binksternet 23:44, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Take a look at 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Or 1982 Lebanon war. Or Suez Crisis. Take a look at Six-Day war with its tacked on "territorial changes" field.

These are all examples of extended explanations in the results field. The more I look at the problem here, the more obvious it appears that trying to sum up this campaign in a single glib phrase simply isn't viable. Gatoclass 00:29, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


How is this lengthy segment better than essentially same, but much more laconic "Initial Axis operative success, strategic Soviet victory"? Really, we do have the article explaining the details. With respect, Ko Soi IX 00:26, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
For the same reasons I have outlined earlier. "Strategic Soviet victory" is an overstatement, and "Initial Axis operative success", apart from being a clunky phrase, is an (extreme) understatement. It's very difficult to accurately sum up this campaign without a few extra words of explanation in my view. Gatoclass 00:32, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I must disagree. Strategic Soviet victory is not much of an overstatement, if any, as the Soviet forces, caught unmobilized and not fully deployed by numerically superior, battle hardened, better organized Axis troops, were not destroyed and were able to wrestle the strategic initiative from the Germans. As for "Initial Axis operative success", I really don't see anything clunky about it, unlike the cubersome paragraph that you have put forth. And it's not at all an understatement. German success was definately above tactical level, as entire Soviet armies were encircled and destroyed, yet they failed strategically. Thus, the term "operative" seems befitting. I do agree, and this dispute is living proof, that is not easy to sum up this campaign in a laconic fasion, even though in my opinion my proposition does get pretty close. I would prefer to avoid turning the infobox into the summary of the article - for the sake of avoiding redundancy. With respect, Ko Soi IX 00:52, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I actually think Gatoclass's idea has merit, even if we may disagree with the exact words used. This *is* a complex subject and adding a few words costs us nothing. The number of reverts on this one aspect of the article suggests that a new approach may indeed be a darned good idea. The old approach isn't very productive ;)
The pre-war Red Army *was* largely destroyed, KSIX. Their casualties in the period up to 1 Jan 1942 are roughly equal to the size of the force that existed on June 22 41. The units that took their places were inexperienced, badly trained and took a long time to get up to standard. Yes, they took the strategic initiative in Dec/Jan but didn't hang onto it for very long.
Not to nitpick but what does "operative" mean? Don't we mean "operational" ?
So maybe we can tweak a slightly longer phrase in the info box such as: "Large-scale German (or Axis, whatever you prefer) operational success; great loss of Soviet territory; Axis strategic failure" ??? DMorpheus 13:27, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps, the proper way is "operational"; after all, English is not my native language, and I can't stress that enough. With respect, Ko Soi IX 10:40, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Just getting back to this notion of an "Axis strategic defeat", I'm still not happy with it. As one author I was recently reading put it, it basically took the Russians four years to recover from the first four weeks of the war. If annihilating the entire pre-war Soviet army was not itself a "strategic defeat" of major proportions, what the heck was it? Gatoclass 20:38, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but they recovered; the Germans became terminal after those four weeks :o).--MWAK 06:17, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
It's easy for folks to claim that German defeat was inevitable after 1941, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Don't you think that if Germany had won there would be at least as many people arguing the same in their case? Heck, the whole world thought Germany would crush Russia in 1941, and again in '42.
The problem people like you have is explaining why, if it was so inevitable, it took the Red Army another four years to finish the job. Gatoclass 08:31, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Let's cool it with the personal attacks.
If a person jumps off a 100-story building, death is nearly inevitable despite the fact that they have a long way to go before they hit. Nothing they do at the 50th floor, for example, will make much difference....even though they are doing fine at that particular point in time.
It certainly did not take the Red Army four years to recover from the operations of 1941. By 1943 they could defeat such offensives at Kursk and moount their own counteroffensive, seizing the initiative for the rest of the war. So the *most* that could be claimed is that it took 18 months. But even that is misleading, for a bunch of reasons. The strategic results of Barbarossa simply do not favor Germany, and I've never once seen a serious source claiming otherwise.
I don't think very many things in history are inevitable (despite my falling-body analogy ;)) but the facts in this case are well-sourced. Can you cite a single source calling Barbarossa a strategic victory for Germany? DMorpheus 18:19, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Personal attacks? Oh c'mon, I'm just questioning his logic, that's all. Gatoclass 07:45, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi guys! I don't want to pour gasoline into the fire, but I thought I'd might as well vent some thoughts of mine here. I'm not pro-this or pro-that (only pro-history). Since there is a tendency to complicate matters here, I will try to be simple, using only basic facts:

