Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany's ideological aims to conquer the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans, to use Slavs as a slave labour force for the Axis war effort, to murder the rest, to acquire the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories. In the two years leading up to the invasion and the Soviet Union signed political and economic pacts for strategic purposes; the German High Command began planning an invasion of the Soviet Union in July 1940, which Adolf Hitler authorized on 18 December 1940. Over the course of the operation, about three million personnel of the Axis powers – the largest invasion force in the history of warfare – invaded the western Soviet Union along a 2,900-kilometer front. In addition to troops, the Wehrmacht deployed some 600,000 motor vehicles, between 600,000 and 700,000 horses for non-combat operations.
The offensive marked an escalation of World War II, both geographically and in the formation of the Allied coalition. Operationally, German forces achieved major victories and occupied some of the most important economic areas of the Soviet Union and inflicted, as well as sustained, heavy casualties. Despite these Axis successes, the German offensive stalled in the Battle of Moscow at the end of 1941, the subsequent Soviet winter counteroffensive pushed German troops back; the Red Army absorbed the Wehrmacht's strongest blows and forced the Germans into a war of attrition that they were unprepared for. The Wehrmacht never again mounted a simultaneous offensive along the entire Eastern front; the failure of the operation drove Hitler to demand further operations of limited scope inside the Soviet Union, such as Case Blue in 1942 and Operation Citadel in 1943 – all of which failed. The failure of Operation Barbarossa proved a turning point in the fortunes of the Third Reich. Most the operation opened up the Eastern Front, in which more forces were committed than in any other theater of war in world history.
The Eastern Front became the site of some of the largest battles, most horrific atrocities, highest World War II casualties, all of which influenced the course of both World War II and the subsequent history of the 20th century. The German armies captured 5,000,000 Red Army troops, who were denied the protection guaranteed by the Hague Conventions and the 1929 Geneva Convention. A majority of Red Army POWs never returned alive; the Nazis deliberately starved to death, or otherwise killed, 3.3 million prisoners of war, as well as a huge number of civilians. Einsatzgruppen death-squads and gassing operations murdered over a million Soviet Jews as part of the Holocaust; as early as 1925, Adolf Hitler vaguely declared in his political manifesto and autobiography Mein Kampf that he would invade the Soviet Union, asserting that the German people needed to secure Lebensraum to ensure the survival of Germany for generations to come. On 10 February 1939, Hitler told his army commanders that the next war would be "purely a war of Weltanschauungen... a people's war, a racial war".
On 23 November, once World War II had started, Hitler declared that "racial war has broken out and this war shall determine who shall govern Europe, with it, the world". The racial policy of Nazi Germany portrayed the Soviet Union as populated by non-Aryan Untermenschen, ruled by Jewish Bolshevik conspirators. Hitler claimed in Mein Kampf that Germany's destiny was to "turn to the East" as it did "six hundred years ago". Accordingly, it was stated Nazi policy to kill, deport, or enslave the majority of Russian and other Slavic populations and repopulate the land with Germanic peoples, under the Generalplan Ost; the Germans' belief in their ethnic superiority is evident in official German records and discernible in pseudoscientific articles in German periodicals at the time, which covered topics such as "how to deal with alien populations". While older histories tended to emphasize the notion of a "Clean Wehrmacht", the historian Jürgen Förster notes that "In fact, the military commanders were caught up in the ideological character of the conflict, involved in its implementation as willing participants."
Before and during the invasion of the Soviet Union, German troops were indoctrinated with anti-Bolshevik, anti-Semitic, anti-Slavic ideology via movies, lectures and leaflets. Likening the Soviets to the forces of Genghis Khan, Hitler told Croatian military leader Slavko Kvaternik that the "Mongolian race" threatened Europe. Following the invasion, Wehrmacht officers told their soldiers to target people who were described as "Jewish Bolshevik subhumans", the "Mongol hordes", the "Asiatic flood", the "Red beast". Nazi propaganda portrayed the war against the Soviet Union as both an ideological war between German National Socialism and Jewish Bolshevism and a racial war between the Germans and the Jewish and Slavic Untermenschen. An'order from the Führer' stated that the Einsatzgruppen were to execute all Soviet functionaries who were "less valuable Asiatics and Jews". Six months into the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Einsatzgruppen had murdered in excess of 500,000 Soviet Jews, a figure greater than the number of Red Army soldiers killed in combat during that same time frame.
