The realization of lebensraum in eastern Europe and especially in Soviet Russia had always been an important goal of Adolf Hitler's foreign policy. The defeat of France in the summer of 1940 made the realization of this goal possible. Even though Great Britain remained in the war, plans for the invasion of Soviet Russia, code-named Operation Barbarossa, began in the fall of 1940. Hitler thought that the defeat of Soviet Russia might encourage the British to come to terms. The Germans were confident of success. After all, they had defeated Russia during the previous war, even with most of their resources engaged on the western front. Although Stalingrad is often perceived as the turning point of the German–Russian war, German plans had already gone seriously awry with their failure to take Moscow the previous year and rapidly conclude the campaign against Soviet Russia.
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