Skip to comments.Remembering Stalingrad 75 Years Later
Posted on 11/09/2017 7:04:26 AM PST by Kaslin
Seventy-five years ago this month, the Soviet Red Army surrounded --and would soon destroy -- a huge invading German army at Stalingrad on the Volga River. Nearly 300,000 of Germany's best soldiers would never return home. The epic 1942-43 battle for the city saw the complete annihilation of the attacking German 6th Army. It marked the turning point of World War II.
Before Stalingrad, Adolf Hitler regularly boasted on German radio as his victorious forces pressed their offensives worldwide. After Stalingrad, Hitler went quiet, brooding in his various bunkers for the rest of the war.
During the horrific Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted more than five months, Russian, American and British forces also went on the offensive against the Axis powers in the Caucasus, in Morocco and Algeria, and on the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific.
Yet just weeks before the Battle of Stalingrad began, the Allies had been near defeat. They had lost most of European Russia. Much of Western Europe was under Nazi control. Axis armies occupied large swaths of North Africa. The Japanese controlled most of the Pacific and Asia, from Manchuria to Wake Island.
Stalingrad was part of a renewed German effort in 1942 to drive southward toward the Caucasus Mountains, to capture the huge Soviet oil fields. The Germans might have pulled it off had Hitler not divided his forces and sent his best army northward to Stalingrad to cut the Volga River traffic and take Stalin's eponymous frontier city.
(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...
Even after the Stalingrad disaster, the Germans could’ve recovered had Herr Dumbass listened to his generals.
“Stalingrad” always seemed a forever ago.
Now I’m old enough that it proceeded me by only half my current age.
That’s not long at all.
Don’t get comfortable, folks.
History has a habit of happening a lot faster than you realize.
What Americans should always remember that if the Russians at such a great cost to themselves had not fought the Germans so long and so well and not destroyed the best of the German army, American casualties in WWII would have been much Simply put, many Americans who live today, simply would not have come to exist.
Russians got a lot of help from us, but they hushed that up.
Spam won the Eastern front!
“Enemy At The Gates” was a fanciful narrative of that battle.
That a significant number of those men fighting Hitler did so at the point of their own comrade’s guns doesn’t change that fact. Or the fact that hundreds of thousands of Russians exposed to direct contact to the West during the war spent the rest of their lives in the Gulags, worked and starved to death.
It was indeed at great cost to themselves, but a significant portion of that cost (and a morally far more disturbing cost than those Soviets actually killed or wounded in the war) was at the hands of their own countrymen who treated them as cannon-fodder, if not worse (as outright traitors) as they found out when they were both repatriated from German POW camps or simply returned home as veterans when the war ended.
We (the allies, specifically us and the British) share a blame in some of that repugnancy (the repatriations who were imprisoned upon their return) but that was the way the world was then.
Nope, not a chance. They were no match for American productivity, had a crappy geography, and were morally bankrupt (which does affect outcomes).
The Krauts were doomed
The German movie, “Stalingrad” was much better.
One of the big “ifs” of WWII
General Paulus was a sub average commander. He made so many really basic mistakes.
Panzer units tied up in taking a city.
Not trying to break the siege immediately. Instead, he continued with attacks at Stalingrad.
One change here in command could have changed the war.
They had to have their arms twisted somewhat to even acknowledge that.
Interestingly, we gave them lend-lease radar units, and much of our Cold War assumptions through the Fifties was based on the functionality of those units as we gave them to them in 1944-45.
When we first flew the U2 over the Soviet Union in the mid-fifties, Kelly Johnson (Skunk Works at Lockheed) was despondent because we didn’t even think they would be able to see the planes.
We assumed they would keep using the radar without improving it, which unknown to us, they had.
They still couldn’t shoot them down until they hit Gary Powers, but we thought they wouldn’t even know we were there.
Back in the 70s I went to a talk about the prevention of nuclear wars.
At the Q&A part, a guy asked one of the speakers if China could drop a nuke on either the US or Russia so each would attack the other.
The speaker said “The first bomb is free.” and there was an audible gasp from the audience.
He explained that there was a tacit agreement between the two that there wouldn’t be an automatic return fire if a large explosion occurred on their territory.
That came about when the Russians were doing some construction in the Stalingrad suburbs and one of their bulldozers uncovered some munitions. When they investigated, they discovered 20,000 tons of artillery shells the Germans had left behind. Had the ‘dozer stuck a shell in the wrong place, the equivalent of a Hiroshima-type explosion would have been triggered.
I question whether the Germans had that much ammo left, but it was a good story.
I’ve a copy of that book, but, it has a picture of statues of Children dancing around a crocodile on the cover.
Other thread, here
They still would have lost to the Soviets. Way too many men and material and the guts to use them to terrible effect.
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