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The Battle of Stalingrad
Transcript of The Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad
July/September 1942 - February 1943
What Came After?
Allies (especially the Russians) were bolstered
Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, tried to cover up the disaster as much as he could and convince the Germans to commit even further to total war.
General Friedrich Paulus
General Georgy Zhukov
Fuhrer of Nazi Germany
Wanted to capture Stalingrad (a major industrial city) for access to the Caucus oil fields and to humiliate Stalin
It is due to Hitler's indecisive commands of the military that brought the German Army to its knees
Leader of the Soviet Union
Directed the defence of Stalingrad
Such as appointing generals and ordering civilians to remain in Stalingrad to provide motivation for the soldiers (felt the troops would fight harder for a "living city"
Led the German 6th Army (the best of the Wehrmacht) throughout the entirety of the Battle of Stalingrad
An important Soviet General who was key to the Allied victory in the Eastern Front and in the final Battle of Berlin
Said to be the best Soviet General in WWII
Placed in charge of the Red troops in Battle of Stalingrad by Stalin after Zhukov saved Moscow
Luftwaffe begin bombing Stalingrad and supply routes
General Zhukov and the Red Army begin counteroffensive to encircle the 6th Army. This is later completed in four days, leaving 250 000 Axis soldiers surrounded within Stalingrad and unable to receive aid.
Hitler refuses to retreat or surrender, convinced by Reichstag President Hermann Goering that the Luftwaffe could air drop supplies to the encircled 6th Army and enable them to continue fighting.
General von Paulus and his severely decimated troops surrender. The Battle of Stalingrad ends with Soviet victory.
General von Paulus and the Wehrmacht reach the outskirts of Stalingrad, fighting the Red Army massed there
Spring, 1942 - the Germans have waited out the winter. Ignoring Moscow in favour of the plentiful Caucus oil fields and to lay siege to Stalingrad, Hitler reorganizes the troops and partitions them respectively.
Russian troops used a scorched earth policy — the practice of retreating while destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy. This left the Germans exposed to the winter with even fewer supplies.
Hitler learned from Napoleon's attempt — instead of allowing the Red army to retreat into Russia and allow his troops and supplies to stretch, he would use blitzkrieg.
Nov. 19, 1942
Nov. 25, 1942
Jan. 31, 1943 - Feb. 2, 1943
12 - 23, 1942
Operation Winter Storm
The 6th Army attempts to break out of the encirclement and ultimately fails.
However, Lt. Gen. Vasily Chuikov managed to combat the blitzkrieg using what he called "hugging the Germans" — by keeping close to them, German infantry could not rely on the support of tanks or aircraft without risking friendly fire.
Hitler lost some of his best soldiers
Nazis could not advance to the Caucasus oil fields
Germany was now on the retreat
beginning of liberation in Eastern Europe
Stalingrad was where the Nazis began to lose the war.
Soviet victory in Stalingrad was turning point in WWII
Morale on both sides affected
The cost of such a victory
the city was almost completely destroyed
25 000 - 40 000 civilians killed, mostly by aerial bombing
Axis: 500 000 - 850 000 casualties (all of 6th Army lost)
Allies: 750 000 - 1 000 000 casualties
Roughly 7700 casualties per day
Stalingrad is known for being one of the bloodiest battles in history, with its cold disregard to either military or civilian casualties.
If Hitler had won the Battle of Stalingrad, could he have still continued to win WWII? Consider the losses faced by the Wehrmacht and the Caucus Oil Fields.
Why do you think that the soldiers (Allied or Axis) were so loyal to their respective homelands during one of the most brutal battles of WWII?
Where, When, and Who?
“Ask any soldier what hand-to-hand combat means and imagine Stalingrad; eighty days and nights of hand-to-hand fighting. The streets are no longer measured in meters, but in corpses. Stalingrad is no longer a town. By day it is an enormous cloud of burning, blinding smoke; it is a vast furnace lit by the reflection of the flames.”
— A German officer on the Battle of Stalingrad