The USSR Strikes Back (02:17)
Imagine if the Axis Forces won the battle of Kursk and Europe fell to Germany during the Normandy Invasion. Key moments in the fall of the Third Reich include the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, Soviets fortifying the Kursk Region, and the Red Army battles Nazis in Berlin.
Operation Barbarossa (03:35)
Adolf Hitler enters the "wolf's lair" in East Prussia for the first time on June 23rd, 1941. The Wehrmacht invades the Soviet Union with the goal of conquering the country before the start of winter. Minsk falls in one week; by the end of December, the USSR loses 3 million men.
Memory of Humanity (02:56)
Compare Operation Barbarossa to the Russian invasion led by Napoleon Bonaparte. The French army is starved; very few soldiers return home. Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus surrenders at Stalingrad on January 31, 1943.
Fortification of the Front (02:47)
Soviet soldiers stand up to the German troops, who are not used to the cold Russian winter. Hitler hopes that Operation Citadel will drive out the Red Army, but delays its strike. General Georgy Zhukov anticipates the battle and creates a solid defense.
Turning Point in History (04:18)
The Red Army prepares for the Wehrmacht attacks by enlisting citizens to dig trenches and anti-tank ditches. Fake airfields and artillery positions are built to trick the Luftwaffe. Erich von Manstein creates the military strategy for Operation Citadel.
Battle of Kursk (04:49)
German generals are convinced that Russia is on the brink of surrendering. Soviet tanks are mass produced; Germany's are of higher quality but fewer in number. The sheer number of T-34s causes the Wehrmacht to become short of ammunition, men, and equipment; Hitler terminates Operation Citadel the next day.
Fall of Berlin (04:25)
German troops learn that Hitler died and prepare for a final battle at the Reichstag Building; World War II ends in Europe on May 9th, 1945. The Red Army launches offensives and reclaims the territory. The war would not have been won without the millions of Russian soldiers who gave their lives.
Credits: Kursk, The Tank Battle (00:50)
Credits: Kursk, The Tank Battle
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