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If the Germans had held on to Stalingrad, how could that effect the war?

Discussion in 'What If - Mediterranean & North Africa' started by C.Evans, Feb 2, 2001.

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  1. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I think that Leningrad could have fallen, and the Eastern Front as a whole, would have been effected. Would like your opinions?
     
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Stalingrad by military means had fallen when Paulus had reached the Volga south of the city. That cut off all river traffic to caucasus which was the military aim. Hitler fell into Stalin's trap and making it a political aim. If the German's had held onto Stalingrad even if they fought off the Russian counterattack....it would have prolonged the war by a year but the Russians would have counterattacked further north while Hitler was busy taking the Caucasus. Even at this time, Germany could not have mustered enough manpower to fight off a Russian offensive and take the Caucasus. Hitler made his mistake in dividing Army Group South.

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  3. Yankee

    Yankee Member

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    Stalingrad would have been a huge mental defeat for the russians and victory for the Germans.

    But Hitler was still a fool to lose an entire army over the city.

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  4. Killjoy

    Killjoy Member

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    Don't see how Staligrad's fall could affect Leningrad. Crazy Ivan would presumably still have counterattacked in droves at Stalingrad, so no troops ther could've moved north to assist in taking Leningrad...
    I believe the only way the Germans could have taken Stalingrad would've been by encirclement rather than wading THROUGH the city. Perhaps reduced losses - presuming that a) such a maneuver would have been possible in the terrain surrounding S'grad, and b), that there would have BEEN fewer losses - would have allowed the Germans to withstand the Soviet counterattack...


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  5. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    More great posts-many thanks.

    Here is what might be a feasabl plan for the Germans.

    If Stalingrad had been held, I do believe that the Russians might have been stalemated long enough for the Germans to shaif a few more divisions to the Leningrad Front. They would have been more than enough to turn the tides.

    The Germans in fact had captured ground in Leningrad, and almost had the soviet commander on the run. There was an instant of terror for the Russians. The Germans had actuall been close enough to use flamethrowers on the soviet commanding generals command bunker, which almost got him.

    Winter was a major factor on why the Germans did not capture Leningrad. The Germans did get soooo close.
     
  6. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I agree, holding "Stalin's City" would have changed the whole Eastern Front. It would have meant that the Germans would still have had true offensive campaign capability. Thus changing the face of combat on every front. Remember, the cost to Hitler of Stalingrad was not the loss of the city, but that German forces all along the front had to be redistributed and thus 'thinned out' to fill the void left by the loss of around 200,000 front line troops. A loss occuring when the German forces were entering the critical summer of 1943, when the war was still winable for the Axis.


    Now I'm not sure if I agree, but I've read that the battle at Stalingrad prevented even more catastrophic losses to Germany by tieing up Soviet Forces so they weren't used in another planned operation. One aimed at encircling and destroying the huge German forces battling in the Caucasus. Anyone else hear this theory?

    [This message has been edited by Otto (edited 07 February 2001).]
     
  7. Killjoy

    Killjoy Member

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    I've also red this theory, which was supposedly another reason that Hitler would not allow the surrender of Sixth army.
    It appears that the Soviets had troops to spare, though, since the relief attempts made by the Germans were all thwarted.
    Don't know if these troops were intended for other operations or if the same sort of psychological effect Hitler was hoping for in taking Stalingrad was being sought by the Soviets via liberating it...



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  8. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I definately agree with both or you and all your assessments. I also believe that Stalingrad did prevent some disasters from happening oin other sectors of the Eastern Front because of the huge scale in which this battle was fought. It would have been rather fascinating to see how history would be different had the Germans won that battle.
     
  9. Killjoy

    Killjoy Member

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    Or....
    Consider the possible effects of shifting the Germans surrounding Leningrad South to participate in the battle at/around Stalingrad and taking the flanking Axis "allied" troops and putting THEM in charge of keeping the Russians bottled up at Leningrad.
    Then, encircle everything the Russians had around Stalingrad and take another big bite out of the Red Army...
    Perhaps too ambitious!
    Don't know enough about the area around Stalingrad or the Russian forces arrayed there at the time of the battle...



