Stalingrad

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by parsifal, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    February 2013 marks the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Axis forces in the encircled city of Stalingrad. It was one of the most important land battles of the second world war, and probably more than any other single battle sealed the fate of the Nazi regime.

    It is a battle that even today has a measure of controversy. It was both a battle that helped preserve our democracy but at the same time ensured s decades long occupation of Eastern Europe and brutal suppression of human rights


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1AC4wm6SwM

    I think we should simply or at least acknowledge the terrible cost of that battle and is crucial important in shaping history.
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    :salute: To the all the young men who left their souls on that battle field.

    This battle has a place in my heart, as my Grandfather who was a Major in the Wehrmacht participated in this battle. He took shrapnel to his face, and even in 1983 before his death, if he sneezed small particles of metal would still be found in the tissue.
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    from our "This Day in Europe" thread...

    :salute:

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/ww2-general/day-war-europe-65-years-ago-6116-27.html
     
  4. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    :salute:
    To those lost on both side. To the Soviets, whose sacrifice made victory possible. Thanks for the rememberance Parsifal.
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    My stepfather also fought at Stalingrad. He is still with us, 92 years young. He was wounded on the flanks of the city, just before the encirclement and was evacuated, having taken a dum dum in the arm. He was an MG gunner, and absolutely thought the MG 42 a marvellous weapon, which it is. Thought the MP 38 was rubbish....too many jams, too finely engineeered for its own good. Thought the PPSH was a stellar example of how to design and build weapons in wartime, and he should know, he was a toolmaker by trade.

    Didnt think much of either leader, and absolutely called a spade a spade when it came to holocaust. He said it was the worst kept secret in Germany, everybody knew what was going on. His parents tried to help as many Berlin Jews escape as was humanly possible.

    My father says these actions were unforgivable and ought never be forgotten. He emigrated in 1952 after the blockade, and now calls himself an Australian. At the end of the war, he did not surrender, just droopped his weapons, got out of uniform and walked from Vienna to Berlin (his home town).

    He was decorated with the iron cross and a wound medal at Stalingrad. After the war he sold his medals to an American for food and cigarettes. He says he never regretted doing that for a minute. Medals for murder he called them....

    One of the most honest and honourable Germans of his era. Apart from being my father, I respect him immensely for his honesty.

    My wife is Russian. GHer Grandad was from Siberia, a cavalryman that fought at Moscow in 1941, to use his words, skewering Germans with his 5 foor shaslik (slang for his cavalry sword). I dont think he fought at stalingrad, but before he died he gave me a book in Russian on the war from a Soviet perspective. He too was a magnificent human being, though he could never forgive the germans (he never met my Dad, but knew about him).

    It was a terrible war, and a terrible battle. Was it worth it. Opinions will vary, but I think so
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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  7. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I cannot imagine the hell that was Stalingrad. It was as ugly and brutal a battle as any in human history, not least because of the appalling weather conditions in which the participants fought and died. After 70 years, we should remember all those honourable men who suffered in that frozen hell-hole and pray humankind has matured enough never to repeat the experience!
     
  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    a few pics...

    Stalingrad City - 6.jpg Stalingrad City - 8.jpg Stalingrad City.jpg
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    yeah, few pics is a good idea....
     

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  10. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    What a waste...............
     
  11. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #11 michaelmaltby, Feb 5, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
    What a waste...............

    Should'a isolated the city and bypassed it ... for oil .... IMHO

    MM
     
  12. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    Stalingrad was out as a strategic goal (industry dead) since mid-end September 1942, the flank of the Heeregruppe A you could defend at the Don. Nobody was in need of Stalingrad from a military viewpoint.

    It was only Hitler's child and as crazy as he was, he thought "I stand at the Wolga and nobody will retreat me here", this fool moustache.
     
  13. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "It was only Hitler's child.."

    That about nails it, DonL.
     
  14. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    It was only Hitler's child and as crazy as he was, he thought "I stand at the Wolga and nobody will retreat me here", this fool moustache.

    Charlie Chaplin impersonators dont make good strategists
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Hitler was a major reason for the debacle, but there were miscalculations throughour the wehrmacht about the whole operation. At the very heart of it, in my opnion was an underestimatation of the Red army's improving efficiency. Judging the Red Army's performance against what had happened in 1941 and 1942 was a mistake.

