3 Copy edited. (its = possessive, it's = "it is" or "it has". See for example <http://www.wikihow.com/Use-its-and-it's>.)
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As this Naval War College study on Barbarossa points out, Hitler was initiating plans for an invasion of Russia as early as July 21, 1940:

Whatever the thought process, on July 21, 1940 Hitler directed Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch (Commander-in-Chief of the Army) to develop a plan for the invasion of Soviet Russia to begin in the fall of that year. The staff was able to dissuade (sic) Hitler regarding that time frame, and then began to plan for an invasion which would take place during 1941.

These studies occurred simultaneous to the heady days of the Luftwaffe's highly successful attacks on British airfields (during the Battle of BritainBattle of Britain) and the Kriegsmarine's first U-Boatboat Happy Time, before the initial cracking of U-boat Enigma codesEnigma codes.

This was the direst period of the war for England, with completely unsupportable losses of aircraft, pilots, merchant marine and escorts occurring daily. U.S. isolationismU.S. isolationism was still strong, and Lend-Lease (March 1941) still far in the future. If Dolphin (Kriegsmarine's U-boat ENIGMA cipher) had not been cracked in early 1941 using captured German code books, allowing convoys to be routed around U-boat wolf packsU-boat wolfpacks, a forced capitulation of the UK is quite conceivable:

Nothing frightened me during World War II except the U-boat peril. - Winston S. Churchill

Against this background, a decision to invade the USSR before it'sits recuperation from the purges of 1938 could be completed and simply await an inevitable surrender of the UK seems almost sensible. Fortunately the code-breakers at Bletchley Park received the pinches they needed and the UK survived after all.

And from the Chapter 2 of Bryan Fugate's Strategy and Tactics on the Eastern Front, 1941:

Although the information gathered from these flights was not conclusive, it became obvious that in the event of war the Soviet threat to Rumania and the Wehrmacht's oil supply would become very great. The decision, then, to deal a heavy blow to the USSR before its potential threat could grow much beyond the existing level was one that found easy acceptance among German military leaders. They certainly were not motivated by abstract ideas of "living space" in the east, nor were they dedicated to the grander concept of a "Greater German Reich" stretching from western PranceFrance to the Black Sea{61}. This is not to deny that the non-Nazi generals favored territorial expansion for Germany, but none of them are on record as having endorsed Hitler's most extreme proposals in this respect. They did believe, however, that after 1941 the relative strength of the USSR, economically, diplomatically, and militarily, could only increase, whereas Germany's could only decline as long as the war dragged on in the west, a war that eventually might well mean the involvement of the United States{62}. Halder himself said after the war that no nation should be denied the ultimate right to launch a preventive war if that is the only alternative left open to it{63}. The Russians, too, are not loath to admit that their country, already under a massive war-oriented economic program [92] inaugurated by Stalin in 1929, would have been in a much stronger position in 1943 than in 1941{64}. The Third Reich's best chance was in 1941, albeit a slender one.

As this Naval War College study on Barbarossa points out, Hitler was initiating plans for an invasion of Russia as early as July 21, 1940:

Whatever the thought process, on July 21, 1940 Hitler directed Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch (Commander-in-Chief of the Army) to develop a plan for the invasion of Soviet Russia to begin in the fall of that year. The staff was able to dissuade (sic) Hitler regarding that time frame, and then began to plan for an invasion which would take place during 1941.

These studies occurred simultaneous to the heady days of the Luftwaffe's highly successful attacks on British airfields (during the Battle of Britain) and the Kriegsmarine's first U-Boat Happy Time, before the initial cracking of U-boat Enigma codes.

This was the direst period of the war for England, with completely unsupportable losses of aircraft, pilots, merchant marine and escorts occurring daily. U.S. isolationism was still strong, and Lend-Lease (March 1941) still far in the future. If Dolphin (Kriegsmarine's U-boat ENIGMA cipher) had not been cracked in early 1941 using captured German code books, allowing convoys to be routed around U-boat wolf packs, a forced capitulation of the UK is quite conceivable:

Nothing frightened me during World War II except the U-boat peril. - Winston S. Churchill

Against this background, a decision to invade the USSR before it's recuperation from the purges of 1938 could be completed and simply await an inevitable surrender of the UK seems almost sensible. Fortunately the code-breakers at Bletchley Park received the pinches they needed and the UK survived after all.

