World Youth Voices

By Tejas Iyer , USA

Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in World war II was a vital event that took place during the battle. It all started when Hitler began to look past operation SeaLion , which was directed towards Britain, and instead turned his focus towards the Soviet Union. The operation was given the codename“Barbarossa”. The invasion was the largest operation performed by the German military during the war. The Germans had bottled up all their anger towards the Soviet Union for  decades and finally released it in one carefully thought out and technical plan. Their was one main reason for the Germans wanting to carry out operation Barbarossa which was that they wanted to create havoc and destruction against a state associated with communism.  Although there were many who disagreed with the decision, it was prudent for Germany to invade the Soviet Union in 1941. It was a right time to attack the Soviet Union as their army and leadership positions had been worn out and destroyed.

Many say that the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany was a reckless attack and completely unnecessary. The attack orchestrated by Adolf Hitler was seen as not thought out and impulsive. He was convinced by his advisors that a “ German attack on the “Judaeo-Bolshevik” state would bring it crashing down within weeks”(portalus.ru). As a result, the many say that this was not well timed and fueled completely on the impulsive fire and hatred within Hitler. In addition to not being well thought out, people feel that they did not have enough supply to conduct an invasion like that as they did not have enough grass to feed the over 600,000 horses being prepared for battle. The Germans also lacked spare parts for all the vehicles being used as it was likely that the vehicles would break down because of harsh weather conditions. Not only did Germany have an inadequate supply of supply such as food or vehicle parts, they also did not seem to  have effective enough weaponry to pursue an attack. Most of their guns were used and refurbished (portalus.ru). This shows how the Germans weapons were not brand new but already used and then renovated. In addition to being used, their weaponry was not up to date with the modern technology offered at the time. As a result of not being up to date with their weapons, it was very risky to invade the Soviet Union as their weapons were up to date.  Last but not least, another issue with Barbarossa the caused many to question if it was a good invasion, were the petroleum shortages. Since they did not have enough fuel for the vehicles, sometimes the Germans were trapped in enemy territory. On top of being trapped in enemy territory sometimes, the Germans were also stuck there during the harsh weather which they were forced to endure. Despite all the problems with Operation Barbarossa, it was still a well thought out and effective attack. Despite not having the necessary materials and rushing the plan, they chose the perfect time to attack as the Soviet Union military was in bad shape. The Red Army was also in a state of disbelief while the Wehrmacht was at its highest point and Joseph Stalin still believed in the Non-Aggression pact of 1939(portalus.ru). All these factors heavily contribute to why Operation Barbarossa was a careful and thought out plan for the future.

Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 proved to be a very prudent attack for many reasons. The Soviet Union Army, and the Red Army were battered proving to be an easy target for the Germans. In addition, the Germans Wehrmacht was at the peak of its power which would be very dangerous for the opposing force and extremely helpful and vital for Germany. Lastly, Joseph Stalin still believed in the Non-Aggression Pact of 1939.

The Germans chose a perfect time for the invasion as the Soviet, and Red Army were clearly a liability at the moment.  Because their minds were sprinkled throughout various problems, they would not be focused enough to defend themselves from Germany causing it to be a very well thought out invasion. The Soviet military had recently been in a feud with Finland which caused them to lose Finland as an ally. This meant that if the Germans were to attack, the Soviet Union would not have anyone to back them up. In addition to not having any allies, the Soviet military also had many men stationed in Asia at the moment. This was because, they were worrisome of a possible attack by Japan. The Red Army was also in a state of disbelief after their losses in Finland which caused them to be bested easily. The effective timing of Germany was clearly shown through the statistics: the Soviet Union lost 2600 planes in the first five days of the attack and 324,000 Russians, and 3,300 tanks were captured.

The Germans invasion was well planned as they attacked when their Wehrmacht was at the height of its power.  The Wehrmacht was the German army which was extremely stable and productive under Hitler’s influence(Muller 123). The army had been winning many battles and was fully loaded. There were over 3 million soldiers in the German army. In addition they had over 650,000 soldiers from supporting allied countries such as Finland and Romania.  In addition to that, they had allies across the whole Baltic Sea front. The army had a total of 134 divisions at full strength and 73 more division backing up the front also at full strength at the time(ushmm.org).  All of this strength in the army bolstered the argument that it was prudent for Germany to attack as they were at full strength at that moment giving them an advantage to win a gain territory.