The Basic Facts

  • Barbarossa: Germany invades Soviet Union for "lebensraum" with hope of, as Hitler said, "bringing down the whole rotten structure".
  • The operation we call "Barbarossa" ends December 1941.

Please note the end date - December 1941. Should our considerations concerning the result stretch beyond this date? In my opinion... no. So, let's do some basic accounting for December 1941:

Casualties, Dec 1941

  • Germany: 700,000 dead, 604,000 wounded
  • Soviet Union: 802,191 killed, 2,335,482 missing/captured

Areas occupied, Dec 1941

  • Germany occupies western Soviet Union, including Belarus, Ukraine, and the Baltic states, plus parts of Russia west of Moscow, a total of 1,300,000 km²
  • Population of the occupied areas: 75 million people
  • Leningrad is put under a 900-day siege

Futhermore, I quote the very article: "(Germany) would go on to seize another 250,000 square miles (650,000 km²) before being forced to retreat after defeats at Stalingrad and Kursk".

As you may understand, I have some problems with seeing a Soviet victory here for December 1941, when a huge, important part had been successfully occupied. In my ears, a Soviet victory would mean they completely ousted the Germans in 1941, and to my knowledge this did not happen :). In my view, if put simple and basic, the entire Soviet Union was now under siege by Germany. Therefore, I propose Stalemate, instead of tweaking a result into a complicated essay. "Indecisive" seems indecisive :)

But a result containing the words "X Soviet victory" is in my opinion a gross overstatement. Finally, I present you with a small, simple comparison: was the Battle of France an Allied victory in 1940, when half of France got occupied? To my knowledge, nope. It was a "Decisive Axis victory" and not a "Strategic Allied victory". For Barbarossa, I vote for Stalemate or Indecisive Axis victory. My regards, --Dna-Dennis 06:30, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

In fact, I feel bold today, punks, so I change it to "Stalemate" right now. I'll surely get flamed, but at least I'll hopefully provoke further thoughts on the subject. Consider December 1941, and my accounting above. --Dna-Dennis 06:54, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, it seems as if you are unaware of the meaning of the term "strategic victory". It means that one participant may suffer grievous losses in manpower and territory, but still can be called the victor in the strategic sense because his prospects on the final victory remain good or even have improved. Abstracting from the long term implications, as you do, implies that you no longer judge the applicability of term by its relevant criteria. The most basic fact of the 1941 campaign is that Germany needed a complete victory to avoid being entangled in a protracted war with an opponent possessing superior resources. "Stalemate" is a most inappropriate term here: it implies the game has ended — but Barbarossa was only the beginning. And you really can't balance a partial operational victory with a strategic defeat; they belong to different categories.
The comparison with the Fall of France is not very felicitous. France had ended the fight. However the events at Dunkirk have indeed often been named an Allied strategic victory; it has been seriously claimed that Hitler lost the entire war by his Haltbefehl of 24 May.--MWAK 07:26, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

it seems as if you are unaware of the meaning of the term "strategic victory"

You may be right, but how many more casual readers will be unaware of the nuances of meaning here? That's what concerns me. Calling it a "strategic victory" or "strategic defeat" conjures up images of a devastating loss, when in fact it was the Russians who took 3/4 of the manpower losses and all the territorial ones.

