German infantrymen following a tank towards Moscow in the snow, Russia, 1941. Hitler launched the invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, in June 1941. The Germans failed to capture Moscow due to a combination of Hitler diverting forces to other objectives in southern Russia and the early onset of a particularly harsh Russian winter. A print from the Signal, 1941. Signal was a magazine published by the German Third Reich from 1940 through 1945.