Why Is Stalingrad So Important?

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by ghvalj, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    On a good day...
     
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Well now its nice to see some people have woken up from their hibernation. As such, lets press on with some good arguing/counterarguing!!
     
  3. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    I'll start. "German gear is freaking sweet!"
     
  4. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    German kit is sweet? Oh yes, especially when it's nicked!
    :D
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Nazihunter

    Nazihunter Junior Member

    Stalin named the city after himself. After the invasion of the soviet Union in June 1941 Hitler was a direct adversary of Stalin. Hitler prided himself on caturing the city due to its name only. There was some industrial activity but most of the important factories had been transported east of the Ural mountains in Russia. If Stalingrad fell, the morale of the Russians would get destroyed and it would greatly impact the will to resist. If you look into it after Stalingrad was saved the Russian morale greatly increased. If it would have fell the heart and soul of the Soviet Union would have crumbled.
     
  6. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Stalin named the city after himself. After the invasion of the soviet Union in June 1941 Hitler was a direct adversary of Stalin. Hitler prided himself on caturing the city due to its name only. There was some industrial activity but most of the important factories had been transported east of the Ural mountains in Russia. If Stalingrad fell, the morale of the Russians would get destroyed and it would greatly impact the will to resist. If you look into it after Stalingrad was saved the Russian morale greatly increased. If it would have fell the heart and soul of the Soviet Union would have crumbled.
    Funny, but I would have said that about Moscow in 1941 as opposed to Stalingrad in 1942.
     
  7. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Moscow was always going to be odds against , Stalingrad was a much more protracted and invested issue -Hitler had set Moscow aside in favour of Stalingrad and the Causus.
    For the German Command system Moscow must really have set alarm bells ringing in terms of what they had taken on and the intractable position in which they had taken themselves.

    Stalingrad did not come without warnings , the Don Bend had been identified as a disaster waiting to happen , the whole position in Southern Russia was almost totally down to Hitler.
    Keitel did not hold the office he did as a result of his ability , he would do as he was told.
    The late move on Moscow in 41 was due to Hitler changing the plan , Stalingrad came about through much the same process - "Fall Blue" was Hitler's baby and it marked how far he had come in the running of the war.
    Head of State , Supreme Commander of the Army , The Armed forces and now Commander in the field directing how Army Group South would be run and its day to day operations.
    Richthofen said that he had been reduced to the role of "a highly paid NCO" to this extent Stalingrad was perhaps more serious or important than Moscow defeat in front of Moscow would not have lost Germany the war - defeat at Stalingrad almost produced that outcome and was the writing on the wall that the war had reached a critical stage - it was also a sign that 1942 was a year which had brought about a reversal of the roles - Germany had wasted a year , wasted the best of her armed forces for no real return.
    The Russians had husbanded theirs and had destroyed 6th Army - prevented ( the Germans never had the resources or supply network ) from taking the oil wells and Hitler certainly had given no thought as to how he might have held them or had them produce oil for Germany.

    Stalingrad was more important - Hitler held the reins of Command at all levels and few could challange him , he almost destroyed Mansteins "backhand" and could not appreciate how close he had come to the total collapse in the South.

    What followed in 43 was just the same as in 1942 - and again it was seen coming and all advice against the course of action advocated by Hitler was ignored - ego again to some extent dictated policy at all levels and everything would again be placed on the turn of one card.

    Stalingrad was more than just the battle for a city and it marked more than the death of 6th Army - it confirmed the way the war in the east would be directed and who would command it , if 1941 had ended badly , it at least was not fatal to German interests , 1942 was much worse , it confirmed that the Army - a few commanders apart had lost control.
    For the third time Hitler would play everything on the turn of one card and his luck and resources would run out - in 1942 he had come of age.
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hahaha I've seen my first member in the 'Red'............You 'cad' :D
     
  9. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Moscow was always going to be odds against , Stalingrad was a much more protracted and invested issue -Hitler had set Moscow aside in favour of Stalingrad and the Southern oil wells.