And from the Chapter 2 of Bryan Fugate's Strategy and Tactics on the Eastern Front, 1941:

Although the information gathered from these flights was not conclusive, it became obvious that in the event of war the Soviet threat to Rumania and the Wehrmacht's oil supply would become very great. The decision, then, to deal a heavy blow to the USSR before its potential threat could grow much beyond the existing level was one that found easy acceptance among German military leaders. They certainly were not motivated by abstract ideas of "living space" in the east, nor were they dedicated to the grander concept of a "Greater German Reich" stretching from western Prance to the Black Sea{61}. This is not to deny that the non-Nazi generals favored territorial expansion for Germany, but none of them are on record as having endorsed Hitler's most extreme proposals in this respect. They did believe, however, that after 1941 the relative strength of the USSR, economically, diplomatically, and militarily, could only increase, whereas Germany's could only decline as long as the war dragged on in the west, a war that eventually might well mean the involvement of the United States{62}. Halder himself said after the war that no nation should be denied the ultimate right to launch a preventive war if that is the only alternative left open to it{63}. The Russians, too, are not loath to admit that their country, already under a massive war-oriented economic program [92] inaugurated by Stalin in 1929, would have been in a much stronger position in 1943 than in 1941{64}. The Third Reich's best chance was in 1941, albeit a slender one.

As this Naval War College study on Barbarossa points out, Hitler was initiating plans for an invasion of Russia as early as July 21, 1940:

Whatever the thought process, on July 21, 1940 Hitler directed Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch (Commander-in-Chief of the Army) to develop a plan for the invasion of Soviet Russia to begin in the fall of that year. The staff was able to dissuade (sic) Hitler regarding that time frame, and then began to plan for an invasion which would take place during 1941.

These studies occurred simultaneous to the heady days of the Luftwaffe's highly successful attacks on British airfields (during the Battle of Britain) and the Kriegsmarine's first U-boat Happy Time, before the initial cracking of U-boat Enigma codes.

This was the direst period of the war for England, with completely unsupportable losses of aircraft, pilots, merchant marine and escorts occurring daily. U.S. isolationism was still strong, and Lend-Lease (March 1941) still far in the future. If Dolphin (Kriegsmarine's U-boat ENIGMA cipher) had not been cracked in early 1941 using captured German code books, allowing convoys to be routed around U-boat wolfpacks, a forced capitulation of the UK is quite conceivable:

Nothing frightened me during World War II except the U-boat peril. - Winston S. Churchill

Against this background, a decision to invade the USSR before its recuperation from the purges of 1938 could be completed and simply await an inevitable surrender of the UK seems almost sensible. Fortunately the code-breakers at Bletchley Park received the pinches they needed and the UK survived after all.

And from the Chapter 2 of Bryan Fugate's Strategy and Tactics on the Eastern Front, 1941:

Although the information gathered from these flights was not conclusive, it became obvious that in the event of war the Soviet threat to Rumania and the Wehrmacht's oil supply would become very great. The decision, then, to deal a heavy blow to the USSR before its potential threat could grow much beyond the existing level was one that found easy acceptance among German military leaders. They certainly were not motivated by abstract ideas of "living space" in the east, nor were they dedicated to the grander concept of a "Greater German Reich" stretching from western France to the Black Sea{61}. This is not to deny that the non-Nazi generals favored territorial expansion for Germany, but none of them are on record as having endorsed Hitler's most extreme proposals in this respect. They did believe, however, that after 1941 the relative strength of the USSR, economically, diplomatically, and militarily, could only increase, whereas Germany's could only decline as long as the war dragged on in the west, a war that eventually might well mean the involvement of the United States{62}. Halder himself said after the war that no nation should be denied the ultimate right to launch a preventive war if that is the only alternative left open to it{63}. The Russians, too, are not loath to admit that their country, already under a massive war-oriented economic program [92] inaugurated by Stalin in 1929, would have been in a much stronger position in 1943 than in 1941{64}. The Third Reich's best chance was in 1941, albeit a slender one.

