Why did Germany invade Russia

After Germany had come to an agreement with Russia, thus leading to the invasion of Poland to be divided between the two nations, why then did Germany move onwards to invade Russia? It is necessary to understand that Germany by no means were on friendly terms with Russia. Germany hated the Soviet Union and despised communists. This very hate for communism is what allowed Hitler to promote his Enabling Act providing unlimited power and creating a totalitarian state. Germany had previously suffered from various terrorist attacks and the infamous alleged communist attack on the Reichstag building. While the true motivations and attackers remain under much discussion today, this fire fueled Germany (and Hitler) to take action against the communist “threat”.

It therefore stands to reason that Hitler and Russia were never going to get along. Many cartoonists around that era created pieces that depicted both Hitler and Stalin shaking hands and holding knives behind their backs. Despite these reservations Hitler knew that he could not invade Poland without the backing of Russia to secure him. He needed Russia on his side for the bold move he was about to take as an affront to the appeasements the Allies had previously given him. Now with a full army, a breakdown of the DMZ (de-militarized zone) and his eyes set firmly on the Polish Corridor, Hitler was willing to make a temporary truce with his hated enemies to secure his plans.

Hitler knew that the ongoing relations with Russia would be difficult at best, and coupled with growing paranoia it wasn’t long before Hitler decided to initiate Operation Barbarossa, a fail safe contingency plan should Russia turn on them. Whether or not Hitler really wanted to invade Russia is much in debate today and it doesn’t look like any firm agreement will be met soon on this topic. Some believe that Hitler planned the invasion in advance through a desire to wipe out communism and expand German territory. Others believe it was merely a pre-emptive strike due to rapidly deteriorating political conditions as Hitler wasn’t overly interested in the affairs of those outside of the core of Germany and by now the war had already continued far too long.

It was a situation that many foretold as Russia and Germany lay on two opposing sides of the political wheel and both with highly aggressive attitudes. As it developed, Germany invaded Russia first allowing for much debate today on this issue. It has also been suggested by many that alternative options were not explored by Germany fully before the invasion was carried out. This has cemented the belief that the attack was pre-meditated by Hitler rather than pre-emptive and is a line of thought that most historians today follow.

In conclusion, it is unlikely that Hitler saw a positive result in invading Russia when the war in Europe remained unresolved but many factors including opposing political views and paranoia somehow led Hitler to invade Russia despite this and both view points are considered acceptable from a historical point of view.