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Operation Barbarossa was named after Frederick Barbarossa, the medieval German ruler who, as myth had it, would rescue Germany in her time of need.
Planning started on 18 December 1940 ; the secret preparations and the military operation itself lasted from June to December 1941.
The Red Army repelled the Wehrmacht's strongest blow, and Adolf Hitler did not achieve the expected victory, but the Soviet Union's situation remained dire.
Tactically, the Germans won resounding victories and occupied some of the most important economic areas of the Soviet Union, mainly in Ukraine.
Despite these successes, the Germans were pushed back from Moscow and could never again mount a simultaneous offensive along the entire strategic Soviet – German front.

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