Stalingrad

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Soren, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Freebird is right, the Siberians did prove crucial, esp. because of their winter training, but the Germans were making a big mistake by fighting inside the city, they completely negated their clear advantage in equipment and highly trained soldiers. The ratten krieg resulted.

    Furthmore the most devasting mistake on the German side was that Hitler had halted the shipment of winterclothes and instead substituted it with ammunition, resulting in hundreds of thousands of German soldiers dying purely due to the cold, and on top of that causing over 1 million frost related injuries. Had the ready Winterclothes been sent, as-well as the needed antifreeze for the vehicles, instead of the ammunition, then Stalingrad would've fallen. The winter cold absolutely and completely crippled the German war machine, causing an invulentary halt to the otherwise steady advance.

    PS: I'm going on holidays now guys, so I probably wont me making many long messages here for the next week or so. I'll check in on a daily basis with my portable though.
     
  2. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Fully agreed Parsifal.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Enjoy your vacation. where are you going?

    "Sorry to get offtopic..."
     
  4. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Now I’d have been surprised if most of the Soviet troops would not have had winter training because of the climate of the country!

    Soren, Stalingrad was in 42-43, the winter clothing crisis of Heer was in winter 41-42. And what is your source of that it was because Hitler ‘s order that winter clothes wasn’t sent?
    IIRC Heer’s plan was to conquer most of European SU before winter, withdrew most of ground troops to warm garrisons leave part of troops with winter clothing in front line. When the timetable of Oper Barbarossa began to slip badly, winter clothes were sent but were caught in the general traffic chaos. Most of OKH’s calculations were failed, ammo expenditure was higher than expected (Russian fought much harder than planners had expected), fuel consumption was much higher than expected, mostly because of bad conditions of roads in Russia but partly because of vacillation of German high command (in that Herr Hitler played a big part), truck losses higher than expected, because of higher combat losses and higher rate of mechanical failures because of bad roads Very important was that the changing of railway gauge (it is different in Russia than in Central-Europe) took more time than expected. So Heer could not send enough ammo and fuel and winter equipment to the front. In that situation Heer did what most armies tended to do, gave priority to ammo and fuel and even then ammo situation at the front wasn’t good. And I doubt that there was not enough winter equipment to the troops, that’s why Goebbels launched the winter clothing collection campaign in Germany and Heer launched crash programs to develop all sorts of useful little thinks troops would need in hard winter, problem was that they (Goebbels and Heer) were months late.

    Juha
     
  5. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Juha,

    Hitler was responsible for the disaster at Stalingrad, NOT his generals. His generals repeatedly pleeded with him to allow the Sixth army to retreat to a defensive position outside the city in order to avoid being encircled and cut off from supplies completely. Hitler refused! Effectively dooming the entire Sixth Army.

    A conversation between Kurt Zeitzler Hitler:

    Zeitzler: ....there's no way of keeping Sixth Army supplied.
    Hitler: Reich Marshal Goering has just said he can keep the army supplied by air.
    Zeitzler: That's rubbish!
    Hitler: I am not leaving the Volga!
    Zeitzler: It would be a crime to abandon Sixth Army at Stalingrad!

    General Walter von Seydlitz later radioed to Headquarters:
    "Deliberately to remain where we are is not only a crime from the military point of view, but it is also a criminal act as regards our responsibility to the German nation"

    And despite what you claim Juha the German sixth army desperately lacked proper winter clothing in 42 to 43, Hitler had made sure they only recieved a small fraction of the supply they needed. Instead they were given ammunition fuel, and not enough of that either, mostly because of the bad weather. However Hitler, knowing now he had made a mistake, had Paulus's divisional commanders sign reciepts for a full supply of winterclothing, although they in actuality had only recieved a fraction of that.
     
  6. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Thanks Adler :) The plan is to go to Rome Italy, stopping in Austria along the way :)
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Very cool, Rome is very nice. I have been twice, and will have to go back again someday. I might spend some time in Tirol (Austria) here in the next few weeks.

    Anyhow enjoy.

    Sorry about getting off topic, carry on boys (and girls)!
     
  8. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    Germans captured a number of cities on their way to Stalingrad. Remember Kiev, Odessa, Sevastopol, Kharkov, Rostov - all similar in size and importance to Stalingrad but some even better fortified, fallen into the German hands few months earlier. Stalingrad was just another one, not something new to Wehrmacht to be afraid of.

    Somebody suggested that SU was on the brink of collapse and Stalin was on his knees ... I'd rather think of Stalingrad as of a trap deliberately set by the Russians. The 6th army was doomed regardless of weather the city was taken or not. The High Command had no clue of a massive build up of the soviet forces on the flanks outside the city. The Germans in Stalingrad cauldron were encircled and annihilated not by those who actually defended the citiy (62nd Army) but by the others, fresh, well equipped units secretly transferred to the area from strategic reserves.
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I dont know about "no clue", but neither is it true that the fault was all Hitlers fault either. Fall Blau, the operational plan to tak the Caucasus and the remainder of the Ukraine was a deeply flawed plan, and one that was fully endorsed by the german high command.

    As always the truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes of "its all Hitlers fault" to "the Germans are idiots" scenarios. Each description has some truth to it, but neither fully explains the events that unfolded that year
     
  10. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Holly smoke, Soren
    Quote:” Hitler had made sure they only recieved a small fraction of the supply they needed. Instead they were given ammunition fuel, and not enough of that either, mostly because of the bad weather.”

