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Stalingrad: WW2's greatest battle


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#1 Shockwavesoldier

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:16 PM

I am doing this project that Stalingrad had the greatest influence on the final outcome of the war. My main reason being that it allowed for the opening of a second front, because Churchill would not invade France until Russia achieved victory and if there was no invasion the war wouold have dragged on longer and allies possibly may have been defeated. So please state you opinion!
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#2 Shockwavesoldier

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:45 PM

I also did a project on Dr. Werhner Von braun the scientist who made the V-2 rocket and worked for NASA later.
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon." Napoleon Bonaparte

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#3 Shockwavesoldier

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 10:00 PM

I am doing this project that Stalingrad had the greatest influence on the final outcome of the war. My main reason being that it allowed for the opening of a second front, because Churchill would not invade France until Russia achieved victory and if there was no invasion the war wouold have dragged on longer and allies possibly may have been defeated. So please state you opinion!
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#4 Za Rodinu

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 02:08 PM

Well, Schocky, Stalingrad was indeed very important as it was one of the first really confidence shaking setbacks the Germans suffered. The other one was the Soviet '41 Winter offensive (this is stating things a bit lightly, I don't really think these points are worth a lot of discussion).

Striclty speaking, there is no great connection with Stalingrad to Churchill's decisions, Overlord was to be 1.5 years away.

IMHO what really clinched decision was the Kursk defensive battle and the Soviet offensives subsequent to this. Now that was something else, for if Stalingrad was indeed the great victory that it was, during the subsequent offensives the Soviets got a bleeding nose or two.

Combine this with a successful Tunisian campaign and you have a happy Chuchill.

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#5 Sloniksp

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 08:24 PM

Za is correct.....


Oh and im also not sure what the connection between Stalingrad and Overloard is?
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#6 Shockwavesoldier

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 08:26 PM

Well I have read a book that states that Churchill would not proceed with an invasion of France until a Russian victory at Stalingrad. Stalin said he couldn't win at stalingrad until the rest of the allies invaded france forcing hitler to divert his troops.
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#7 FramerT

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 08:40 PM

Well I have read a book that states that Churchill would not proceed with an invasion of France until a Russian victory at Stalingrad. Stalin said he couldn't win at stalingrad until the rest of the allies invaded france forcing hitler to divert his troops.


What is this book? Stalingrad: late '42-early '43. Churchill nor the Americans were anywhere close to invading France at this time frame.
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#8 Za Rodinu

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 09:47 PM

There is no possible connection between Stalingrad (ending in early Feb.43 with the German surrender) and the invasion of Normandy (June 44). A lot of things went on in between.

Even the Kursk battle ended in July 43. In the Normandy invasion timeframe we have the great Summer 44 offensive, including what was called "Destruction of Army Group Centre" (Op. Bagration pron. Bah-grah-tzion).

I hate to say this, but that sounds like rubbish. And the book was?


Guys, please be gentle with the man, we were all like this, more or less.

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#9 Shockwavesoldier

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:20 PM

I think i may have misunderstood the information I will quote what the book says. The name is The Battle of Stalingrad by Bob Caroll. "As soon as Russia was in the war, Stalin began lobbying for a "second front", that is an invasion of Europe by Great Britian and the united states. Only then he insisted ,would hitler be forced to draw sufficient armies from the eastern front to enable the russians to beat germany.........(later in the paragraph)....It was a tragic catch-22: stalin maintained a second front was needed for a russian victory but churchill insisted no second front was possible without a russian victory".

Just because this information is in a stlingrad book doesn't mean its about stalingrad in particular, but I can still try to prove that in my paper
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon." Napoleon Bonaparte

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#10 Za Rodinu

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:27 PM

All right, it makes it clearer then. Indeed the Stalingrad victory was very well received in the West, and the Brit government did order a sword of honour to be delivered to Stalin.

The SWORD OF STALINGRAD

I understand that at the ceremony Voroshilov was a bit tipsy and dropped the sword!

Anyway, the Stalingrad victory was very important to the West in proving indeed that the Soviets could provide victories, that factor did exist, but it was not of immediate importance because quite frankly the West (much less UK) could do nothing about it! There was nothing they, especially the British Army could do "in return", no possibility at all of opening a 2nd Front.

At the time in Africa for instance the Brits were entering Tunisia by the time Stalingrad surrendered, so there was still a long way to go. The invasion of Italy was a terrible disappointment for the Soviets, nothing to be gained strategically there, totally immaterial in terms of relief, starting only in Sicily.

So by the time the Allies DID provide a worthy second front (June 44, Op, Overlord), the Red Army had an immense string of victories already.

But anyway, that sword was a nice gesture, thank you.

So, now, how do you want to reframe your paper? What school is that by the way? And mark you, we are not going to write the paper for you, maybe provide a few tips, but the next round is yours! :D

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#11 Shockwavesoldier

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:41 PM

yes It appears I misunderstood what the bookw as saying the rest of the information is confusing.
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon." Napoleon Bonaparte

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#12 Za Rodinu

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:23 AM

Now that we knocked your head a bit or two, if we can help you with your project...

