Wednesday 22 June 2016

Seventy-Five Years Ago: Operation Barbarossa

The 75th anniversary today of the unleashing of the Nazi war machine on the Soviet Union was the beginning of a conflict unparalleled in the annals of human of warfare. It was marked by large tank battles, sweeping encirclements and lengthy sieges. It is remembered for the unrelenting cruelty visited on combatants and non-combatants that came by way of human design as well as through hardships imposed by nature. On the German Eastern Front, genocidal SS-Einsatzgruppen units hunted down Jews, partisans and members of the Soviet Communist Party. Hundreds of thousands died in the siege of Leningrad and an unknown amount well over a million died in the Battle of Stalingrad. But the people of the Soviet Union, composed of various ethnic groups, held out until the tide turned and Hitler's armies were vanquished. This came at the cost of a loss of over 25 million of the total population.

(c) Adeyinka Makinde (2016)

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

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