C-In 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union

April 19, 2019 History

C-In 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union invade Poland after signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. However, that didn’t do much to ensure peace on the eastern front as Hilter wanted the fertile farm lands and the oil rich fields of the Caucasus to build a self-sufficient Reich. Also, this would be a good base for future conquests. After only two years of signing the treaty with the Soviet Union and after surprising success on the western front Hitler begins to invade the east under the name of “Operation Barbarossa”.
C-Stretching about 50km along the coasts of the Volga river Stalingrad was a big industrial city producing military equipment and tractors. This would be an important capture for the German army as it would cut Soviet transport links with southern Russia and it would serve as an anchor when the Germans would rush into the oil fields of the Caucasus. Stalingrad also had symbolic importance as it had the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin’s name in it which would serve as a great personal and propaganda victory for Hitler.
I-The battle of Stalingrad lasted from the autumn of 1942 until the spring of 1943. Along the 142 days, 2,100,000 people were killed, which is about an eighth of the total casualties in World War One.1,250,000 of the total deaths were Russian, and although the German losses were considerably lower at 850,000 deaths, Germany was just as impacted due to their smaller population in the army. The Battle of Stalingrad basically started the downfall of the Germans, their Nazi regime and their goals of world conquest; Germany also lost some of their key officers in the Battle of Stalingrad. Not only did that that happen, but the people of Germany had at last started losing hope on Hitler and his ambitions.
I-Stalin’s intentions for protecting the city of Stalingrad were simple; basically the only reason he had was that the city was named after him. He saw this as a symbol of his authority in the Soviet Union, and he didn’t want this to be challenged. Hitler’s intentions were the polar opposite; he tried to take Stalingrad only because it was named for Stalin and it was a major trade route to Moscow. Getting Stalingrad under his control, meant that Hitler would easily be able to take over Moscow in a matter of few months if not weeks. Moreover, Stalin knew that if Stalingrad fell into Hitler´s hands then the rest of the Soviet Union would soon follow, because it would supply the Germans with extra supplies and then of course an upper hand on the route to Moscow
I-The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the major turning points during World War Two, and was one of the biggest mistakes that Hitler made during his Blitzkrieg plan. The takeover of Stalingrad was all part of Operation Barbarossa, which was the strategy used to take over Moscow, the Soviet capital. The officers that the German army employed at the Battle of Stalingrad were General Friedrich Paulus, commander of the sixth infantry division, General Hans Hube, commander of the fourteenth Panzer Corps and Erich von Manstien who was in command of the fourth panzer regiment which was sent to Stalingrad as a backup for the other units.
I-In the Battle of Stalingrad the one who made a huge difference was General Georgi Zhukov, who was a very well known general of the Red Army. General Zhukov was one of Stalin’s closest men, he advised Stalin to keep the Nazis concentrated on Stalingrad, because that would “bleed out” the Germans so then they would be too weak to proceed to Moscow or the factories they wanted to reach east of the Ural Mountains. In the First World War, the Kaiser “bled out” the French forces in their fortresses of Verdun and now the same principle was being used against the Germans in Stalingrad.
I-Although Germany had superior weapons, its generals were unable to function properly due to their Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, who would not let them retreat for any circumstances, as it would highlight the clear weakness of the Nazis. Joseph Stalin on the other hand knew what he would lose if the city of Stalingrad was lost, and it was a lot more than his symbol of authority, the fate of the Soviet Union was on the line. Joseph Stalin knew that to survive the Second World War against Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union had to industrialize, and he was certainly right. He came with 5-year industrial campaigns that would focus on a specific aspect of Industry for five years, this strategy was called the 5-year plans. The use of soviet Stalin tanks made the difference in the Battle of Stalingrad, and then in the rest of the Second World War. The Stalin tank was superior to the German panzer tanks because it had slanted armour which made it less prone to enemy fire, it also was very simple to repair, so the tank crews could repair them on the battlefield. The Stalin tank was also very simple, so they could produce them in bulk. Whereas the panzer tank was more technologically complex and advanced, so the Germans could only have professional technicians fix them them, and they also were a lot harder to build. It was basically impossible for them to repair the panzer tanks in the battlefield.

I-The Battle of Stalingrad was the bloodiest battle in recorded history and it was the major turning point in World War Two, overall it was Hitler’s pride that lost the Battle of Stalingrad. If it weren’t for Hitler’s pride he would have allowed his generals to retreat to more defensible territory, or to retreat and regroup. If he had let them do that we might be living under a Nazi regime. Hitler also made the mistake of making false promises to the German public such as “You may rest assured that nobody will ever drive us out of Stalingrad.” Saying these kinds of things is what allowed for Hitler to rise to power, but this time it was one of Hitler’s biggest mistakes, it is because of statements like these that Hitler lost a bulk of faith from his supporters politically and militarily. When the Germans were retreating out of Stalingrad Hitler tried one last desperate attempt to keep general Paulus from disobeying his orders, he made Paulus field Marshall of the German armed forces and he made it quite clear that no field Marshall in history had been captured. Needless to say Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus was the first.

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