Apart from which as I've pointed out before, I do not believe that by any means all the sources describe it as a "strategic defeat" for Germany. In fact most of the sources I have read are inclined to see the result as on balance tilted slightly toward the German side. In which case, describing it as a "strategic victory" is representing only one view, which violates WP:NPOV. Gatoclass 08:42, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Actually I am aware of the term "strategic victory", MWAK. I also know quite a lot about the Eastern Front. I was just applying the KISS principle in order to provoke thoughts. I confess I'm not an expert on military result terms, but does "Stalemate" necessarily imply that the game is over? If so, what about "Indecisive Stalemate"?
I said that France was just a small, simple comparison, but I don't think it's a completely inappropriate comparison. No, France had not ended the fight - Free French Forces, resistance - compare with Soviet partisans. Nope, I still think I would go for the KISS principle here. In my opinion, Soviet strategic victories came after Barbarossa, not in Dec 1941. My regards, --Dna-Dennis 09:19, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Just a note: I have read all the previous discussions regarding this matter above. --Dna-Dennis 09:35, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I changed it back. Stalemate is not at all accurate. If you have a better idea, please, don't hesitate to propose it here. I do agree that my variant, like any simplification, lives out some important aspects of the situation. With respect, Ko Soi IX 11:03, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Gatoclass changed the result to "Initial German operational successes, overall strategic defeat, see article for details". I can live with this wording, even though I don't agree with it completely. --Dna-Dennis 11:26, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

German failure or Soviet victory? Soviet strategic victory is more accurate, even if less elegant. Zero hour wasn't when the opponents were just preparing, zero hour was when the Soviets were caught at a tremendous strategic disadvantage, due to not being fully mobilized and deployed. This allowed Germans, who possessed a serious advantage in terms of numbers of troops strategicly, to deploy with overwhelming numbers on a tactical scale, easily breaking the Soviet lines that were not dense enough and destroying the Soviet troops piecemeal. Soviet armored counter-attacks failed for a multitude of reasons, from faulty organization (too much tanks, not enough guns or troops) to unfinished mobilization (not enough trucks and tractors to pull artillery and supplies). The Soviets had to turn to permanent mobilization to repell the agressor (something similar to what was done by the French in the 1870-71 war.). Such dire situation would never happen again after 1941, even when the Germans were approaching Volga. This military achievment, alongside with the evacuation of industry and skilled laborers, allowed the Soviet Union to survive not only Barbarossa, but the war itself. And militarily, the Red Army performed considerably well, given the conditions - but of course, the Germans were better. Would the Germans employ permanent mobilization themselves, they would certainly lose more men in 1941, but than they could've won - and those same German men who didn't die in 1941, died in Stalingrad and Berlin because of this German blunder. My argument, really, is that in western historiography, Barbarossa is generally described from a German view - not in terms of bias as much as perspective; this tilt should be undone. With respect, Ko Soi IX 11:27, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Previously you argued that there is no difference between "Soviet strategic victory" and "Axis strategic defeat", now you are arguing there is a difference. And what difference do you detect? The same one I do and previously pointed out, that "Soviet strategic victory" sounds much grander than "Axis strategic defeat". Which only confirms my prior suspicion that what you are really trying to do here is wave the Russian flag. With respect, you should be doing this at a football game or something, Wikipedia is not the place for it.
As for your argument that "Axis strategic defeat" betrays a German "tilt" - not at all. I wouldn't for a moment contest "Soviet strategic victory" for Stalingrad, for example. The reason I object to "Soviet strategic victory" here is that in 1941, the Russians achieved scarcely anything that could be described as a "victory" on the battlefield. In military terms, they were trounced at every turn, and only at the last moment - and with considerable assistance from the weather - did they manage to wrest a couple of relatively minor operational victories from the overextended Germans. What made 1941 a strategic "victory" for the Russians was simply that they had deep enough reserves to absorb the terrible blows they suffered.
The point being that "strategic victory" suggests some sort of positive achievement, an exceptional feat of arms, which simply didn't occur for the Russians in '41. The advantage the Russians gained in '41 was almost purely a negative one, in the sense that they managed to deny the Germans the lightning victory they had sought - but only (or largely) because of their seemingly inexhaustible reserves. So I believe "victory" misleads the reader in this case.
The other objection I have to "victory" in this case is that in my opinion it is appropriate to describe results from the perspective of the attacking side, the active player. So the attacker either gains a victory or suffers a defeat. The defender may inflict a defeat upon the attacker, or be defeated itself, but it doesn't exactly win a "victory" in doing so. Essentially, it only repels the attack - although in doing so it may considerably weaken the opponent. But it is only by going over to the offensive that it can ultimately win a "victory". The Germans were the aggressors in '41 and therefore the campaign should be described from their perspective rather than the Russian. Gatoclass 12:27, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
The difference between "Soviet victory" and "Axis defeat" is negligible. While I disagree with your opinion that there was no positive achievement for the Russians in 1941, and I don't see an exceptional feat of arms as a criteria at all, I hardly see the point of arguing over something like this. I'm content with the current infobox results. With respect, Ko Soi IX 13:49, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Sorry to butt in, but it still looks pretty clunky to me. How about 'Despite major losses of territory, troops and weapons, the Soviet Union gained the strategic advantage'WhaleyTim 14:57, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Or slightly more concisely 'Despite major military and territorial losses, the Soviet Union gained the strategic advantage' WhaleyTim 15:04, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