    Most Germans viewed their army as far superior to that of the Soviet Union. They viewed the defeat in front of Moscow as an anomaly, an exception to the rule.

    In late 1942 the Red Army remained inferior to the wehrmacht. i think that is undeniable. However the margin of supeiority was closing.

    Moreover the wehrmacht coompletely misread the reserves available to the Soviets. Many believed the Soviets were close to using up all their available replacements and reserves. in fact the Soviets were holding the Germans with a minum of forces and steadily training and building up an assault force of arounf 300 division, including some very effective tank and mechanized forces, and massive concentrations of artillery. The Germans, not just hitler, completely misunderstood what was changing and what was going to happen, until it was far too late to do anything about it.

    Hitler just added a whole dimension of irationality to what was already a faulty situation assessment. Regardless of what anyone would tell him about the situation, as seen by Halders assessment in September, Hitler would simply not listen or change course. this is one of the falouts of the previous year. In 1941, faced with a determined Soviet counteroffensive, Hitlers generals to a man had advocated wholesale withdrawal, because they believed the front was about to collapse. Hitler basically refused to accept their advice then, and from their the "stand fast" mentality began. hitler convinced himself that his will, his iron discipline had held the army together. Ergo, his generals were fools and cowards. That his ridiculous stand fast orders had actually caused great damage to the wehrmacht does not seem to have entered his conscousness.

    In the wiinter of 1942-3, Hitler was confronted with the same scenario....a determined major assault by the Soviets. This time his major commanders were conspicuous in their lack of opposition to a stand fast order, at least initially. Later as the gravity of the situation unfolded they changed that stance, but it was too late by then. The wehrmacht seem to have failed to apreciate that the forces attacking them in 1942-3 were vaastly better trained equipped and led than those that had been desperately thrown at them in 1941. Moreover the satellite forces gurading the flanks of 6A were just not as capable as pure german forces. none of this was appreciated sufficiently to avoid the disaster.
     
  16. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #16 DonL, Feb 6, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
    I disagree!

    It was alone Hitlers idea to go south at summer 1942.

    The Wehrmacht had lost the possibility to attack at 1942 at all three Heeresgruppen through the very hard battles at the Winter 1941/42.

    The front Generals and the OKH also Generals like von Manstein and Guderian wanted an other battle at/to Moskau at 1942, because of all that reasons you named above in your statement. They knew or sensed about the Red Armý capacity and wanted again a decisive battle, where the Red Army was forced to fight with all it's troups and got not the possibility to built reserves.
    Moskau was a goal were the Red Army was forced to accept the fight, also the supply lines (for the germans) were much better and more focused compare to the south.

    As the summer 1942 had shown the Wehrmacht had still the ability and possibility to to a major attack/offensive at one Heeresgruppe.

    Only Hitler didn't want again a battle to/at Moskau, because as you has correct stated he didn't got the "message", but I disagree that the important Generals didn't understand the capacitys of the Red Army too.

    A major offensive at the Heeresgruppe Mitte at summer 1942 had forced the Red Army to fight for their living and the Red Army hadn't had the opportunity to built this massive reserves.

    To make this clear, I don't claim that such an offensive had changed the war, but it had forced the Red Army to accept the fight at other circumstances, the Wehrmacht would be in charge and would dictate when and where would be the fighting and the Wehrmacht perhaps could have played a last time it's superrioty.
     
  17. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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  18. Mobius

    Mobius Member

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    In 1942 the Soviets launched four major offensives three of which resulted in huge losses. Only Uranus succeeded.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    A fact ignored in most popular histories of the war. Stalingrad was one slice of a much larger pie.

    782px-Eastern_Front_1942-11_to_1943-03.png
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Soviet Grain Production.
    1940. 95.6 million tons.
    1942. 26.7 million tons.

    Soviet Potatoe Production.
    1940. 76.1 million tons.
    1942. 23.8 million tons.

    USA Lend-Lease food shipments.
    3,918 tons. June to Sept 1941.
    305,037 tons. Oct 1941 to June 1942.
    997,783 tons. July 1942 to June 1943.

    I'm under the impression Soviet citizens didn't eat too well during the 1930s. What kept them alive during 1942 when they had only about a third as much food? Even with half the population in the German zone things must have been grim in Stalin's empire.
     
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