The largest and deadliest battles in World War
The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the largest and deadliest battles in World War II. It was a turning point in the war. Stalingrad was located in Southwest Russia on the Volga River. The area was an industrial and communication center for the Soviet Union. In June Hitler and its allies planned the attack to end the Soviet Regime of communism. He planned to invade the Soviet Union in the North and the South of Moscow also wanted to conquer the Soviet land, to annihilate the people living in these lands. The Soviet Union was forced to defend its city when they heard the news. Stalingrad was special because it was named after the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin. He demanded to hold the city from all causes. In June 1940, Germany invaded the Soviet Union. It was a surprise attack that violated the Molotov Ribbentrop treaty signed in 1939 between Germany and the Soviet Union. The agreement was a non-aggression treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union that was intended to ensure that neither country attacked the other. Up to one million German soldiers and their allies pushed into the Western Soviet Union on the first day of the German invasion. As a result of their tactical surprise, the German army achieved a series of victories. Despite Soviet resistance, Germany seized Ukraine, and the Baltic States. The Red army suffered and had massive losses. Hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops were killed and up to a million and a half taken prisoners. A quarter of a million men surrendered during the German capture of Kiev. The invasion had happened by Stalin who was taken aback by Hitler’s betrayal of hate. He refused to believe the reports of a German invasion. The leaders of the Soviets possibly suffered a breakdown in the stages of the war. By the autumn of 1941, it appeared that Germany’s Blitzkrieg tactics had led to the defeat of the Red Army. However, winter arrived early that year and this slowed down the German advance. Russians spoke of General Winter who would help them to win the war. The Soviet people were well aware that the Russian winters would slow if not halt the German advance, By December 1941, the Germans vanguard was fifty miles from Moscow. However, the weather was cold and German soldiers had begun to suffer in the harsh conditions. The Soviet’s used the weather to their advantage. The Soviets had huge forces in the East to defend Siberia. He withdrew them and under General Georgy Zhukov. They were then organized into a strike aimed at repelling the German advance on Moscow. On December 12th, Zhukov’s army launched a surprise attack on the German frontline and pushed them back with heavy losses, one hundred miles from Moscow. The Soviet Capital had been saved. However, the setback that happened that the Germans had a secure hold over much of western Soviet Union and had held to the city of Leningrad. Hitler’s General Staff had intended to win the war by Christmas. However, despite defeat near Moscow, there was still an optimism among the German generals. The German general staff eventually was able to stabilize the German front line and go on further attacks during early 1942. Hitler and his generals planned a Spring offensive, that they hoped would lead to Stalin wanting for peace or for a Soviet surrendering. The Germans forward towards the Soviet capital again deciding to launch an attack on the South. The German army led by the sixth army was to advance into the southern Russian Area. Hitler and his army had only a less resources of oil and he believed that if his army could have the oil fields then his army could have advance possibly into the city. However, the objective of the offensive in Southern Russian was to ocuupy the oil fields in the Caucasus. The oil was essential for the German war machine. Hitler knew this instead of getting all his forces on the conquest of the oil fields, he divided his forces. It has been beliefs in military strategy that it was unnecessary to divide one’s forces in enemy territory. He sent some of the German armies south to take the oil fields in the Caucuses and Baku. Hitler then ordered the 6th Army to advance towards Stalingrad and to take the city. Hitler was obsessed with the idea of capturing Stalingrad and it became his own obsession. This led him to ignore on the fights and his general’s advice. His thinking leads to the destruction of the German 6th army. Hitler divided his forces, but he also had too many men and material to capture in Stalingrad. This made the 6th army’s prospect of success very uncertain. Hitler wanted to seize the city, which he was not fully aware of the situation around the city. For example, German forces had been unable to push back Soviet forces during the series of battles as the operations happened. This left the Germans attacked on the frontlines as they were pushed further into the city. Because Hitler divided the German forces, the 6th army wasn’t protected. Poorly trained Romanian and Italian forces guarded the flanks and many German commanders believed that they could not protect that area from Soviet attack. Hitler’s determination to capture Stalingrad meant that he deployed the 6th army on a mission that objectives placed it at great risk. Hitler’s commanded the 6th Army throughout the siege of Stalingrad. Hitler’s style of leadership was the opposite of Stalin. The Soviet leader, had reformed the Soviet High Command and he granted ‘more autonomy and independence to generals like as Zhukov. The leader of the Soviet Union had learned lessons from the early days of Operation Barbarossa. He let his generals do the fighting and draw the strategies needed to beat the Germans. The Germans launched a massive air assault on the city, under the command of General Paulus. Much of the town was rubble. The Germans had devoted some of their most excellent units to the capture of the city, much against senior Generals such wishes, who openly opposed Hitler’s intention to capture the city. In August of 1942, the Germans fought their way into the city, which was at first lightly defended. The Soviet commander of the Soviet forces was Vasily Chuikov, who led the Soviets 62nd Army. The Soviets selected those of the German’ lines, held by their allies, such as the Hungarians and the Romanians. On the night of the 23rd of November, the Red Army attacked and quickly swept passed the Area, and Italian divisions began to encircle the 6th army in Stalingrad, just as it was on the verge of seizing the city. Stalingrad was one of the most important battles in WWII history. It was a defeat for the German army, and they never recovered from the battle. The defeat was avoidable. The main reason for the defeat was that Hitler became obsessed with the idea of capturing the city. This led him to ignore his Generals warnings and to make several strategic mistakes. The errors of Hitler allowed the Soviets to take advantage of the situation to encircle and annihilate an entire German 6th army. The responsibility for the defeat was Hitler’s. Furthermore, by refusing to allow the force a way out of Stalingrad, his General could have saved some of the German forces and the consequences of Hitler’s mistakes. Hitler’s strategy and poor tactics meant that the 6th army was defeated at Stalingrad.