Did German generals think that Operation Barbarossa was unwinnable?
No, they definitely thought they would win, and had reasons to do so:They seriously underestimated the size of the Soviet army.
Soviet leadership was weak and inexperienced. Purges had gotten rid of many highly experienced senior officers and replaced them inexperienced political appointees.
The Soviet army had just suffered an embarrassing near-defeat against Finland. The Germans correctly assessed the combat effectiveness of Soviet troops as low.
The German army was experienced and battle-ready. They had swept away better-trained and -equipped armies already.
It’s probably worth mentioning that there was a good dollop of racism in there, too. Nazi dogma held that Slavs were inferior to Aryans, and the recent performance of the German and Soviet armies in combat reinforced this belief through confirmation bias.
The early stages of the invasion actually went pretty much to plan. Soviet resistance collapsed and vast numbers of prisoners were taken. If the Soviet army was actually only the size the Germans thought it was Hitler would have been smugly striding through Moscow like he did in Paris.
The Germans were shocked at how many reserves the Soviets kept throwing into battle. Every time they thought they must have finally gutted the Red Army more kept coming at them. To their credit the Russians also carried out a military miracle, managing to hold the line long enough to radically overhaul, retrain and re-equip a massive army. Essentially they created the greatest fighting machine ever seen in only a couple of years while simultaneously fighting an incredibly dangerous enemy.
But nobody in Germany knew they were capable of that as they were standing on the start line for Barbarossa. They thought it was going to be France all over again.
(something what they in the West plan for us)
2 excellent clips from “Stalingrad”(German film maker)