June 2021 marks 80 years since the launch of Operation Barbarossa. Operation Barbarossa is the code name for Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II.
Just two years prior to the invasion Russia and Germany had signed economic and political pacts and had agreed not to fight each other. Hitler, however, authorised the creation of a plan of an invasion in December 1940.
Operation Barbarossa assembled the largest invasion force in history, invading over a 2,900km front, 600,000 motor vehicles, 600,000 horses and about 3 million axis personnel would enter Russia over the duration of the conflict.
The invasion signified a huge escalation of the war. The Nazi's gain a number of significant victories but where eventually halted at Moscow at the end of 1941. The Russian's pushed the German forces back but the reversal in Russia led eventually to the total defeat of Nazi Germany.
The invasion of Russia by Nazi Germany in 1941 continues to have profound effects on our modern world.
To view a selection of images from this historically important event please click here.