The Political Caricature of Operation Barbarossa

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Political Caricature and its Purpose

Political caricature is a theory in a political cartoon, which emphasizes the exaggeration or satirical portrayal of an individual. When a person's character is exaggerated, this leads to caricature. It is about a person appearing as a drawing that purposes at showing their behavior and appearance critically or humorously. This essay seeks to explore the political caricature as shown in the above image. The political caricature is about an event during World War II, especially during the "Operation Barbarossa" and how Russia got prepared enough to successfully end the war (Glantz and House, 19). Although Hitler was prepared to win the war, Russia struggled through the path of victory, as shown in the political cartoon, and finally won the war.

Russia's Preparation for Operation Barbarossa

The political caricature is about Russia getting ready for Operation Barbarossa. It shows an image of Russia, which is shown like a human being and how it is made ready to engage effectively in the war (Wray, 13). The pump seems to hold some tactics that Russia was required to use during the war. It also shows that the one is preparing Russia was providing adequate and comfortable methods of engaging in the war and that is why the image titled Russia demonstrates an individual who is seated and waiting patiently to be fed with chloroform. It means that during the training, the Russian soldiers were patient and would adhere to every detail and information given concerning how to win the war against the Germany soldiers (Glantz and House, 23).

Joseph Stalin's Role in Russia's Preparation

The political cartoon also shows Joseph Stalin as the image of the 'person' who is preparing 'Russia' for the war (Glantz and House, 23). It demonstrates the way Stalin was determined in preparing Russia for the war (Glantz and House, 23). In the political cartoon, the caricature shows that Stalin was focused on Russia and was not turning on any other side. Moreover, the caricature shows that for Russia to be ready for the Operation Barbarossa, its soldiers or worriers required support from an experienced and well-skilled worrier who would enable the soldiers to defeat the Germany soldiers (Wray, 17). That is why Russia in the cartoon caricature is receiving the support of consuming chloroform from another individual.

Hitler's Observation of Russia's Preparation

There is an image of a person who is peeping at a corner and observing as Russia gets ready for the operation. Based on the event and the nature of activities conducted by other individuals in the cartoon, it is clear that the one observing would have been Hitler (Glantz and House, 23). During World War 2, Hitler and his military thought they would win after they manage to kill the Russian soldiers (Glantz and House, 23). The information possible to get from the political cartoon is that Hitler was observing Russia from a distance and in a way that he did not want to be noticed (Wray, 27). Also, it shows that Hitler and his army were waiting for the Russian soldier and giving them a chance to prepare themselves thinking that it would only take a few fights for his army to kill the Russian worriers (Glantz and House, 23). By the way, the individual in the political cartoon is looking at the 'Russia" and the person preparing it for the operation, and it is an indicator that the observer is preparing his mind and anticipating about how Hitler's army would win the war (Glantz and House, 23).

Strategic Tactics and Preparation of the Russian Soldiers

The Germany leadership focused on being set for the war, but the operation made there be significant changes. The image of Russia demonstrates how the soldiers were focusing on realizing good results after the operation (Wray, 20). The political cartoon also shows an image of a can that contains chloroform, and which contains the statement, "Promises of good will." The specific can demonstrates the resources and wealth or technique that Russia is determined to utilize when attacking the Germany army (Wray, 21). Also, it shows the preparedness of the Russian soldiers to the acquisition of adequate and effective weapons to engage in the war against the Germany soldiers despite the preparedness of Hitler who thought that for having been in the war for a long time, he would win (Wray, 27).

Use of Chloroform and Russia's Reveal of Tactics

Chloroform is an organic compound, which is sweet-smelling and a dense liquid that is available on a large scale. Scientifically and biologically, the organic compound can knock out or daze people even the moment it is consumed in small amounts. Based on the political cartoon, the refrigerator containing the chloroform seems to be large enough to hold an adequate amount of the organic compound to be used in the operation. It is clear from the political cartoon means that Russia was planning to use tactics that would seem to soothe and attract the German army on the war ground, but finally, knock them out or kill them, therefore defeat in the war (Glantz and House, 26). Also, "Russia" as the drawing in the political cartoon shows that the nation, its leadership, and soldiers were staying still as they wait to get ready with the appropriate methods and tactics that the Russian soldiers would attack the German soldiers during the Operation Barbarossa (Glantz and House, 26).

Stalin's Preparation and Support for Russian Soldiers

By having a look at the political cartoon, the caricature shows that Stalin kept on preparing his soldiers and providing them all the support the warriors needed for them to defeat the Germany soldiers (Glantz and House, 26). The caricature shows that Russia focused on having logistical preparations which are adequate for the operation, although the Germans were not able to realize the same. Since Germany warriors had been in the battle for an extended period, it was clear that Russia wanted to get new tactics that were not applied earlier by other soldiers who participated in World War 2 (Wray, 27). Therefore, the caricature shows that Russian soldiers were supplied with the resources and tactics that they would manage to renew their drives and engage in the operation with the full determination of winning the war.

The Importance of Preparation in Operation Barbarossa

Also, the political cartoon makes the observer able to realize that the operation was very demanding and required all soldiers to be prepared enough; otherwise, they were going to be defeated (Wray, 27). From the fact that chloroform affects people after sniffing it, it means that Russia was using the particular tactics in the war, with the focus of defeating the Germany warriors immediately after trying to attack them. Indeed, the cartoon caricature shows how determined Russia was to attack and threaten the lives of the Germany army. Having realized that the Germany military group had been fighting for many years and did not have enough energy to attack the Russian military during the war, Stalin took advantage of that situation and ensured that his army had adequate manpower and weapons to engage in the operation (Glantz and House, 26). Having been underestimated by Hitler, the Russian soldiers have to learn new and smart tactics and acquire weapons that would seem to have no threat, although the Russian military knew the secret behind their attack (Glantz and House, 29). Also, Stalin prepared the Russian military for the cold weather by providing the soldiers with adequate and effective uniforms and vehicles that enabled the military to remain warm.

The Determination of Soviet Soldiers for Operation Barbarossa

The statement, "prepared for operation" means that the Soviet soldiers were ready to continue with the Operation Barbarossa and despite the death of some soldiers, the remaining ones did not give up or fear death (Glantz and House, 30).


In conclusion, the political cartoon caricature demonstrates how Russia prepared itself for Operation Barbarossa where the Soviet soldiers were fighting against the Germany military under the leadership of Hitler. The issue of getting ready with chloroform means that the Soviet soldiers used simple and easy tactics to attack the Germany military, as Russia was aware that Germany had been in the war for years and was exhausted. Stalin provided all the required resources and weapons to his soldiers and took his time to get ready before engaging in the war. That is why the caricature shows Russia, as an image of a person who is seated and fed with chloroform.

Work Cited

Glantz, David M., and Jonathan M. House. When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler. University Press of Kansas, 2015.

Wray, Major Timothy A. Standing Fast: German Defensive Doctrine on the Russian Front During World War II—Prewar to March 1943:[Illustrated Edition]. Pickle Partners Publishing, 2015.

November 13, 2023

Art War


World War II

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Political Cartoon

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