No I don't think that would work. Apart from which, this has already been an exhaustive discussion and since Ko Soi and I finally appear to have reached a compromise of sorts, I'd like to give the existing text a few days to see how it holds up. Gatoclass 15:31, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Verification

Hello, could someone please cite a source for the strength of the Red Army (2.9 million men initially). Not that I doubt the numbers, it’s just the kind of thing that needs citation. Oddly enough, Britannica gives Soviet figures of 4,500,000 men, this goes against what I personally have heard…Thanks, Bogdan 23:03, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

The text explains it all, only 2,9 were deployed in the west Pilotmodel77 17:49, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
My understanding is that "the West" included all military districts between Poland and the Urals. The immediate BORDER deployments were in the region of 1.7 million. I will try to find a reputable source for this.--Mrg3105 (talk) 04:10, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

What is this article about?

Is this article supposed to be about Operation Barbarossa? If so, why is it giving totals for whole of war outcomes and etc.? Barbarossa finished as soon as Hitler changed objectives.--Mrg3105 (talk) 01:22, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Article structure

  1. 1 German intentions - Operations do not have 'intentions, they have goals and objectives.
  2. 2 German preparations - Operations do not have preparations, they have planning.
  3. 3 Soviet preparations - opponents do not prepare, they have defence plans.
   * 3.1 The Soviet offensive plans theory
  1. 4 The invasion - based on my understanding the original objectives were Kiev, Moskow and Leningrad. Based on this, and other sources I suggest there were only two strategic phases in the Operational plan:

In the first phase of the attack, the German army was to engage the main Soviet force as close to the Russian border as possible and destroy it before the Red Army could withdraw to the vast interior and establish a defensive position.
The second phase aimed at establishing a front along the north-south line running from the Volga River to Archangel.

   * 4.1 Opening phase (June 22, 1941 - July 3, 1941)
   * 4.2 Middle phase (July 3, 1941 - October 2, 1941)
   * 4.3 Final phase (October 2, 1941 - January 7, 1942)

Based on the above, the objectives of the First Phase were not met due to the siege of Leningrad, and the counter-offensive at Moskow, meaning that neither Phases were completed.

  1. 5 Later events - later then what? If the 'later' refers to the subject of the article, then it is referring to the operations that followed Barbarossa and are not in the right place in Wikipedia.