2 added 1699 characters in body
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As this Naval War College study on Barbarossa points out, Hitler was initiating plans for an invasion of Russia as early as July 21, 1940:

Whatever the thought process, on July 21, 1940 Hitler directed Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch (Commander-in-Chief of the Army) to develop a plan for the invasion of Soviet Russia to begin in the fall of that year. The staff was able to dissuade (sic) Hitler regarding that time frame, and then began to plan for an invasion which would take place during 1941.

These studies occurred simultaneous to the heady days of the Luftwaffe's highly successful attacks on British airfields (during the Battle of Britain) and the Kriegsmarine's first U-Boat Happy Time, before the initial cracking of U-boat Enigma codes.

This was the direst period of the war for England, with completely unsupportable losses of aircraft, pilots, merchant marine and escorts occurring daily. U.S. isolationism was still strong, and Lend-Lease (March 1941) still far in the future. If Dolphin (Kriegsmarine's U-boat ENIGMA cipher) had not been cracked in early 1941 using captured German code books, allowing convoys to be routed around U-boat wolf packs, a forced capitulation of the UK is quite conceivable:

Nothing frightened me during World War II except the U-boat peril. - Winston S. Churchill

Against this background, a decision to invade the USSR before it's recuperation from the purges of 1938 could be completed and simply await an inevitable surrender of the UK seems almost sensible. Fortunately the code-breakers at Bletchley Park received the pinches they needed and the UK survived after all.

And from the Chapter 2 of Bryan Fugate's Strategy and Tactics on the Eastern Front, 1941:

Although the information gathered from these flights was not conclusive, it became obvious that in the event of war the Soviet threat to Rumania and the Wehrmacht's oil supply would become very great. The decision, then, to deal a heavy blow to the USSR before its potential threat could grow much beyond the existing level was one that found easy acceptance among German military leaders. They certainly were not motivated by abstract ideas of "living space" in the east, nor were they dedicated to the grander concept of a "Greater German Reich" stretching from western Prance to the Black Sea{61}. This is not to deny that the non-Nazi generals favored territorial expansion for Germany, but none of them are on record as having endorsed Hitler's most extreme proposals in this respect. They did believe, however, that after 1941 the relative strength of the USSR, economically, diplomatically, and militarily, could only increase, whereas Germany's could only decline as long as the war dragged on in the west, a war that eventually might well mean the involvement of the United States{62}. Halder himself said after the war that no nation should be denied the ultimate right to launch a preventive war if that is the only alternative left open to it{63}. The Russians, too, are not loath to admit that their country, already under a massive war-oriented economic program [92] inaugurated by Stalin in 1929, would have been in a much stronger position in 1943 than in 1941{64}. The Third Reich's best chance was in 1941, albeit a slender one.

As this Naval War College study on Barbarossa points out, Hitler was initiating plans for an invasion of Russia as early as July 21, 1940:

Whatever the thought process, on July 21, 1940 Hitler directed Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch (Commander-in-Chief of the Army) to develop a plan for the invasion of Soviet Russia to begin in the fall of that year. The staff was able to dissuade (sic) Hitler regarding that time frame, and then began to plan for an invasion which would take place during 1941.

These studies occurred simultaneous to the heady days of the Luftwaffe's highly successful attacks on British airfields (during the Battle of Britain) and the Kriegsmarine's first U-Boat Happy Time, before the initial cracking of U-boat Enigma codes.

This was the direst period of the war for England, with completely unsupportable losses of aircraft, pilots, merchant marine and escorts occurring daily. U.S. isolationism was still strong, and Lend-Lease (March 1941) still far in the future. If Dolphin (Kriegsmarine's U-boat ENIGMA cipher) had not been cracked in early 1941 using captured German code books, allowing convoys to be routed around U-boat wolf packs, a forced capitulation of the UK is quite conceivable:

Nothing frightened me during World War II except the U-boat peril. - Winston S. Churchill

Against this background, a decision to invade the USSR before it's recuperation from the purges of 1938 could be completed and simply await an inevitable surrender of the UK seems almost sensible. Fortunately the code-breakers at Bletchley Park received the pinches they needed and the UK survived after all.