German army command
Système universitaire de documentation
The système universitaire de documentation or SUDOC is a system used by the libraries of French universities and higher education establishments to identify and manage the documents in their possession. The catalog, which contains more than 10 million references, allows students and researcher to search for bibliographical and location information in over 3,400 documentation centers, it is maintained by the Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education. Official website
Soviet Union in World War II
The Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany on 23 August 1939. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that divided territories of Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Finland into German and Soviet "spheres of influence", anticipating potential "territorial and political rearrangements" of these countries. In October and November 1940, German-Soviet talks about the potential of joining the Axis took place in Berlin, nothing came from the talks since Hitler's Ideological goal was Lebensraum in the East. Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 starting World War II, Stalin waited until 17 September before launching his own invasion of Poland. Part of the Karelia and Salla regions of Finland were annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War; this was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia and parts of Romania. It was known at the Nuremberg trials the existence of the secret protocol of the German–Soviet pact regarding the planned divisions of these territories.
The invasion of Bukovina violated the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, as it went beyond the Soviet sphere of influence agreed with the Axis. On 22 June 1941, Hitler launched an invasion of the Soviet Union. Stalin was confident that the total Allied war machine would stop Germany, with Lend Lease from the West, the Soviets stopped the Wehrmacht some 30 kilometers from Moscow. Over the next four years, the Soviet Union repulsed Axis offensives, such as at the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk, pressed forward to victory in large Soviet offensives, such as the Vistula–Oder Offensive; the bulk of Soviet fighting took place on the Eastern Front—including a continued war with Finland—but it invaded Iran in cooperation with the British and late in the war attacked Japan, with which the Soviets had border wars earlier up until in 1939. Stalin met with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Tehran Conference and began to discuss a two-front war against Germany and the future of Europe after the war.
Berlin fell in April 1945. Fending off the German invasion and pressing to victory in the East required a tremendous sacrifice by the Soviet Union, which suffered the highest casualties in the war, losing more than 20 million citizens. In August 1939, Stalin accepted Hitler's proposal into a non-aggression pact with Germany, negotiated by the foreign ministers Vyacheslav Molotov for the Soviets and Joachim von Ribbentrop for the Germans. A non-aggression treaty only, an appended secret protocol reached on 23 August, divided the whole of eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence; the USSR was promised the eastern part of Poland primarily populated by Ukrainians and Belarusians, in case of its dissolution, Germany recognised Latvia and Finland as parts of the Soviet sphere of influence, with Lithuania added in a second secret protocol in September 1939. Another clause of the treaty was that Bessarabia part of Romania, was to be joined to the Moldovan SSR, become the Moldovan SSR under control of Moscow.
The pact was reached two days after the breakdown of Soviet military talks with British and French representatives in August 1939 over a potential Franco-Anglo-Soviet alliance. Political discussions had been suspended on 2 August, when Molotov stated that they could not be resumed until progress was made in military talks late in August, after the talks had stalled over guarantees for the Baltic states, while the military talks upon which Molotov insisted started on 11 August. At the same time, Germany—with whom the Soviets had started secret negotiations on 29 July – argued that it could offer the Soviets better terms than Britain and France, with Ribbentrop insisting, "there was no problem between the Baltic and the Black Sea that could not be solved between the two of us." German officials stated that, unlike Britain, Germany could permit the Soviets to continue their developments unmolested, that "there is one common element in the ideology of Germany and the Soviet Union: opposition to the capitalist democracies of the West".
By that time, Molotov had obtained information regarding Anglo-German negotiations and a pessimistic report from the Soviet ambassador in France. After disagreement regarding Stalin's demand to move Red Army troops through Poland and Romania, on 21 August, the Soviets proposed adjournment of military talks using the pretext that the absence of the senior Soviet personnel at the talks interfered with the autumn manoeuvres of the Soviet forces, though the primary reason was the progress being made in the Soviet-German negotiations; that same day, Stalin received assurance that Germany would approve secret protocols to the proposed non-aggression pact that would grant the Soviets land in Poland, the Baltic states and Romania, after which Stalin telegrammed Hitler that night that the Soviets were willing to sign the pact and that he would receive Ribbentrop on 23 August. Regarding the larger issue of collective security, some historians state that one reason that Stalin decided to abandon the doctrine was the shaping of his views of France and Britain by their entry into the Munich Agreement and the subsequent failure to prevent the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.