In fact the first large paragraph is talking about an earlier event- the Balkan campaign AND a change to the Central goal of the First Phase in forces being diverted South. The second paragraph talks about degree of Soviet resistance and inadequacy of German logistics. Third large paragraph is primarily about the Southern part of the First Phase planning. Fourth paragraph talks about the Northern part of the First Phase of the Operation. Last paragraph which seems to be an addition of two afterthoughts talk about an economic objective in Finland and an entirely different Operation.

  1. 6 Causes of initial Soviet defeats - If this is about a German operation, then surely the article should deal with the causes of German inability to achieve its objectives rather then those of Soviet defeats which were a part of the GERMAN plan
  2. 7 Outcome - in discussion the OUTCOME, one does not start with the sentence "The climax of Operation Barbarossa came when...". The climax means 'a high point', while outcome means ' the end point'.

"The war on the Eastern Front went on for four years" seems to be obviously not a statement about the Operation Barbarossa which ended in January 1942 as the article says already.
--Mrg3105 (talk) 05:13, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

  1. 8 Causes of the failure of Operation Barbarossa - This should really be split into two:

Planning of Operation Barbarossa (replacing German preparations)
Failure of Operation Barbarossa (replacing Outcome)

   * 8.1 Underestimated Soviet potential - This should be in the Planning header section as a subsection titled Intelligence failures
* 8.2 Faults of logistical planning - This should be in the Planning header section as a subsection titled Logistic failures * 8.3 Weather - This should be in the Planning header section as Impact of weather on planning
  1. 9 Aftermath - The aftermath need not go into statistics of the entire war. Simply the aftermath was a loss of strategic initiative and temporary forcing of Germany on a defensive in the East.
Well, operations as such have no intentions, but the people who planned them certainly had, so it provides a necessary context when you tell what they had in mind. Also it would seem not illogical to first state the intentions, then how the plans worked out and finally why they didn't. And that it was a German operation doesn't imply we have to relate everything from the German point of view...--MWAK (talk) 08:16, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
The way I arrived at this article is looking in the Eastern Front article. That does discuss the overall intentions to be achieved by Hitler in invading USSR from territorial, sociological, economic, political and of course military POVs. Because of this, it seemed to me a redundancy to repeat these in an article intended to deal with the military aspects of a strategic operation. The article should really approach the subject in the way an operations officer would provide a briefing to his CinC. In this respect the briefing will include assumptions on the enemy planning and preparednesses. However the view form the other side is really a subject of another article probably called Initial Period of the Great Patriotic War: Border battles and retreat.

This approach would serve to keep both articles informative and short(er) by presenting different perspectives of the combatants. What do you/others think?--Mrg3105 (talk) 23:06, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Operation vs operational

Please note "The operational goal of Operation Barbarossa was the rapid conquest of the European part of the Soviet Union" is NOT true.
An Operation is a series of planned actions that lead to achievement of a given set of goals and objectives.
An operational goal, in the military usage, is a goal of importance at a level of command decision-making somewhere between the tactical objectives and the strategic goals. In fact usually the aims of operational decisions and actions are still objectives rather then goals.
Given that the Operation Barbarossa was a strategic operation, it had strategic goals that included operational and, less significantly, tactical objectives.
Now, if I edit that one word, will it be corrected/reverted by some idiotic bot or administrator just looking to score points for having corrected 'vandalism' but who doesn't know really what they are correcting because they specialty is Zulu tribal traditions?--Mrg3105 (talk) 02:32, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Looking in on the tactical side of things (in the search for Armoured Warfare insights) I discovered that Red Army's efforts were summarised by Wikipedian as

The tactics used by Red Army during World War II have presented an interesting subject matter to war historians due to the unusual circumstances shaping them. On one hand, Soviet Union had, for years, been overextending its heavy industry,[citation needed] leading to very high numbers of war front machinery being produced. On the other hand, however, Soviet Union had repeatedly wrecked its intelligentsia, most importantly, in the Great Purge. This led to widespread use of militia on actual battlefronts, and to the widest known usage of the tactic of Human wave attacks.[citation needed] As a result, Soviet Union's losses in manpower attributable to the war were the largest among all the Allied Powers. "Officers--whose losses ran at 35 percent--had to be found almost as rapidly as (enlisted) men." [1]

