Operation Barbarossa - Day 1: Luftwaffe destroys 2000 Soviet Aircraft. On the opening day, Axis air operations succeeded in destroying 2,000 Soviet aircraft, and gaining air superiority. The success of the strike enabled the Axis to support their armies in highly successful encirclement battles in July to September 1941. The Luftwaffe's Chief of the General Staff, Hans Jeschonnek, wanted to begin the air attacks before the German artillery started firing. However, Hitler and the German High Command decided it may give the opportunity for the Soviets to disperse their air units, and his idea was rejected. Hitler gave the order...
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