Stalin may have viewed the pact as gaining time in an eventual war with Hitler in order to reinforce the Soviet military and shifting Soviet borders westwards, which would be militarily beneficial in such a war. Stalin and Ribbentrop spent most of the night of the pact's signing trading friendly stories about world affairs and cracking jokes about Britain's weakness, the pair e
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe, Southeast Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties; the battles on the Eastern Front of the Second World War constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, immense loss of life due to combat, exposure and massacres; the Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches and the majority of pogroms, was central to the Holocaust. Of the estimated 70-85 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, the majority of them civilian, occurred on the Eastern Front.
The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome in the European theatre of operations in World War II serving as the main reason for the defeat of Nazi Germany and the Axis nations. The two principal belligerent powers were Germany and the Soviet Union, along with their respective allies. Though never engaged in military action in the Eastern Front, the United States and the United Kingdom both provided substantial material aid in the form of the Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union; the joint German–Finnish operations across the northernmost Finnish–Soviet border and in the Murmansk region are considered part of the Eastern Front. In addition, the Soviet–Finnish Continuation War may be considered the northern flank of the Eastern Front. Germany and the Soviet Union remained unsatisfied with the outcome of World War I. Soviet Russia had lost substantial territory in Eastern Europe as a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, where the Bolsheviks in Petrograd conceded to German demands and ceded control of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and other areas, to the Central Powers.
Subsequently, when Germany in its turn surrendered to the Allies and these territories were liberated under the terms of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 at Versailles, Soviet Russia was in the midst of a civil war and the Allies did not recognize the Bolshevik government, so no Soviet Russian representation attended. Adolf Hitler had declared his intention to invade the Soviet Union on 11 August 1939 to Carl Jacob Burckhardt, League of Nations Commissioner, by saying: Everything I undertake is directed against the Russians. If the West is too stupid and blind to grasp this I shall be compelled to come to an agreement with the Russians, beat the West and after their defeat turn against the Soviet Union with all my forces. I need the Ukraine as happened in the last war; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed in August 1939 was a non-aggression agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. It contained a secret protocol aiming to return Central Europe to the pre–World War I status quo by dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Finland, Estonia and Lithuania would return to the Soviet control, while Poland and Romania would be divided. The Eastern Front was made possible by the German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement in which the Soviet Union gave Germany the resources necessary to launch military operations in Eastern Europe. On 1 September 1939 Germany invaded Poland, starting World War II. On 17 September, the Soviet Union invaded Eastern Poland, and, as a result, Poland was partitioned among Germany, the Soviet Union and Lithuania. Soon after that, the Soviet Union demanded significant territorial concessions from Finland, after Finland rejected Soviet demands, the Soviet Union attacked Finland on 30 November 1939 in what became known as the Winter War – a bitter conflict that resulted in a peace treaty on 13 March 1940, with Finland maintaining its independence but losing its eastern parts in Karelia. In June 1940 the Soviet Union illegally annexed the three Baltic states; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact ostensibly provided security to the Soviets in the occupation both of the Baltics and of the north and northeastern regions of Romania, although Hitler, in announcing the invasion of the Soviet Union, cited the Soviet annexations of Baltic and Romanian territory as having violated Germany's understanding of the Pact.