Why are my not surprised it doesn't actually say anything about TACTICS?! :\--Mrg3105 (talk) 05:32, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

If you look at the discussion page for that silly Red Army Tactics article, you'll see there's a suggestion it be deleted. While I agree with the thoughts you've posted here, you will find you get better results achieving consensus amongst the other editors if you assume good faith. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 15:31, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Hi DMorpheus. Not only do I assume good faith, but I give the benefit of the doubt to participants, however I expect that if someone contributes an article--Mrg3105 (talk) 20:01, 21 December 2007 (UTC) it will actually provide relevant content. It seems to me this is the first requirement of authorship.

editing

Took out this as it does not relate to the Operation which is the subject of the article.

Hitler, who urged for a push towards Moscow, considered himself a political and military genius. Indeed, at this point in the war, he had achieved a series of lightning victories in the face of what appeared to be insurmountable odds, often against the advice of Germany's military leadership. His willingness to take risks and ability to outguess the enemy brought the Rhineland, Austria (Anschluss) and the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia all into the Reich, with relatively light losses. He had been right about Poland falling before any of its allies could make a difference, albeit at the cost of Britain and France declaring war on Germany. Later, his plans had brought about the rapid collapse of France by slashing through Luxembourg north of the Maginot Line, pocketing large numbers of Allied troops. The northern pocket collapsed and British and French troops fell back on Dunkirk. The British were driven off French soil, but Britain itself remained secure because of its naval superiority and aerial parity. Unable to force Britain's capitulation, Hitler was impatient to get on with his long-desired invasion of the east. He was convinced that Britain would sue for peace once the Germans triumphed in the Soviet Union, the real area of Germany's interests. General Halder noted in his diaries that by destroying the Soviet Union, Germany would destroy Britain's hope for defeating Germany.


Also replacing Nazi Germany with Third Reich which is what it was called at the time. Also replacing Germans with Wehrmacht since the first is an ethnic group and the second is the military organisation that conducted the operation. Also inserting 'allies' since Wehrmacht was not alone in this operation.--Mrg3105 (talk) 02:59, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Of course neither "Nazi Germany" nor "Third Reich" were official names, but should it really be considered necessary to call Germany anything other than "Germany", the first alternative has the advantage of being a bit more understandable and not being a silly and barbaric contraction of an English and a German word ;o). When formality is needed, its real name, Deutsches Reich, should be adequate. Consistently replacing Germans with Wehrmacht does not improve readability and is itself imprecise as the SS-units did not belong to the Wehrmacht.--MWAK (talk) 07:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I refer to contemporary forms of reference. While Deutsches Reich may have been used in the diplomatic correspondence, the preferred form of reference was the Third Reich (in English). I used Wehrmacht because the overall strategic command was in the realm of Wehrmacht. However when we get to adding the OOBs, certainly Waffen-SS units will be listed.

BTW, thank you for your time in providing your learned feedback. I wonder why there are no other comments being made.--Mrg3105 (talk) 10:59, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

And there you have it. Another editor came and with no discussion simply reverted much of what I removed. It seems to me that unless an article can be locked from editing by anyone, the work is akin to shoveling sand into the sea. Wikipedia has to discriminate in editorial access or the instability of the content will doo it as a failed experiment in good intentions --Mrg3105 (talk) 21:20, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm flagging the idea of developing this article to FA grade. Necessarily the objective it to reach content stability. Given that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Emijrp/Editing provides the statistic of nearly 17 edits per article, it seems a good idea to plan for edit management as part of the project. My suggestion would be to have at least that many sections so at least the average can be spread more thinly. The other suggestion is to write really good content :)--Mrg3105 (talk) 00:23, 23 December 2007 (UTC)