One of the main reasons for Germany making a well thought decision in invading the USSR was that Joseph Stalin was still persuaded that the Non- Aggression Pact of 1939 was still in place. The Non -Aggression Pact of 1939 was a pact that was signed by Germany and the Soviet Union. This pact stated that each side would not attack each other for the next 10 years. Germany was in Joseph Stalin’s good books as he was the leader of the USSR. Stalin had recently completely misjudged Finland during a battle as he felt that since Finland had a small army, they would easily be overpowered. This was not the case as Finland brought the fight to them and battered their army.  This exposed Stalin as misjudging and naive which made it a perfectly timed attack by Germany as they realized that if Stalin would misjudge an enemy this badly, it would be much worse with an “ally”.

All in all, Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 proved to be prudent as it was decisively planned and executed intelligently. Despite many claims that this was not a prudent attack such as a lack of lengthy planning, issues with supply, and issues with the quality of weaponry, there were many points that proved that it was truly a prudent decision as they attacked at the right time, took advantage of the Soviet Union’s state, and took advantage of their own state resulting in a victorious and overpowering attack.

By Vasisht Balaji, India

Salads are one of the healthiest foods in the whole world. They are also very easy to make

and ingredients of salads are easily available as well. However, most people do not eat

salads as they think that salads aren't tasty at all. However, salads are ignored. There are

many facts on the rising prices of salads and the decreasing prices of junk food all around

the world. In the USA, the price of a salad is a lot more than that of a hamburger. An article

published in the New York Times stated a few reasons as to why the prices are what they

are. The production of salad vegetables is a seasonal process as opposed to the

slaughtering of cows, which can be done all-year round due to a high number of cows

available. Also, transportation and storage costs play a big role as well, since food like

ground beef can be stored or frozen a lot easier than salads can be stored. The article also

states that the government, whether directly or indirectly, supports the mass production of

foods such as meat and peanuts, which are the very same foods that cause large-scale

obesity and chronic diseases. Frankly speaking, red meat is rich in protein and can be

hugely beneficial if consumed in the right quantities. Peanuts, as well, are rich in protein

and carbohydrate and are very healthy when consumed in the right quantities. However,

as stated earlier, consuming healthy food in high quantities makes them unhealthy.

Americans consume humongous amounts of both red meat and peanuts, and most of that

is consumed with oil, which leads to higher average cholesterol levels, obesity and various

chronic diseases.

Filmmakers, too, have tried to spread light on this topic. An Oscar-nominated film, Food

Inc., shows the story of a poor family, who spend what little money they have for food on

fast-food burgers as they are cheaper and a lot more filling, then on vegetables. This

serves as a stop-gap measure, but in the long term, they will face health repercussions

that are a lot more severe. In 1978, a bag of oranges cost the same as a big bottle of

soda, whereas in 2016, the same bag of oranges costs three times the cost of a big bottle

of soda. This is a key factor influencing the decisions of many lower-middle class families,

who make up most of the world’s population. “the average 18-year- old today is 15 pounds

heavier than the average 18 year-old in the late 1970s. Adults have put on even more

weight during that period. The average woman in her 60s is 20 pounds heavier than the

average 60-something woman in the late 1970s. The average man in his 60s is 25 pounds

heavier.” From this, we can say that both adults and children are a lot more obese and

prone to chronic diseases. School lunches too, are filled with food that has a high fat

content, as quoted here. “Whereas the food pyramid recommends a diet rich in whole

grains, fruits and vegetables, the USDA usually provides schools with meat and dairy

products often high in saturated fat. Only 13 percent of commodities provided are fruits

and vegetables. Salads do not even figure on most school lunch menus.” In France, the

cost of buying fruits and vegetables for a month is 30 Euros whereas a bottle of Coca-Cola

or any other soft drink isn't even 2 Euros. This shows that most economies place higher

emphasis on products that are popular and sell well in the short-term rather than keeping

their countries healthy and prosperous in the future. Buying a burger with Coca-Cola is

only around half the cost of an equally filling amount of fruits and vegetables. Most people

prefer not to buy food that isn't tasty, and that kind of food also happens to be cheap.