Why Did Adolf Hitler Attack The Soviet Union

Background information

Adolf Hitler and the Nazis had a strong desire to create a Third Reich that could dominate the entire European continent and even the world. In 1941, the Nazis planned to attack the Soviet Union, which was the largest and most powerful non-Germanic nation in Europe. The attack on the USSR was part of Hitler and Nazi Germany’s strategy to expand their European domination to the east.
The attack on the Soviet Union began on June 22nd 1941, during Operation Barbarossa. The Nazis had massed over 3 million troops and 2,500 tanks, which made it the largest invasion force that the Nazis had ever assembled. Hitler and the Nazi High Command’s goal was to quickly and decisively defeat the Soviet Union before the winter season began.

Motivated by Ideology

Nazi ideology was one of the main drivers behind Hitler’s decision to attack the Soviet Union. The Nazis viewed Soviet Communism as antithetical to their own Aryan-supremacist ideals. In addition, they wanted to annex the Soviet Union’s vast agricultural and industrial resources in order to fuel their own war machine and create an even larger Empire. The Nazis also wanted to clear space in the East for the creation of German-populated settlements.
Furthermore, the Nazis believed that they could conquer the Soviets because their race was superior and they had greater resources and military capabilities. They believed that the Soviets were too divided politically, militarily, and ideologically, which meant that they would be unable to effectively counterattack.

International Relations

The Nazis were also motivated by the international diplomatic environment at the time. The Nazis had signed a Non-Agression Pact with the Soviet Union in 1939. This agreement allowed them to focus their resources and attention on their war efforts against Great Britain and France.
However, the pact was always an uneasy one, as both countries were wary of each other. In fact, Hitler had always intended to break the agreement and attack the Soviets eventually.
The Nazi High Command began to view the Soviets as a potential threat to their ambitions. As a result, they viewed it as necessary to eliminate them quickly and decisively before they had a chance to establish an alliance with another international power.

Political Opportunity

The Nazis viewed the Soviet Union as politically vulnerable to attack. They believed that the Soviet Union was weakened and vulnerable due to divisions within its leadership. The Soviet Union was politically divided between the religious right and the left, while the Soviet Union’s military was facing budgetary issues.
The Nazi High Command believed that the Soviets were unable to put up an effective defense and that they could quickly overtake the country as a result. In addition, the Nazi leadership believed that the Soviet Union was a vulnerable target due to its limited alliance options and the isolation it had caused for itself in international affairs.

Strategy of “Blitzkrieg”

Hitler and the Nazi High Command also used a strategy of Blitzkrieg or “lightning warfare” for the attack on the Soviet Union. The idea behind Blitzkrieg was to achieve swift, decisive victories by employing a combination of speed, surprise and firepower.
The Nazis intended to surprise the Soviet Union by quickly gaining control of key strategic cities and then using that control to quickly overrun the rest of the country. In addition, they hoped to overtake key industrial locations and then move on to the major population centers. The attack on the Soviet Union was planned as a rapid and overwhelming assault that would incapacitate the Soviets before they had a chance to respond.

German Preparation

The Nazi High Command took extensive measures in preparing for the attack on the Soviet Union. They invested a great deal of resources in building a large and modern offensive force. The German military was re-organized, a massive armament program was established, and over 3 million soldiers were mobilized.
In addition, the Nazis supplied their troops with the most modern military technologies that were currently available. They employed machine guns, tanks, Stuka dive bombers, rocket launchers, and flamethrowers during their offensive.

Battle of Stalingrad

Hitler’s strategy initially had some success, with the Nazis making significant advances into Soviet territory. However, the Battle of Stalingrad proved to be a turning point in the German campaign. The bloody and costly battle eventually resulted in a major defeat for the Nazis.
The defeat at Stalingrad was a major setback for the Nazi offensive, as it resulted in hundreds of thousands of German casualties, destroyed much of the Nazi equipment, and caused morale to plummet. This defeat allowed the Soviets to regroup and launch a massive counteroffensive that eventually pushed the German army out of Soviet territories.

Reversal of Fortune

The Nazi defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad marked a major reversal in the Nazi campaign. The Soviet victories at Stalingrad, Kursk and Leningrad allowed for a Soviet counteroffensive that pushed the Nazis back across the Eastern front and eventually resulted in the Nazis being forced out of the Soviet Union.
The defeats, combined with the strain of prolonged war, the use of unconventional tactics, and the de-prioritization of resources eventually resulted in the Nazi defeat and the loss of their European ambitions.

The Destruction of Europe

The failure of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union had major consequences for not only the Soviet Union and Germany, but for Europe as a whole. The invasion and subsequent war destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, and caused major economic hardship and suffering.
In addition, the conflict created a power vacuum in Europe, which allowed for the formation of new regimes and an intensification of conflict. The aftermath of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union is still felt today, as it set the stage for Europe’s future conflicts and enabled the creation of the Cold War.

Recognizing Soviet Sacrifice

The successful defense of the Soviet Union against the Nazi invasion was made possible by the courage and determination of the Soviet people. The Soviet Union suffered greatly during the conflict, as millions of soldiers and civilians were killed, wounded or displaced.
Today, it is important to remember and recognize the immense losses and sacrifices of the Soviet people during this time. The Soviet Union’s defense against the Nazi invasion was instrumental in ensuring the defeat of Hitler and the Nazis, and their victory helped to ensure the freedom of Europe and the world.

The Legacy of The Eastern Front

The events of the Eastern Front during World War II had a major impact on Europe and the world. The conflict helped to shape the future of Europe and its role in international politics. The Allied victory over the Nazis was only possible due to the bravery and resilience of the Soviet people.
The legacy of the Eastern Front is still very much felt today. The conflict helped to shape Europe’s political landscape and ultimately led to the end of the Cold War. The lessons learned from the Eastern Front still inform our understanding of war and its effects on international relations.


Adolf Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union was motivated by his racist ideology, as well as by an opportunity for a swift victory due to the vulnerability of Soviet forces and the diplomatic environment of the time.The Nazi High Command prepared extensively for their invasion, investing heavily in their military forces and equipping them with the most advanced technologies. However, their strategy of Blitzkrieg failed due to the bravery and resilience of the Soviet people. The loss of this major campaign had major consequences, leading to the destruction of Europe, the creation of new regimes, and the intensification of conflict. The legacy of the Eastern Front still shapes and informs our understanding of war and international relations today.

Elizabeth Baker is an experienced writer and historian with a focus on topics related to famous world dictators. She has over 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing history books and articles. Elizabeth is passionate about uncovering lost stories from the past and sharing interesting facts about some of the most notorious dictators in history. In her writing, she emphasizes how dictators can still affect modern-day politics and society. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington where she continues to write and research for her latest projects.

Leave a Comment