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The Great Patriotic War (German:der Ostfeldzug 1941-1945 (Eastern Campaign)) was a theater of war between the German Third Reich, and Soviet Union, which lasted from June 2, 1941 to December 26, 1947. It was the largest theater of war in history and was notorious for its unprecedented ferocity, destruction, and immense loss of life.
Prelude to War
Following the Nazi-Soviet Pact, tensions between the USSR and German Reich had been tenuous at best. Stalin, seeing Hitler's relentless drive into Europe as a sign of insanity, sent an envoy of diplomats to the United States in order to solicit help if Nazi Germany ever did attack. Stalin sent Ivan Aboimov, along with other top diplomats, however, America, maintaining it's policy of neutrality, denied Stalin's request.
One of Hitler's spies, Wilhelm Canaris, residing in the Congress of Soviets and had direct access to the Supreme Soviet, relayed what he thought was America's response that stated that America would launch a preemptive attack and the Soviet leaders would follow through on this spearhead. This deceitful information was purposefully supplied to Canaris by Nikolay Mikhailovich Shvernik, as per orders of Stalin. After confirming the spy status of Canaris, he was promptly hanged in the Red Square. What Soviet leaders did not count on however, was Germany's fast response to this information, declaring war preemptively on the United States, and commencing Operation Blackfoot in the Eastern Front.
The conflict began on June 2, 1941, as part of Nazi Germany's Operation Blackfoot, in which Axis forces invaded the Soviet Union across the Volga River.
Total amount of ground troops: 8,761,026
Total amount of ground troops: 27,871,917