Moscow partitioned the annexed Romanian territory between the Ukrainian and Moldavian Soviet republics. Adolf Hitler had argued in his autobiography Mein Kampf for the necessity of Lebensraum: acquiring new territory for Germans in Eastern Europe, in particular in Russia, he envisaged settling Germans there, as according to Nazi ideology the Germanic people constituted the "master race", while exterminating or deporting most of the existing inhabitants to Siberia and using the remainder as slave labour. Hitler as early as 1917 had referred to the Russians as inferior, believing that the Bolshevik Revolution had put the Jews in power over the mass of Slavs, who were, in Hitler's opinion, incapable of ruling themselves but instead being ruled by Jewish masters; the Nazi leadership, saw the war against the Soviet Union as a struggle between the ideologies of Nazism and Jewish Bolshevism, ensuring territorial expansion for the Germanic Übermensch, who according to Nazi ideology were the Aryan Herrenvolk, at the expense of
The Axis powers known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not coordinate their activity; the Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936. Benito Mussolini declared on 1 November that all other European countries would from on rotate on the Rome–Berlin axis, thus creating the term "Axis"; the simultaneous second step was the signing in November 1936 of the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty between Germany and Japan. Italy joined the Pact in 1937; the "Rome–Berlin Axis" became a military alliance in 1939 under the so-called "Pact of Steel", with the Tripartite Pact of 1940 leading to the integration of the military aims of Germany and Japan. At its zenith during World War II, the Axis presided over territories that occupied large parts of Europe, North Africa, East Asia.
There were no three-way summit meetings and cooperation and coordination was minimal, with more between Germany and Italy. The war ended in 1945 with the dissolution of their alliance; as in the case of the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, with some nations switching sides or changing their degree of military involvement over the course of the war. The term "axis" was first applied to the Italo-German relationship by the Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini in September 1923, when he wrote in the preface to Roberto Suster's Germania Repubblica that "there is no doubt that in this moment the axis of European history passes through Berlin". At the time, he was seeking an alliance with the Weimar Republic against Yugoslavia and France in the dispute over the Free State of Fiume; the term was used by Hungary's prime minister Gyula Gömbös when advocating an alliance of Hungary with Germany and Italy in the early 1930s. Gömbös' efforts did affect the Italo-Hungarian Rome Protocols, but his sudden death in 1936 while negotiating with Germany in Munich and the arrival of Kálmán Darányi, his successor, ended Hungary's involvement in pursuing a trilateral axis.
Contentious negotiations between the Italian foreign minister, Galeazzo Ciano, the German ambassador, Ulrich von Hassell, resulted in a Nineteen-Point Protocol, signed by Ciano and his German counterpart, Konstantin von Neurath, in 1936. When Mussolini publicly announced the signing on 1 November, he proclaimed the creation of a Rome–Berlin axis. Italy under Duce Benito Mussolini had pursued a strategic alliance of Italy with Germany against France since the early 1920s. Prior to becoming head of government in Italy as leader of the Italian Fascist movement, Mussolini had advocated alliance with defeated Germany after the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 settled World War I, he believed. In early 1923, as a goodwill gesture to Germany, Italy secretly delivered weapons for the German Army, which had faced major disarmament under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1923, Mussolini offered German Chancellor Gustav Stresemann a "common policy": he sought German military support against potential French military intervention over Italy's diplomatic dispute with Yugoslavia over Fiume, should an Italian seizure of Fiume result in war between Italy and Yugoslavia.
The German ambassador to Italy in 1924 reported that Mussolini saw a nationalist Germany as an essential ally for Italy against France, hoped to tap into the desire within the German army and the German political right for a war of revenge against France. During the Weimar Republic, the German government did not respect the Treaty of Versailles that it had been pressured to sign, various government figures at the time rejected Germany's post-Versailles borders. General Hans von Seeckt supported an alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland between them and restore the German-Russian border of 1914. Gustav Streseman as German foreign minister in 1925 declared that the reincorporation of territories lost to Poland and Danzig in the Treaty of Versailles was a major task of German foreign policy; the Reichswehr Ministry memorandum of 1926 declared its intention to seek the reincorporation of German territory lost to Poland as its first priority, to be followed by the return of the Saar territory, the annexation of Austria, remilitarization of the Rhineland.
Since the 1920s Italy had identified the year 1935 as a crucial date for preparing for a war against France, as 1935 was the year when Germany's obligations under the Treaty of Versailles were scheduled to expire. Meetings took place in Berlin in 1924 between Italian General Luigi Capello and prominent figures in the German military, such as von Seeckt and Erich Ludendorff, over military collaboration between Germany and Italy; the discussions concluded that Germans still wanted a war of revenge against France but were short on weapons and hoped that Italy could assist Germany. However at this time Mussolini stressed one important condition that Italy must pursue in an alliance with Germany: that Italy "must... tow them, not be towed by them". Italian foreign minister Dino Grandi in the early 1930s stressed the importance of "decisive weight", involving Italy's relations between France and Germany, in which he recognized that Italy was not yet a major power, but perceived that Italy did have
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. The university has five main campuses in the city of Edinburgh, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university; the university played an important role in leading Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the North. The University of Edinburgh is ranked 18th in the world by the 2019 QS World University Rankings, it is ranked as the 6th best university in Europe by the U. S. News' Best Global Universities Ranking, 7th best in Europe by the Times Higher Education Ranking; the Research Excellence Framework, a research ranking used by the UK government to determine future research funding, ranked Edinburgh 4th in the UK for research power, 11th overall. It is ranked the 78th most employable university in the world by the 2017 Global Employability University Ranking.