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  10. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    That is an interesting idea. Leningrad was not an active region, offensive wise. I'm sure the Germans would have at worse abandon Stalingrad but with German divisions holding off the Russians, there would not have been a lost 6th Armee. The only exception would be Hitler's stubborn axim of 'hold at all costs'.

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  11. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Good thinking, I had'nt thought of that either. The shifting of German units from Leningrad to Stalingrad hmmmmm..........

    That makes me wonder why Hitler did not use any Waffen SS at Stalingrad? The 3rd Waffen SS Korps or AKA the European SS, were the ones at Leningrad, which included my friend Remy who was in SS Sturmbrigade Langemarck.

    I wonder if Hitler purposedly kept "his favorites" out of that battle because he "knew" what could happen (the capitulation of 6th Armee)
     
  12. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Wasn't the principle SS units being reorganized as SS Pz Grdr Div at this time. That meant they were in France getting new equipment, personnel and training.

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  13. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    True but there were other Waffen SS units that could have been used. I dont know how effective they would have been since these were not division sized units.
     
  14. Killjoy

    Killjoy Member

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    Regardless of whether they were Wermacht or SS, the point is, the better trained & equipped Germans would've made a heck of a lot better flankers than the Hungarians & Romanians. I don't know what these guys had for armor & anti-tank weapons, but the most they probably contributed was the rounds they absorbed as they were routed & fled...
    Gotta pity the poor bastids, though, considering what they were up against!

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  15. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    No armour and obsolete anti-tank weapons. You might as well shoot spit wads at the T-34s!

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  16. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Its kind of difficult to talk about the Hungarians and Romanians. As to which contributed to the war effort the most, I always thought that the Hungarians did a touch more than the Romanians.

    It is a pity that their officers were not concerned with "the troops" as much as they were for their socializing and their dinner parties. Believe it or not, that was what many of their more important officers were doing, when the Russians smashed their lines and created chaos. The Romanian leaders were living it up while their subordinates were getting killed. Its no wonder why had no spirit. Also, the officers food was more plentiful and much much better that the underlings had it.

    I remember reading in a book sometime ago, that the officers would feast while the troops went without even sawdust bread.

    I think the Hungarians fared a little better, and they had better spirit because their treatment was better.

    As for quality and availibility of equipment: What they did have was very poor and outdated, and or they did'nt have anything to fight with.
     
  17. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I forgot to add that the partying that was going on was when the Russians broke through the flanks and proceeded to smash the front and rear areas and to encircle Stalingrad. If I remember correctly, this is told in Anthony Beevors book on Stalingrad. Please don't shoot the messenger if I gave the wrong title, kick my shin instead.
     
  18. Killjoy

    Killjoy Member

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    Didn't mean to imply that the troops themselves were cowards or such. After all, the Balkan nations were pretty much stuck between powerful neighbors with delusions of grandeur, and siding with the more powerful made political sense, since the alternative was conquest/subjugation...
    The conduct of the officers sounds reminiscent of the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire... ...One can picture the remnants of old "noble" families reliving the glory days of old while the guys at the sharp end suffered for their indulgences...



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  19. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    No problem I knew you didnt. I was only trying to remember as I typed at what was said in some of those books on Stalingrad I have. My books are currently in storage as I just moved a few days ago, lord knows when I will have access to them again. Nicht Wir.

    I do have a big disliking for how people are treated by their superiors, i.e. the Romanians and Hungarians (among others)

    I quit my most recent job because of the politics. No disrespect of any kind was intended, I liked and wholly agree with your posting. Makes you glad that the USA does not have a Monarchy-tho clinton and gore tried.
     
  20. Killjoy

    Killjoy Member

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    This is an aside, but....
    Sure we have a monarchy!
    There's Baron Teddy of Massachusetts, scion of House Kennedy
    Senator-Lord Thurmond (60 years in office fer the luvva gawd!)
    Emperor "Dubya" I
    Emperor "Dubya" II....etc.
    We just don't CALL them that as an excersize in creative semantics...
    *chortle*

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