The War Against The Soviet Union Essay

1222 Words Nov 1st, 2016 5 Pages
During the war against the Soviet Union, the Germans faced considerable resistance from the Soviet Partisans. The Soviet Partisans were an extension of the Red Army and the Soviet government, and waged guerilla warfare against the occupying German forces, with the ultimate goal of forcing a German retreat. When the Germans invaded, there were Partisan bands already in place however they still lacked strength due to Stalin’s purges. In January 1941, the partisans numbered around 30,000, and that number would rise to 150,000 by the summer, and then to 300,000 by the summer of 1943. For the most part, Partisans outnumbered the occupying forces and by 1942 were even able to set up zones directly under Soviet rule. Some Partisan zones even had the freedom to regularly land supply planes. This proves that the Partisans had an increasingly active role in German occupied Russia, that civilians were willing to take part whether it be by fighting or just collaboration.
Before understanding the motives of the people joining the Partisan movement, it is important to look into the composition of the partisan groups. Former Red Army soldiers at first made up the bulk of the groups but this ratio fell overtime due to civilian enlistees and draftees. One historian, J. Armstrong suggests that Red Army soldiers made up an average of 40% of partisan strength throughout the war, however official Russian sources indicate that number to be much lower. As established earlier, one of the…

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