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11th Army


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#1 Richard

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 10:18 PM

Could the battle of Stalingrad had a different out come, if as was planned the 11th Army or so attacked?

What was behind the thinking to break sections of the 11th army and send them else where, and then to redirect the remaining 11th Army to the Northern Front.

It seem to me another case of muddled thinking lets take Leningrad, no change of mind now Stalingrad, from what I can make out moving the 11th Army was a error.

Can anyone give more information on these events?

#2 Kai-Petri

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 05:13 PM

Hitler had decided that he´ll take both Leningrad and Stalingrad at the same time. However when his troops were at the long end of the supply line and troops exhausted the Red Army attacked and beat the 6th Army. The troops at Leningrad were just about to start attacking when Russians started their own attack and the Germans ended up defending their positions.

The 11th Army and its parts could not have saved Stalingrad as the destiny was -in my opinion- decided when the Germans divided their troops to Caucasus and Stalingrad. The troops were not enough powerful to fight the enemy.

All in all the Germans were lucky and also showed how good fighters they are as the Red Army aimed to destroy all the Army Groups with their attacks and actually "only" Stalingrad was surrounded. Stalin and Zhukov had much bigger plans than just taking Stalingrad!
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#3 Richard

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 05:37 PM

What could have happen if Army Group A swung towards Stalingrad?

Opp’s I just remembered something was Hitler in charge about that time setting up that stupid situation where he reports to himself?

#4 Za Rodinu

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:53 PM

Originally posted by Richard42:
What was behind the thinking to break sections of the 11th army and send them else where, and then to redirect the remaining 11th Army to the Northern Front.

Perhaps you should read Manstein's memories, Lost Battles. He was the commander of 11tf Army at the time. I'm away from my library, but I recall the headquarters of 11th A. did go North but its fighting component was effectively dissolved and spread around to make up for losses.

Careful with reading LB, as vM tends to put himself in a better light, and his attitude is somewhat like "As I told Hitler" ;)

Good read, nevertheless.

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#5 Richard

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:05 PM

Thanks Za Rodinu, I just dusted off the book from collection title Lost Victories I will have to read it again it's been many years since I looked at it. smile.gif

#6 Friedrich

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 12:00 AM

I don't think there could have been any change in what actually happened. Von Manstein's XI Army was certainly a good formation, but Paulus' VI and Hoth's IV Panzer were very large formations, as well as the most experienced and best in the entire Eastern Front. Nevertheless, they were wasted in brutal and usless urban warfare for a heap of ruins called Stalingrad in the worst possible way by Hitler AND many mediocre, megalomaniac generals.

Paulus VI Army could have made a difference in Italy, in Normandy, in the Battle of the Bulge, in the Battle of Berlin, but it got destroyed in the filthy streets of Stalingrad because of the Red Army's blood and the idiocy of the German High Command.

The XI Army would have faced the same fate.

As for Army Group 'A', it could have certainly provided a severe blow to the entire Soviet southern sector, if and only if, attacked jointly with Army Group 'B'. Then they could have taken Stalingrad and the Volga and (I doubt it, due to supply situations) headed up to Astrakhan and the Caspain Sea, cutting off the Caucasus (again, I doubt it, since Soviet formations between the Don and the Turkish border could have very well hid in the mountains and been supplied by the Soviet Fleet, from the Black and Caspian sea).

Then what? Moscow's southern flank is exposed, yes, but I doubt the Germans have enough strenght to push against Tula and Moscow from the south. Even more, the Germans are in possession now of a huge exposed northern flank, from Kursk and Voroniezh all the way to Astrakhan, with the Volga and immense steppes in the middle. Given the German strenght in 1942, such position was unbearable in any case.
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#7 Richard

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 12:08 AM

Thanks everyone I do agree Stalingrad was a very bad call a waste of resources. graemlins/no.gif




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