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...


#13 clems

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:47 PM

For my the greatest battle is operation bagration.
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#14 Shockwavesoldier

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 12:12 AM

Greatest battle in terms of the overall effect on the oucome of the war.
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon." Napoleon Bonaparte

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#15 SpikedHelmet

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 02:49 AM

Yeah, I'd agree.

#16 Vanir

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 08:09 AM

I tend to think Bagration was even a foregone conclusion, I mean look at the aircraft deployments by then. A few hundred Luftwaffe types like the Fw-190A, Me-109G and Ju-88 against thousands of Soviet Yak-9's, La-5's, IL-2's and Pe-2's. The Soviets were also playing around with all their new found industrial might too, with a multitude of specialised variants from long range escort Yaks to specialised anti-tank Yaks with 37-45mm main weapons. The La-5F was at least as good as the Focke Wulf in all respects. And recruitment of liberated forces increasingly resulted in Slovakian Lavochkin squadrons, Polish Yaks and so on.

I think the last time the Eastern Front was within reasonable doubt was immediately prior to Kursk, when Manstein submitted his proposal for a brilliant counterattack at the Donets, but required a retreat to draw in the enemy. Hitler would not release his SS heavy Panzer divisions however, claiming too much valuable (yet unserviceable) equipment would fall into Soviet hands (a ridiculous thing to say at this point).

The Army was committed to Kursk by Hitler but morale was so low he was forced to make promises to individual field commanders (published in a release given by Hitler outlining the operation), that they were to be equipped with the same equipment as the Waffen-SS instead of the same old Panzer IV and StuG (he knew the Panzer IV line was actually being switched to a new StuG, the Jagdpanzer anyway, so all the surplus would be modified as a new variant, whilst Panthers gradually replaced the Pz.IV...plus some new armoured car and tractor types were replacing older ones). The Wehrmacht would begin to look something like the shiny new SS instead of running around with horses and digigng trenches like somebody turned the clock back about thirty years.

In this sense, and its overall impact along the entire Front, I would have to say Kursk was the definitive battle. It should've been avoided like the plague, and Manstein's idea run with. That could've secured the initiative that had been won so determinedly at Kharkov, by I might add the willingness of the Waffen-SS field commanders to disobey Hitler's direct instructions. Instead they deferred to Manstein who won them the battle, and then Hitler decorated them as national heroes. I dare say had they been Wehrmacht officers a permanent stay at Dachau would have been a more likely conclusion.

#17 Za Rodinu

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:21 PM

The Army was committed to Kursk by Hitler but morale was so low he was forced to make promises to individual field commanders (published in a release given by Hitler outlining the operation), that they were to be equipped with the same equipment as the Waffen-SS in


Can you substantiate this? Your idea on reequipment is ok, but can I ask on what fuel ? :)

In this sense, and its overall impact along the entire Front, I would have to say Kursk was the definitive battle. It should've been avoided like the plague, and Manstein's idea run with.


Probably, but remeber that Op. Kutuzov and Rumiantsev were launched basically with what was available to the Fronts that had withstood the Zitadelle offensive, that is, the Fronts were rather damaged. Now imagine what it would have been with Manstein "fooling around" elesewhere and with the Kursk Fronts intact.

Instead they deferred to Manstein who won them the battle, and then Hitler decorated them as national heroes. I dare say had they been Wehrmacht officers a permanent stay at Dachau would have been a more likely conclusion.


I'd never had thought of this, great :)

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#18 bf109 emil

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 03:27 PM

I am doing this project that Stalingrad had the greatest influence on the final outcome of the war. My main reason being that it allowed for the opening of a second front, because Churchill would not invade France until Russia achieved victory and if there was no invasion the war wouold have dragged on longer and allies possibly may have been defeated. So please state you opinion!


Many say this was a reason for Dieppe...Canadian troops afterwards capture got wind or heard the Germans knew 10 days in advance, many criticized planners knowing full well churchill tanks would not have the ability to move on the rocky beachhead...and was sent more as an appeasement for Stalins demands of a second front, and to have a legitimate response as to the failure rather then a non-effort being taken or tried.

#19 bf109 emil

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 03:32 PM

What is this book? Stalingrad: late '42-early '43. Churchill nor the Americans were anywhere close to invading France at this time frame.

He did and tried at Dieppe knowing it's failure would appease Stalin and his demand for a second front

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#20 J.A. Costigan

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 05:06 AM

It's nice to see consensus in this thread, gave me confidence as I wrote my 10th grade research paper (worth 15% of my overall grade) on the same thing. Ended up getting a 88% on it.

#21 Miguel B.

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 05:06 PM

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...

#22 Za Rodinu

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:26 PM

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.


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.

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#23 Slipdigit

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:33 PM

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


He who defends everything...

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#24 Miguel B.

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:48 PM

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 :)




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Edited by MIguel B., 16 June 2008 - 09:43 PM.


#25 Za Rodinu

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 09:33 PM

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...g/ARMSTRONG.asp

http://books.google....gbs_toc_s&cad=1

Edited by Za Rodinu, 16 June 2008 - 10:00 PM.

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