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And So it Begins – Germany Invades Russia – June 22, 1941

Hitler and Von Ribbentrop announce the German invasion of Russia.

Hitler and Von Ribbentrop announce the German invasion of Russia.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Blue Network/BBC – News bulletins on Invasion of Russia – Winston Churchill Address – June 22, 1941 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

This day, 74 years ago was about the sudden turn of events in Eastern Europe. Germany announced it was massing troops on the border of Russia and had declared a state of war existed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Less than two years after signing the “non-aggression pact”, much to everyone’s surprise then, Germany reneged on its promise and prepared to invade Russia.

The news was greeted with a flurry of bulletins and confusion which dominated the airwaves for all of that June 22nd. With an address later on that day by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Germany did what many considered a suicidal move – however, it was the start of Summer and anything could happen between then and when the seasons changed. Russia was certainly superior in numbers of troops. But Germany had superior equipment and skilled tacticians, and Stalin had recently staged a widespread purge within the Military, removing many competent generals and officers – and so far, the Blitzkrieg method of war was successful. But it was down to a matter of time and how long Russia could hold out before Winter arrived.

Here is a sampling of bulletins heard throughout the day, ending with an address from London by Prime Minister Winston Churchill on June 22, 1941.

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