It is a member of both the Russell Group, the League of European Research Universities, a consortium of 21 research universities in Europe. It has the third largest endowment of any university in the United Kingdom, after the universities of Cambridge and Oxford; the annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £949.0 million of which £279.7 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £931.3 million. Alumni of the university include some of the major figures of modern history, including 3 signatories of the American declaration of independence and 9 heads of state; as of March 2019, Edinburgh's alumni, faculty members and researches include 19 Nobel laureates, 3 Turing Award laureates, 1 Fields Medalist, 1 Abel Prize winner, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 2 currently-sitting UK Supreme Court Justices, several Olympic gold medallists. It continues to have links to the British Royal Family, having had the Duke of Edinburgh as its Chancellor from 1953 to 2010 and Princess Anne since 2011.
Edinburgh receives 60,000 applications every year, making it the second most popular university in the UK by volume of applications. It has 4th highest average UCAS entry tariff in Scotland, 5th overall in the UK. Founded by the Edinburgh Town Council, the university began life as a college of law using part of a legacy left by a graduate of the University of St Andrews, Bishop Robert Reid of St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney. Through efforts by the Town Council and Ministers of the City the institution broadened in scope and became formally established as a college by a Royal Charter, granted by King James VI of Scotland on 14 April 1582 after the petitioning of the Council; this was unprecedented in newly Presbyterian Scotland, as older universities in Scotland had been established through Papal bulls. Established as the "Tounis College", it opened its doors to students in October 1583. Instruction began under the charge of another St Andrews graduate Robert Rollock, it was the fourth Scottish university in a period when the richer and much more populous England had only two.
It was renamed King James's College in 1617. By the 18th century, the university was a leading centre of the Scottish Enlightenment. In 1762, Reverend Hugh Blair was appointed by King George III as the first Regius Professor of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres; this formalised literature as a subject at the university and the foundation of the English Literature department, making Edinburgh the oldest centre of literary education in Britain. Before the building of Old College to plans by Robert Adam implemented after the Napoleonic Wars by the architect William Henry Playfair, the University of Edinburgh existed in a hotchpotch of buildings from its establishment until the early 19th century; the university's first custom-built building was the Old College, now Edinburgh Law School, situated on South Bridge. Its first forte in teaching was anatomy and the developing science of surgery, from which it expanded into many other subjects. From the basement of a nearby house ran the anatomy tunnel corridor.
It went under what was North College Street, under the university buildings until it reached the university's anatomy lecture theatre, delivering bodies for dissection. It was from this tunnel. Towards the end of the 19th century, Old College was becoming overcrowded and Sir Robert Rowand Anderson was commissioned to design new Medical School premises in 1875; the design incorporated a Graduation Hall, but this was seen as too ambitious. A separate building was constructed for the purpose, the McEwan Hall designed by Anderson, after funds were donated by the brewer and politician Sir William McEwan in 1894, it was presented to the University in 1897. New College was opened in 1846 as a Free Church of Scotland college of the United Free Church of Scotland. Since the 1930s it has been the home of the School of Divinity. Prior to the 1929 reunion of the Church of Scotland, candidates for the ministry in the United Free Church studied at New College, whilst candidates for the old Church of Scotland studied in the Divinity Faculty of the University of Edinburgh.
During the 1930s the two institutions came together. By the end of the 1950s, there were around 7,000 students matriculating annually. An Edinburgh Students' Representative Council was founded in 1884 by student Robert Fitzroy Bell. In 1889, the SRC voted to be housed in Teviot Row House; the Edinburgh University Sports Union, founded in 1866. The Edinburgh