    For the Germans Moscow must really have set alarm bells ringing in terms of what they had taken on and the intractable position in which they had taken themselves.
    Stalingrad reinforced this even further , if what had happened in 1941 was bad ,it was not fatal , what might have happened in 1942 could well have been - especially had Hitler had his way, when he began to reassert his influence.
    Having done so 1943 was fatal to German interests in Russia.
    For the third time Hitler would play everything on the turn of one card and his luck and resources would run out.
    Increasingly he failed to understand what he was dealing with and the limitations of his own resources.
    Moscow , Stalingrad , Southern Russia and Kursk - all had the same hallmarks.
    They did indeed James. 1943 showed the Soviets that they could take on and win against the Germans in any sort of weather. It also began to dawn on the Germans that they would reap the fury of the whirlwind they had sewn.
     
  10. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Sorry G.H. , I was editing the post when I had to go out - sorry for changing it so much. (Red Face on my part).:(

    Mansteins counter attack took place in winter - well equipted and working under his control seeking objectives which could be achieved given the resources to hand.
    Hitler was unable to live within these structures , as he would comfirm at Kursk , Normandy , Belgium and lastly in March 44 , when he failed to retake the oil fields.

    When he had ran out of scape goats he blamed the soldiers whom he said had "not fought hard enough".
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Hahaha I've seen my first member in the 'Red'............You 'cad' :D

    Ah, yes, about time too. :cheers:
     
  12. L J

    L J Senior Member

    Well, that would take a book or a Master's Thesis, but Stalingrad erased the largest single Army in the German arsenal from its inventory, obliterating scores of divisions and their men. It was the first time a Field Marshal went in the bag. It was the end of the Germans controlling the initiative and offensives in the East. After that, they were limited to counterattacks -- big ones, like Manstein's and Kursk, but counterattacks all the same. It had a huge impact on German morale, bringing the first cracks in the Nazi facade. After Stalingrad (and very much too late), Goebbels called for "Total War" in a Germany that was still producing Bechstein pianos. Stalingrad was part of a crescendo of Axis defeats during a 90-day period that turned the war around: Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Alamein, and the Barents Sea. I would have to say that the big point in Stalingrad was that before that battle, Nazi propaganda was about Germany's "New Order" for Europe and the world. After Stalingrad, the tone shifted. Suddenly Germany was now the defender of Western civilization against Bolshevism. Even Goebbels recognized that Germany as on the defensive after Stalingrad.
    on the other hand in the summer of 1943 the German strenght was 3000000 and they had more tanks than in 1942 .
     
  13. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    The men being taken into service lacked experience , were not as well trained and above all experienced officers and NCO's were becoming thin on the ground.
    In terms of production Germany was in a war she could never hope to win , Russian tank production alone outstripped anything which Speer could have dreamt about.
     
  14. L J

    L J Senior Member

    Two points:the sovjet union was not all dependent on oil:the production diminished by 40 % ; second:the oil production od the Caucasus diminished by 50 % . I think the Germans were cheating themselves by believing that the capture of the oil fields would cause the collaps of the Sovjet Union.
     
  15. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    on the other hand in the summer of 1943 the German strenght was 3000000 and they had more tanks than in 1942 .
    The numbers might have been increased over 1942 LJ but the cream of the Wehrmacht was already gone having been destroyed in Barbarossa and the winter battles of 1941. The army that launched blitzkrieg upon the world was gone. and whilst the Germans were decreasing in efficiency the Russians were gaining valuable experience, both at the tactical level and the strategic level.
     
