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June 22nd, 1941. Operation Barbarossa begins. Hitler's 1939 Nonaggression Pact with the Soviet Union came to abrupt but predictable end on Sunday, June 22, 1941. At dawn on that day, German forces launched Operation Barbarossa along an 1,800-mile front that ran from Leningrad to the Black Sea. The three German army groups included 150 divisions containing three million men, 3,000 tanks, 7,000 artillery pieces and 2,500 aircraft. The German forces were further strengthened by more than 30 divisions of Finnish and Romanian troops. It was in effect the largest and most powerful invasion force in history. Like previous campaigns, Barbarossa was planned as a blitzkrieg led by armored units.The invasion took the Soviet leadership completely by surprise and caught the Red Army in an unprepared and partially demobilized state. Stalin had been informed that the Germans would invade but he did not believe the sources. Over the first few days, the German Luftwaffe destroyed more than 1,200 Soviet aircraft, many of them on the ground. By mid-July the Germans had advanced more than 400 miles and were only 200 miles from Moscow. Heavy Autumn rains would turn the Russian roads to deep mud and the sub-zero temperatures that followed in November would further stall and finally end the German advance. ... See MoreSee Less

3 hours ago  ·  

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~ A new addition to this year's American Elegance performance: 1926 Chrysler Model 72 Roadster. Show starts around 1 PM Saturday and Sunday. More information see: www.americanheritagemuseum.org/event/tanks-wings-wheels-2/ ... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago  ·  

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Word on the streets says Al Capone will be showing up at AHM in his 1940 V-16 Cadillac on June 19th and 20th - to case the place for his new casino and speak-easy. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

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Visitors to the American Heritage Museum this past weekend had the opportunity to view a display of impressive artifacts from the Allied campaign to liberate Italy (1943-1945). The Allied advance through Italy produced some of the most bitter, costly fighting of the war, much of it in treacherous mountain terrain. Rome was liberated 77 years ago this month but at the time the event was completely overshadowed by the D-Day landings in Normandy.The weekend exhibition was organized and expertly described to several hundred Museum visitors by Abigail Metheny of Concord, MA and Jesse Campana of Brick, NJ. Both are avid students of the history of the Italian Campaign as well as skilled collectors of WWII memorabilia. Abigail and Jesse appeared in US Army uniforms from the period: Abigail as a US Army Nurse and Jesse as an Army private. The AHM extends its appreciation to Abigail and Jesse for their wonderful commitment of their time and expertise. We look forward to welcoming them back to the Museum sometime soon. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

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The American Heritage Museum is running a very unique sweepstakes fundraiser "Behind Enemy Lines - WWII Tank Experience." We hope that you could share this with your friends. Here is the link with all the details: americanheritagemuseum.tapkat.org/behindenemylinesProceeds go to our education outreach programs and operations. ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago  ·  

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Eastern Front


T-34/76
– RUS | TANK

7.5 cm Pak 97/38 – GER/FRA | ANTI-TANK GUN

Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. D – GER | PERSONNEL CARRIER/PRIME MOVER

Sd.Kfz. 2 Kleines Kettenkrad – GER | PERSONNEL CARRIER/PRIME MOVER

15 cm Nebelwerfer 41 – GER | ROCKET LAUNCHER

StuG III Ausf. G – GER | TANK DESTROYER

3.7 cm Pak 35/36 – GER | ANTI-TANK GUN

Borgward IV Ausf. B – GER | REMOTE DEMOLITION VEHICLE

PM M1910 – RUS | HEAVY MACHINE GUN

The battles on the Eastern Front constituted the largest military confrontations in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, destruction on a massive scale, mass deportations, and immense loss of life due to combat, starvation, exposure, disease, and massacres. Of the estimated 70-85 million deaths attributed to World War II, around 40 million occurred on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome in the European Theater of Operation in World War II, with the Red Army inflicting by far the most damage on the armies of Nazi Germany and the Axis nations. The two principal powers were Germany and the Soviet Union, along with smaller Axis allies like Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Italy. Though never engaged in military action in the Eastern Front, the United States and the United Kingdom both provided substantial material aid to the Soviet Union.

Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were essentially allied in the ruthless double invasion of Poland in September 1939, and their cooperative annexations of other small states, in whole or in part, in 1939-1940. However, in terms of ideology and imperial and territorial ambition they remained deeply at odds. Germany thus launched Operation Barbarossa, its invasion of the Soviet Union, on June 22nd, 1941, the summer solstice and hence true “longest day” of the war. From the first hours, Nazi death battalions (Einsatzgruppen) carried out mass murder campaigns. The fighting between the armies was brutal and merciless. In the first winter alone, 3.5 million Soviet POWs were starved to death or murdered by the Nazi regime. But the invasion slowed by December 1941, halting out just miles from Moscow. Another effort by the Germans stalled in Stalingrad in late 1942, before the turning point came at Kursk in the summer of 1943, while the Western Allies landed in Sicily and stepped up their bombing campaign against Germany itself. In the ‘bloodlands’ of the Eastern Front, years of hard attritional war were made worse by multiple genocides and two of the worst, bloodiest tyrants in all history: Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. Together, they oversaw mass death and a war without garlands on the ground that exceeded in horror and malice and death and destruction any other war in human history.

A strategic air offensive by the United States Army Air Force and Royal Air Force played a significant part in reducing German industry and tying up German air force and air defense resources, while the Red Army engaged by far the lion’s share of German forces on the ground.

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Museum is fully open with no restrictions - Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm - also open Memorial Day, May 31st from 10:00am to 5:00pm.