Beyond Barbarossa:

The first English-language podcast to focus on the history of the eastern front of the Second World War.

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6 days ago

Ray Harris, 'caster of the History of World War II Podcast, joins me to talk about the significance of the Eastern Front of the Second World War, and some of the surprises he found in his work. 
Interested in World War II history? Check out Ray's podcast! 

Sunday Jan 08, 2023

What was life like for the people living in the lands occupied by nazi German in the East? We take a close look. 
Remembering the Holodomor: Ukraine Without Hype podcast
Paul Robert Magosci, A History of Ukraine. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996. 
Shevchenko Scientific Society, Volodymyr Kubijovyc, editor, Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1963.
Orest Subtelny, Ukraine: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000. 
Wikipedia: The Eastern Front of World War II.
- Generalgouvernement
- Reichskommissariat Ostland
- Reichskommissariat Ukraine

Sunday Dec 18, 2022

One of my favourite podcasters, Sebastian Major of Our Fake History, joins me for a talk about historical myths about the Eastern Front of World War II. 
It's one of the best podcasts out there about history. Listen to it on your preferred podcasting app, and find it at 

Sunday Nov 20, 2022

The battle for Crimea is almost a microcosm of the entire war on the Eastern Front of World War II. 
Satellite photo of southern Crimea: Severnaya Bay is the long, narrow bay curving upward into the land. Sevastopol is located on the smaller bay at right angles. 
This image was taken by the Nasa Expedition 20 crew. - NASA Earth Observatory. Source: Wikimedia Commons. 
Map source: Nations Online Project. 
Other sources:
Clayton Donnell, The Defence of Sevastopol, 1941–1942: The Soviet Perspective. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword Books Ltd., 2016.
David Glantz, Operation Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: The History Press, 2011.
David Stahel, Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Tuesday Nov 01, 2022

A conversation with Larysa Zariczniak, host and producer of the Wandering the Edge podcast on Ukrainian culture and history, with a spot of travel—when Ukraine isn't being invaded. 
We spoke about Ukrainian culture, history, parallels between 1941 and 2022, and what the experiences of those two periods can tell us about the Ukrainian cultural identity.
Wandering the Edge is available on all podcasting platforms. Visit the website at

Wednesday Oct 19, 2022

The 900 Days of Leningrad's siege saw the greatest destruction in modern history, and the larges loss of life in a modern city. It dwarfed urban campaigns elsewhere in the Second World War by a factor of magnitude. 
This episode links this immense struggle with the rest of the war in the East. 
Map 1: Finnish and Soviet forces on the eve of Barbarossa, 1941 
Map 2: Finnish offensive operations in Karelia, summer and autumn, 1941
Map 3: The siege of Leningrad 

Tuesday Oct 04, 2022

The German 36th Mountain Corps moves through Lapland to cut the vital Murmansk Railroad to Leningrad. But under the midnight sun, it meets a foe even more difficult than the Red Army.
Map 1: Finland 1940-41
The red area around Salla is the target for the 36th Mountain Corps. 
Figure 1: Finnish soldiers moving through the Arctic forest on their way to the Murmansk railroad
David Glantz, Operation Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: The History Press, 2011.
David Stahel, Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Operation Silver Fox: The History of Nazi Germany's Arctic Invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. Charles River Editors, 2016.
Timeline of World War II (1941). Wikipedia. 

Foxes in the north: Episode 10

Tuesday Sep 27, 2022

Tuesday Sep 27, 2022

Operation Silver Fox in the farthest northern reaches of continental Europe had a direct impact on the war in the Eastern Front.
Map 1: Finland from 1920 to 1938
Map 2: The Winter War, 1939-1940
Map 3: Areas Finland ceded to the USSR after the Winter War
Operation Silver Fox: The History of Nazi Germany's Arctic Invasion of the Soviet Union During World War IIPublished by Charles River Editors, 2016
Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East, by David Stahel. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2009.

Tuesday Sep 20, 2022

My apologies. It will be another week for the full episode 10 on Operation Silver Fox. BUT there is a bonus episode available for supporters. 

Operation Typhoon: Episode 9

Tuesday Sep 06, 2022

Tuesday Sep 06, 2022

German's final, final assault on the capital of the USSR in November 1941. 
Map 1: The Battle of Moscow, November 1941.
Map 20: The bigger picture. 
Source: U.S. Army archives. 
Soviets fighting back during "offensive weather":
Defense of Moscow: 
Women militia training in Moscow, fall 1941:
New T-34 tanks roll off the assembly line, 1941
Soviet air power: 
The Yakovlev Yak fighter
Ilyushin Il-2 in flight near Moscow, December 1941
Abandoned German vehicles in the snow, on the highway from Volokolamsk to Moscow, December 1941:
Wrecked Panzer III, December 1941:

Episode 6: Germany ... triumphant?

We focus on the progress of German Army Group Centre to Smolensk in July 1941. 

This episode sponsored by The Eastern Front Trilogy, the true story of a Canadian drafted into the Red Army in World War II. 

The Eastern Front Trilogy.

All proceeds from the sales of The Eastern Front Trilogy in paperback or its constituent e-books will go to helping Ukrainian refugees until all Ukrainians can return home safe from Russian military aggression. 

Contact the author by email to 

Support the podcast on Patreon.

Books cited in this episode: 

David Glantz: Operation Barbarossa: Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941. Stroud, Gloucetershire, UK, 2011.  

David Stahel: Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.


Map 1: the situation in the summer of 1941. 

The pink area shows the depth of the invasion from June 22 to August 25. The dashed blue line through it shows the approximate position of the front line on July 16. 

Note the encirclements at Bialystock, west of Minsk, at Smolensk, and in Ukraine, around Uman. 


Map 2: The Battle of Smolensk

Guderian's salient is the deepest German penetration pictured here. Diagram by Livedawg via Wikimedia Commons.


PTRD-41 anti-tank gun

Source: RIA Novosti archive, image #4408 / N. Bode / CC-BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. 


Stalin's organs: the Katyusha rocket launcher

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Attribution: RIA Novosti archive, image #303890 / Zelma / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Thank you for your support

I want to express my deep appreciation to all who supported Beyond Barbarossa in the start-up phase. 

You can continue to support the costs of producing the podcast through Patreon


Now available on Stitcher

In addition to the podcasting platforms across the header image, you can now also listen to Beyond Barbarossa on Stitcher



From Blitzkrieg to Berlin

The eastern front was by far the largest part of the European theatre of World War Two. Yet compared to the Western Allies, there is little material available in English about the Soviets' fight. This podcast covers the history of the clash of two inimical tyrannies. 

Music by Nicolas Bury

Sound effects obtained from


Operation Barbarossa: The plan

The German General Staff, OKW, planned Operation Barbarossa meticulously. The Wehrmacht, with support of the Luftwaffe, attacked in three main thrusts: Army Group North through the Baltic SSRs, Army Group Centre in two axes from the Bialystok Salient, that bulge just north of Brest-Litovsk, and Army Group South, into Ukraine. 


The reality

German and Soviet deployments on June 22, and German advances to August 25, 1941. 

Source: United States Military Academy, in the World War II Database

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