Lossberg Study for the Invasion of the Soviet Union

Lossberg study is a German military plan prepared by Lieutenant Colonel Bernhard von Lossberg and developed under Alfred Jodl in OKW on September 15, 1940.

Its northward direction of attack on the Soviet Union was favoured in the Barbarossa Plan, signed by Hitler. Key paragraphs:

"To conduct the operations first it's necessary to decide whether the main stroke direction would be norther or souther to the Pripet Marshes ... The advantages of aiming the main stroke northward are as follows:

* much better concentration possibilities (railroads)
* interest in inflicting a prompt defeat on Russians in Baltic states
* relatively better road conditions at operational direction
* cooperation possibility with XXI Group, acting from Finland
* attainability of Leningrad and Moscow

The advantages of aiming the main stroke southward are:

* threatened area of Romania
* possibility of supplying the German motorized units upon Romanian and Galician oil fields (however much worse communications after crossing the Russian border)
* significance of Ukraine.

Suggestion is to choose the main stroke direction northwardly."

"How the cooperation of both main groups eastward from the Pripet Marshes will be organized henceforth and how the ultimate military goal will look like depends at great extent on whether the collapse of Russia after initial German successes takes place or not, and when". Similar arguments for northern direction were made on November 26 in German General Staff project.

From the start, Hitler and his top mili­tary men knew that they had to defeat Rus­sia quickly. They never planned to campaign more than one season inside Russia. Thus, keeping to the techniques that worked so well in the first year of the war, Hitler ordered his military planners to prepare a plan for a lightning campaign that would destroy the Red Army before it could retreat into the Russian hinterland. With the Red Army destroyed, the Wehrmacht could overrun European Russia more or less at leisure.