As this Naval War College study on Barbarossa points out, Hitler was initiating plans for an invasion of Russia as early as July 21, 1940:

Whatever the thought process, on July 21, 1940 Hitler directed Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch (Commander-in-Chief of the Army) to develop a plan for the invasion of Soviet Russia to begin in the fall of that year. The staff was able to dissuade (sic) Hitler regarding that time frame, and then began to plan for an invasion which would take place during 1941.

These studies occurred simultaneous to the heady days of the Luftwaffe's highly successful attacks on British airfields (during the Battle of Britain) and the Kriegsmarine's first U-Boat Happy Time, before the initial cracking of U-boat Enigma codes.

This was the direst period of the war for England, with completely unsupportable losses of aircraft, pilots, merchant marine and escorts occurring daily. U.S. isolationism was still strong, and Lend-Lease (March 1941) still far in the future. If Dolphin (Kriegsmarine's U-boat ENIGMA cipher) had not been cracked in early 1941 using captured German code books, allowing convoys to be routed around U-boat wolf packs, a forced capitulation of the UK is quite conceivable:

Nothing frightened me during World War II except the U-boat peril. - Winston S. Churchill

Against this background, a decision to invade the USSR before it's recuperation from the purges of 1938 could be completed and simply await an inevitable surrender of the UK seems almost sensible. Fortunately the code-breakers at Bletchley Park received the pinches they needed and the UK survived after all.

And from the Chapter 2 of Bryan Fugate's Strategy and Tactics on the Eastern Front, 1941:

Although the information gathered from these flights was not conclusive, it became obvious that in the event of war the Soviet threat to Rumania and the Wehrmacht's oil supply would become very great. The decision, then, to deal a heavy blow to the USSR before its potential threat could grow much beyond the existing level was one that found easy acceptance among German military leaders. They certainly were not motivated by abstract ideas of "living space" in the east, nor were they dedicated to the grander concept of a "Greater German Reich" stretching from western Prance to the Black Sea{61}. This is not to deny that the non-Nazi generals favored territorial expansion for Germany, but none of them are on record as having endorsed Hitler's most extreme proposals in this respect. They did believe, however, that after 1941 the relative strength of the USSR, economically, diplomatically, and militarily, could only increase, whereas Germany's could only decline as long as the war dragged on in the west, a war that eventually might well mean the involvement of the United States{62}. Halder himself said after the war that no nation should be denied the ultimate right to launch a preventive war if that is the only alternative left open to it{63}. The Russians, too, are not loath to admit that their country, already under a massive war-oriented economic program [92] inaugurated by Stalin in 1929, would have been in a much stronger position in 1943 than in 1941{64}. The Third Reich's best chance was in 1941, albeit a slender one.

1
source | link

As this Naval War College study on Barbarossa points out, Hitler was initiating plans for an invasion of Russia as early as July 21, 1940:

Whatever the thought process, on July 21, 1940 Hitler directed Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch (Commander-in-Chief of the Army) to develop a plan for the invasion of Soviet Russia to begin in the fall of that year. The staff was able to dissuade (sic) Hitler regarding that time frame, and then began to plan for an invasion which would take place during 1941.

These studies occurred simultaneous to the heady days of the Luftwaffe's highly successful attacks on British airfields (during the Battle of Britain) and the Kriegsmarine's first U-Boat Happy Time, before the initial cracking of U-boat Enigma codes.

This was the direst period of the war for England, with completely unsupportable losses of aircraft, pilots, merchant marine and escorts occurring daily. U.S. isolationism was still strong, and Lend-Lease (March 1941) still far in the future. If Dolphin (Kriegsmarine's U-boat ENIGMA cipher) had not been cracked in early 1941 using captured German code books, allowing convoys to be routed around U-boat wolf packs, a forced capitulation of the UK is quite conceivable:

Nothing frightened me during World War II except the U-boat peril. - Winston S. Churchill

Against this background, a decision to invade the USSR before it's recuperation from the purges of 1938 could be completed and simply await an inevitable surrender of the UK seems almost sensible. Fortunately the code-breakers at Bletchley Park received the pinches they needed and the UK survived after all.