College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in History - Comprehensive (MA)
Carey M. Roberts
Eastern Front, Russo-German War, WWII
Arts and Humanities | History | Military History
Wells, Jr., Randall, "Tearing the Guts Out of the Wehrmacht: A Re-Examination of the Russo-German War" (2018). Masters Theses. 535.
Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. Hitler’s plan to annihilate Germany’s Eastern neighbor and populate the vast Russian expanse with his own people was as ambitious as it was adventuristic. Although it began successful, the Russo-German War quickly devolved into a quagmire as Russian troops outfought their German opponent and beat them back to Berlin. Contrary to prevailing historiography, the Wehrmacht’s loss on the Eastern Front cannot be solely attributed to a failure to equip German troops with proper winter clothing, an inadequate logistics network or Hitler’s interference in military decisions. For an army that had enjoyed rapid gains during late 1930s and 1940, only an enhanced tactical revolution, superior armor and a more aggressive martial ethos explains how the vaunted German military suffered ignominious defeat at the hands of what many consider a third-rate adversary.