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Sunday, June 22, 1941: three million German soldiers invaded the Soviet Union as part of Hitler’s long-planned Operation Barbarossa, which aimed to destroy the Soviet Union, secure its land as lebensraum for the Third Reich, and enslave its Slavic population. From launching points in newly acquired Poland, in three prongs—North, Central, South—German forces stormed western Russia, virtually from the Baltic to the Black Sea. By late fall, the... more...