The Great Patriotic War: Germany Invades
World War II: The Eastern Front from Operation Barbarossa to Stalingrad (5 July 1941)
Historical Map of Russia & the former Soviet Union
At 3:15 am the Axis Powers led by Nazi Germany launched the invasion of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, bombing cities in a broad arc from Kronstadt to Sevastopol as some three million troops advanced across the border. Within hours the momentum of the Axis attacks had completely destroyed the Soviet organizational command and control, paralyzing every level of command, and it was only at 7:15 am that Soviet leader Josef Stalin announced the invasion to the Soviet Armed Forces and called upon them to act.
Continuation War begins
In the morning, the Soviet Union launched an air offensive against German airfields in Finland, unintentionally hitting several Finnish cities. In the wake of the bombings, the Finnish parliament accepted that Finland was under attack, declaring war on the Soviets. The war became known as the Continuation War, as it occurred a little over a year after the Winter War ended.