Sunday, 22 June 2008

22nd June 1941 - Operation Barbarossa launched

In the early hours of Sunday 22nd June 1941 Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. The Germans eloquently called this war Vernichtungskrieg - war of extermination - and that is exactly what it was. The Germans murdered 24 million Soviet citizens - 24 million! This figured included 3 million Soviet prisoners of war, captured soldiers left by the German army to starve to death or worked to death as slave labourers. Operation Barbarossa was the start of the Holocaust. Einsatzgruppen, aided and abetted by the German army, sought out and slaughtered at first hundreds, then thousands and finally millions of victims.
The German invasion of Russia was the most horrendous war of conquest, enslavement and annihilation that the modern world has ever seen. As the German people cheered, the Wehrmacht massacred men, women and children and destroyed countless cities, towns and villages. Until in another destroyed city, in Stalingrad, the German army was stopped and beaten and then driven back mile by mile to Berlin.
At least in Afghanistan today the German army only plays foosball.