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Stalingrad: WW2's greatest battle

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by Shockwavesoldier, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    Hum... Za, I don't think Manstein Idea was such a bad one.
    Actually, it might have given the Germans a chance. If he placed well entrenched infantry with plenty of support in the form of AT guns and defensive obstacles (A trench surrounding the Russian trenches if you will) The Russian attack could've been blunted. Especially if they kept a good reserve in the back (wich would be very hard to muster by that timeI know). Actually, prior to the Summer offensive in 43, many germans in the OKW were hooping that the Russians would commit their reserves in a large attack before the german one so their own attack would be a counterstroke. In fact, G. Le Q. Martel, the new head of British military mission, got the impression that the Russians were preparing to attack the Germans prior to a German offensive and, in his own words, if the Russians launched an attack before the renewed panzer divisions were commited in battle, the Russians "would be hit for six if they tried anything of the kind". So, I believe Manstein plan to cause a Russian offensive prior to their own was a good idea all in all as it would allow the Germans to fight from defensive well prepared positions (instead of the Russians) and would have probably increased the Duration of the war in the Eastern front for another 2 months or so (the Russians were not as amateurs as they once were and their new Generals knew what to do and when faced with the emminent danger of a breakthrough they'd probably back away in time).
    I think that unless Hitler had withdrawn to a place where the border was smaller and he could ward of the Russian advance (like some huge Thermopylae battle), the sheer amount of Russian numbers would crush him.

    From Kursk: a statistical analysis:

    Soviet Forces:
    manpower: 5,967,000
    Tanks and AG: 6,750
    Guns and mortars: 62,200
    Aircraft: 4,500

    German forces:
    manpower: 2,635,000
    Tanks and AG: 5,535
    Guns and mortars: 23,000
    Aircraft: 2,750

    So, tough a counter attack could've given the advantage and quite possibly a victory to the German army, unless they managed to encircle 4 million troops, I don't see how any other outcome in the long term would be possible.




    Cheers...
     
  2. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    If the German positions in front of the Stalingrad bulge were that strongly fortified (and they were in the 9th Armee and 2Pz Armee in the Orel region) then the Soviets would choose to attack elsewhere :) And even so they cracked it!

    They had to open Op. Rumiantsev through that specific area to in order relieve pressure at the Southern shoulder. Prokhorovka and all that, but the Mius offensive did even better as a prelude to Op. Kutuzov.

    Remember, the German army couldn't be strong enough everywhere, no army can.

    As for the Thermopylae, even that position could be turned. If you go static you surrender initiative and freedom of manoeuvre.
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    He who defends everything...
     
  4. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    Sure. But you have to take into acount where the Soviets placed their armies. If it followed as it did after Kursk, the Soviets would be in for a chalenge. Also, if you surrender initiative but, you defend a narrow front with plenty reserves and behave like General Hendrici that managed, with ten depleted divisions, to hold a 100 mile front between Orsha and Rogachev, you can destroy an army.
    Thanks to well placed reserves, concentrated artillery fire and a good management of reserves (he managed to have a fresh batallion daily to face the Soviets), he staved off five ofensives each lasting 5 to 6 days with over 30 divisions each!
    That's the kind of Super-bowl defense I'm talking :)




    Cheers...
     
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    It would be interesting to have the view on the other side.

    If you read von Mellenthin's memoirs it looks like it was all hell for the Soviets with 48th PzKorps round Stalingrad and Balck was as good as the Archangel Michael, problem was that v.M. only knew what was going on with his PzKps and never understood that he was trashing a vanguard brigade while the rest of the army was going round his ass!

    Where the Soviets placed their armies? Ah, but that was another problem: you don't know! Operational Security on the Soviet side was of the highest order, and besides they had this knack of switching large bodies of troops unnoticed from one end to the other, so German intelligence estimates tended to be fooled by this Maskirovka.

    http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/Armstrong/ARMSTRONG.asp

    http://books.google.pt/books?id=Jh5Ujqu8-4AC&printsec=titlepage&dq=maskirovka&source=gbs_toc_s&cad=1
     
  6. tommy tater

    tommy tater Member

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    one should certainly not think that the whermachts progress in russia deteriated after the defeats of stalingrad & kursk. besides overlord wouldnt mean defeat for the allies it would of course mean soviet rule in germany & even possibly france but germany would only be able to defeat the allies if peace was made with the soviets which almost happened when stalin was getting impatient with the allies slow progress in italy
     
  7. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Didnt deteriorate? What progress did Whermacht make in Russian after Kursk?

    Huh?
     
  8. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    LOL. I was thinking the same thing. I would love to see the source that says Stalin was thinking of surrendering because he was impatient with the Allies.
     
  9. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    He wasn't thinking of surrendering. He approached Hitler in 42 via Swedish diplomats in order to bring the costly war to an end. Hitler wanted all the land till the Dniepr and Stalin didn't contend with anything less than the full extent of the Russian lands returned to him.
    As for the Wermach progress deteriorating, well, it didn't. It downright stoped. Never again (minus some strategical non important battles) did the Germans held the initiative after Kursk.



    Cheers...
     
  10. dd09999

    dd09999 Member

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    Well wasn't Churchill actually more interested in attacking the soft underbelly of Europe? The British also wanted to secure Greece from the commies. I also think that Churchill did not need a victory, but needed them to just tie down German forces. By 42 America was already in the war. It may have just taken longer, with a hell of a lot more casualties to invade France.
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    I may get some flak over this, but it looks to me that the lack of spelling and punctuation use abilities do say a bit about the general abilities of the writer.
     
  12. dd09999

    dd09999 Member

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    Don't be passive aggressive and put the writers name down.
     
  13. tommy tater

    tommy tater Member

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    well mate im 12
     
  14. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    Hmm. Well THAT does explain a lot!
    :D
     
  15. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Yes it does Joe.
     
  16. Peppy

    Peppy Idi Admin

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    Paul, are you honestly 12?

    Peppy >> has an inquiring mind that wants to know. :peppy:
     
  17. Peppy

    Peppy Idi Admin

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    I got word from Otto to come take a look at this. Either you are 12 and lied about your age when you signed up, or you really are older and lied in your post for some odd reason.

    Either scenario is crappy and I've decided to put a 1 year ban onto your account. In 1 year you will be at least 13, which is the minimum age to be a member here based on our rules. If you are actually of age, then consider the temporary ban a punishment for deceptive posts. See the rules in this post here: http://www.ww2f.com/wwii-forums-news/18540-wwii-forums-user-guide-version-1-1-a.html#post218561

    Peppy >>> dishing out some regulating & administrating
     
    Sloniksp likes this.
  18. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Thanks for catching this Peppy. I just noticed that his profile saying he was born in 1988 and is 19. Good move.
     
  19. dd09999

    dd09999 Member

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    He should have made sure his papers were in order!! :D He would not have made a very good OSS agent.
     
  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    To me it doesn't. At twelve he should have acquired enough reading and writing skills to be able to write properly. As a non-native English writer, at that age I was fluent in two foreign languages and most people here will concur that I'm not a genius ;)
     

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