    Oh yes the evil Hitler was doing his best to sabotage his own army, Lol. Read for ex Manfred Kehrig’s Stalingrad. Analyse und Dokumentation einer Sclacht for info the bad supply situation and reasons of it. Reason was not Hitler but slow bridgebuilding, Soviet air and partisan attacks against rail lines, scarcity of coal and mistakes made by Heer’s supply organisation. Fuel situation was very bad and greatly hampered German countermeasures when Soviets launched their counterattack.

    And on staying in the cauldron. First of all Manstein was against outbreak, at least first. And he was the man who had got the duty of clean the mess at the southern part of the front. As usual generals disagreed but Hitler chose to take the side of his best field marshal and the trust the word of Göring and the CoS of LW. And inside the Stalingrad cauldron wasn’t enough fuel to get the army out. After loss of its artillery, A/T guns and many of AFVs in the middle of the steppe 6th Army would have been in bad trouble. Probably many of the men would have got out but without their heavy weapons they would have been rather powerless to stem the Soviets and what would have happened then for ex to Army Group A in Caucasus.

    On General Walter von Seydlitz, we both know that he was rather impulsive man and also what he did after Stalingrad.

    Juha
     
  11. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #11 Juha, Jul 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
    One crucial goal of Oper Blau was to secure the western bank of Volga for secure defence line. Hitler in fact had been strickly following the Oper Blau in this. He had sacked the CG of Army Group South, field marshall von Bock when Bock tried too long to take also the eastern part of Voronetz, over the Volga. Hitler had not wanted to lose time and troops on the eastern bank of Volga because that wasn’t necessary for the strategic point of view. Also Stalingrad had to be taken, otherwise it would have been excellent bridgehead for Soviets for a winter counterattack. It was a big city in which Soviets could have secretly massed strong forces to attack Germans.

    Hitler’s mistakes were at least that when the OKH’s original plan saw that Heer would have first taken the western bank of Volga, from Voronetz southward, incl Stalingrad, and then attacked south towards Baku Hitler wanted attack same time towards Volga and towards Baku and so divided the German forces, he also once sent the 4th PzA to make a large right hook probably in vain and so burned precious fuel unnecessary. Also his micromanagement of AG A was failure, there also he dispersed the troops unnecessarily.

    Juha
     
  12. Ramirezzz

    Ramirezzz Member

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    The winterclothing was not really a problem for the 6th Army when they had chances to capture the city - until early November. Then it was too late anyway.
    as Juha said, the lack of the winterclothing was one of the causes of German defeat near Moscow year ago, but not really in Stalingrad. It was one of the factors, but by far not a most imortant one. The winterclothing supplies were much more bigger than year ago, in fact Germans had more white Tarnuniformen than Russians.
     
  13. Ramirezzz

    Ramirezzz Member

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    well Juha, you can't start a big counteroffensive from a big city - there's simply no space to mass armoured and motorised units ,and even infantry units from division and above could be hardly be deployed for a counterattack on urban terrain.
    In fact, there was no need to capture the city since the vital Volga transport route from Caucasus from Moscow have been cut at many places south of Stalingrad anyway.
     
  14. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Ramirezzz
    I thended to disagree, IIRC Stalingrad occupied some 50km of the west bank of Volga, and had big industrial areas where to deploy mechanized troops. So IMHO it was in Germans interest to occupy the city, at least big part of it. Of course the occupation of every part of it wasn't absolutely necassary but a clean river line defence line could have been held by fewer troops than a line which partly run inside a city. And the time when Volga began to freeze was the best time to Germans to took the last remains of Soviet part of the city because floating ice began to hinder Soviet supply lines across the river.

    Juha
     
  15. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting, many thanks.
     
  16. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    #16 Soren, Jul 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
    Believe what you wish.

    Read "Hitler: The Pathology of Evil", then you'll realize that Hitler was directly responsible for the lack of winterclothing in 1942 43, he ordered ammunition fuel to be sent instead. He believed they needed it more, so he wasn't deliberately sabotaging anything, he simply thought himself smarter than his generals. And when he knew he had made a big mistake in not sending winterclothes he made all of Paulus's Divisional commanders sign reciepts for a full supply of winter clothes in an attempt to safe his own skin once the blame for the defeat was to be given.

    A picture taken of the German soldiers taken prisoner in 1943 at Stalingrad:
    [​IMG]


    As for Manstein:
    December 19:
    Hitler refuses to give the order for the Sixth's breakout to meet up with the Fourth. Hitler refuses to abandon the Volga. Manstein attempts to convince Paulus to move out but Paulus refuses until he receives orders from Hitler.


    And thus Hitler forced the Sixth army to stay in Stalingrad till its own inevitable destruction, dooming them to death or imprisonment, despite the direct advice of his own generals including Manstein!
     
  17. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    A lot of those German soldiers never saw their homeland again.
     
  18. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Sadly thats true Welch, they fought bravely for their country and for what, to die in some Siberian slave camp.

    War is a terrible thing for anyone who's involved.
     
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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  20. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    I can't read the small texts in the book because of the distortion. Very interesting though.
     
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