  16. L J

    L J Senior Member

    The numbers might have been increased over 1942 LJ but the cream of the Wehrmacht was already gone having been destroyed in Barbarossa and the winter battles of 1941. The army that launched blitzkrieg upon the world was gone. and whilst the Germans were decreasing in efficiency the Russians were gaining valuable experience, both at the tactical level and the strategic level.
    For those that are interested :unsure: :from Achtung Panzer (the source is Jentz ):German Panzerstrenght on the Eastfront:(the figures between brackets are operational tanks ) :july 1942 :2060 (1336 ),august 2644 (1669 ) ,september 2705 (1702 ) ,oktober 2731 (1789 ) november 2677 (1907 ) december (2803 (1475 ) 12-02-43 :1686 (902 ) 30-06-43 :2584 (2287 ) 10-09-43 :1922 (775 ) 31-12-43 :2025 (1043 ) . Tank losses from Citadelle(from memory !):some 25O .
     
  17. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    For those that are interested :unsure: :from Achtung Panzer (the source is Jentz ):German Panzerstrenght on the Eastfront:(the figures between brackets are operational tanks ) :july 1942 :2060 (1336 ),august 2644 (1669 ) ,september 2705 (1702 ) ,oktober 2731 (1789 ) november 2677 (1907 ) december (2803 (1475 ) 12-02-43 :1686 (902 ) 30-06-43 :2584 (2287 ) 10-09-43 :1922 (775 ) 31-12-43 :2025 (1043 ) . Tank losses from Citadelle(from memory !):some 25O .
    LJ, whilst I have no doubt that your fiigures are correct, the men manning these tanks would not have been the same quality as those who launched themselves upon the Soviet Union in 1941. I would also put forward the fact that the Luftwaffe produced more aircraft in 1944 than in any other of the war, yet a lack of fuel and trained pilots meant that the production was for naught. I'm not directly comparing the luftwaffe of 1944 with the panzerwaffe of 1943 but I am saying that numbers produced do not necessarily mean a better fighting force
     
  18. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    LJ, you talking only about men and armor, but Luftwaffe also sustained heavy losses during 1942 and first half of 1943. They lost many experienced pilots and the training of new crews proved incapable of keeping up with front-line demands.
     
  19. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    For those that are interested :unsure: :from Achtung Panzer (the source is Jentz ):German Panzerstrenght on the Eastfront:(the figures between brackets are operational tanks ) :july 1942 :2060 (1336 ),august 2644 (1669 ) ,september 2705 (1702 ) ,oktober 2731 (1789 ) november 2677 (1907 ) december (2803 (1475 ) 12-02-43 :1686 (902 ) 30-06-43 :2584 (2287 ) 10-09-43 :1922 (775 ) 31-12-43 :2025 (1043 ) . Tank losses from Citadelle(from memory !):some 25O .

    It would be interesting as well if you could provide figures for the date after Zitadelle was wrapped up.

    Also very interesting would be figures for operational tanks after the Soviet counterofensives after Zitadelle: Ops. Bagration and Rumyantsev. Surely you remember these: the operations that on the Northern shoulder of the Kursk Salient stove in 9th Armee, and on the South damaged Army Group south and 2 months later leading to the liberation of Kiev.
     
  20. drgslyr

    drgslyr Senior Member

    There have been many long and well written explanations given here for Stalingrad's importance, but getting back to the original question, I think the simplest explanation to explain its continued fascination with historians is that the events around Stalingrad can easily be identified as a major turning point in the war. To make an over simplified explanation even more simple, up until Stalingrad Germany was (seen as) winning the war in the east and after Stalingrad they were losing. These observations are true if you base your idea of 'winning' and 'losing' on an army's ability to gain ground. Up until Stalingrad the German army was able to mount large offensives that gained considerable territory, and after Stalingrad they were mainly on the defensive, being pushed back.

    This is just an observation, but what was the purpose of locking this thread? Most discussions are the same old same old, but when an interesting thread comes along lock it? If people are offended or put off they don't need to keep reading, and if they do keep reading they are obviously interested. And if people do occasionally go off topic, what's the difference? It happens on most threads, but it's accepted if nobody is disagreeing. The only person I noticed flaming anybody was Exxley who regularly called jimbotosome the "village idiot," but he never got called out on it.
     

Share This Page