Term of Award

Winter 2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of History

Committee Chair

Brian Feltman

Committee Member 1

Alan Downs

Committee Member 2

Bill Allison


The purpose of this thesis is to examine what can be considered a military blunder on the part of the Nazi Germans. On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany launched a massive invasion into the Soviet Union and Soviet territories. The political goals of Operation Barbarossa were to seize hold of the expanses of land belonging to the Soviet Union. This would serve as the foundation for increased agricultural production and the enslavement of any remaining Slavic people for the supposed greater good Germany. Additionally, the Nazis desired to erase the presence of all Jews living within the Soviet Union and Soviet held territories. Eventually, this goal would be aimed at eliminating Jews across all of Europe and would be dubbed the Final Solution. Furthermore, the Nazis desired the supply of oil fields within the region surrounding the Caucasus Mountains. This would help fuel the Nazi war machine as Adolf Hitler continued to progress towards his goal of establishing a Third Reich. The goals of the military were to achieve a complete victory over the Red Army. Nazi plans called for a quick conquest, which would enable the Wehrmacht to encircle and defeat the bulk of the Red Army within the first four months of the campaign. By studying Operation Barbarossa, historians can equate the operation to a pursuit of war aims. These included a two pronged war that was aimed at both crushing the Red Army and eliminating the Jews. Militarily, the Nazis did not have the manpower to pursue both the Final Solution and war against the Red Army. This thesis will examine how the Nazis misused vial resources of manpower in the name of Nazi ideology from the commencement of Operation Barbarossa to the end of the war in 1945.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material