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Was Stalingrad's role as a turning point exaggerated?

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jun 2005, 22:22
Pioneer
Post 01 Jul 2005, 23:43
yes, as i said in my earlier post stalingrad was mainly an ego war since it's name beared the name of stalin. the original plan called to go right past stalingrad so not even the german high command saw the city as critical to conquer. but hitler intervened and split army group south to take stalingrad. i still fail to see how one city many miles to the south was critical to conquer moscow. what is your reasoning for this? stalingrad served as a resource route for north and southern russia but that was nothing critical to nazi operations and if that was becoming bothersome to the nazis they could have just surrounded the city cutting off all links and laid seige until they were all starved out.
"Only The Shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Dec 2004, 21:30
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Post 02 Jul 2005, 14:16
Quote:
and so on... You simply don't just "take" a city like Stalingrad. You need to take several things in consideration, and where generals failed (Yes I know several simple mistakes were commited) I don't think that uneducated civilians will succeed.

But wasn't Stalingrads catastophe Hitlers fault? As far as I know, he did not want to reinforce weak flanks nor withdraw from Stalingrad when it was possible.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jul 2004, 04:43
Komsomol
Post 07 Jul 2005, 02:14
Thats true Field Marshall Paulus wanted to withdraw but Hitler refused.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Nov 2004, 20:31
Party Bureaucrat
Post 07 Jul 2005, 10:59
Hitler did send Erich von Manstein and his Army Group Don to relieve the city; Operation Winterstorm. von Manstein started his attack on December 12th and by December 24th was within 50km from Stalingrad. The attack however was halted.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Nov 2005, 21:16
Komsomol
Post 14 Dec 2005, 15:14
Do you think Manstiens relief attempt could have worked, they were badly outnumbered.
"Its the ones who are subject to occupation that ultimately get to decide whether it was benicfial or not".

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Nov 2004, 20:31
Party Bureaucrat
Post 14 Dec 2005, 15:48
Yes, it could have perhaps succeeded. Even if Army Group Don's advance would be halted, it would be possible to save the VI. Army, assuming that the army would try to breakout.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Apr 2005, 18:29
Pioneer
Post 14 Dec 2005, 19:17
Quote:
What about the Bulage was that the last German offensive ? And wason't it right after Stalingrad in North Africa didn't a nother 300 000 Axis troops the same amount as in Stalingrad surrender to the Western Allies what about that victory ?


The battle of the bulge happend 44/45 when the war was beond douwt. It is not germanys last offensive as is commenlly perceived. The last german offensive was in 1945 in hungry.

I have heard that many axis troops surrenderd in africa, the number may come to 300 000 if italian troops are conted however the number seems too high for the africa korps alone.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Nov 2004, 20:31
Party Bureaucrat
Post 14 Dec 2005, 20:03
Quote:
a nother 300 000 Axis troops the same amount as in Stalingrad surrender


90000 Germans surrendered at Stalingrad.

Quote:
And wason't it right after Stalingrad in North Africa


Battle of Stalingrad ended in early February 1943. Axis forces in North Africa surrended in May 1943.

Quote:
if italian troops are conted


Notice the word Axis.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Sep 2006, 22:32
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 07 Sep 2006, 23:37
Only historians speak of "turning points" as if someone could actually determine the nanosecond when the fortunes of war changed. It follows the peculiar logic of historians which is usually about as clear as chocolate.

A more valid concept is that of a transition period. Let us say the first period begins with Barbarossa. During this period the Axis do more damage then they receive. This first period continues up until Stalingrad.

Then a period begins where the fortunes of war go back and forth. Some authors mark the end of this period at the end of '43 but I , with the benefit of hindsight, mark it at Kursk. The Axis are incapable of winning the war after Kursk. The Red Army then chases the Axis all the way back to Berlin during this final period of the war.

So, there is no such thing as a transition point but a transiton period. Stalingrad marks the beginning of the second period and Kursk the end. Both are very important battles from what I have read and they seem to be of about equal importance.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 Dec 2006, 23:43
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 09 Dec 2006, 23:50
Moscow's fate not decided in Moscow?

Did you know more people died under moscow during those "turning point" times then all american and english soldier during the whole war?

if u ever been to moscow, to the airport in the west side. thats how far they got. thats how far the germans were from the red square.
and then they got pwned. like a llama
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Sep 2006, 22:32
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 11 Dec 2006, 22:42
Hello, Chemist.

This thread was about the importance of Stalingrad and so this is what I was writing about. Retaining Moscow was very important but I beleive that it is possible that the Axis could still win the war at this point.

One source that I read divided the Great Patriotic war into three periods. In the first period the Axis forces inflicted more damage then they received. This period is marked by the invasion at the beginning and ends sometime during Stalingrad. The second period is where Soviet and Axis forces do about equal damage, back and forth. Some Soviet scholars mark the end of this period as the end of '43 but I think, with hindsight, that it ends at the battles for Kursk. It is only after Kursk that the Axis forces have no real chance of winning. This third period really ends with Germany's surrender.

I believe that Soviet war losses were more than twenty million and this exceeds all other losses by a wide margin. Sadly, many of the dead were civilians that had never been legitimate targets but had been murdered by terror troops anyway.

So far, I have not been to Moscow and I probably will never go there because I do not travel much. If you say the Axis forces got to the airport area I will beleive you because I know they got very close to the city before being stopped. Even so, Soviet forces would suffer many more casualties before the Axis forces were pwned two years later.

P.S. It was during the second period that the KV-1S/85 ("S" type turret), T34/85 (horse collar mantlet), and SU-152 "Predator Killer" all went into service. They really pwned the "master" tanks. Can you imagine what a 100 pound H.E.A.T. round from a SU-152 would do to any enemy tank? It threw the massive projectile at 600 m/s which is about the same velocity as a German 50mm Pak 38 AT gun. That SU-152 was quite a machine.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Dec 2006, 00:29
Pioneer
Post 21 Dec 2006, 06:36
There's another major factor that I found on wikipedia:

Richard Sorge(the USSR's Spy on japan) warned the soviet high command that the japanese would declare war on soviet union should the germans get as far as grabbing a city in the volga river, thus stalingrad also secured soviet union's eastern border.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Apr 2004, 09:40
Komsomol
Post 21 Dec 2006, 13:14
The biggest turning point in the war, imo, was the failure to capture Moscow in '41.

As time went on, Germany slowly began losing to the USSR from this point. Stalingrad, and Kursk were battles that reflected the changing dynamics of the war, rather than defining them.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 May 2005, 13:28
Party Bureaucrat
Post 21 Dec 2006, 20:52
I must agree with trust. The failure to capture Moscow in '41 was the moment which defined the war. After that Hitler had to try second and third choices to try and win USSR.
-With solidarity, FC

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Jun 2004, 17:01
Komsomol
Post 21 Dec 2006, 22:56
Why was it exaggeratted? I think it's accurate to say the Battle for Stalingrad was the turningpoint of WW2
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 May 2005, 13:28
Party Bureaucrat
Post 21 Dec 2006, 23:24
Yes, but we must think, if Germans had got Stalingrad would they had got Moscow or Baku then? Not necessarily I say, although it would had helped. Capturing Moscow in '41 would had been much more damaging in my opinion.
-With solidarity, FC

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Sep 2004, 16:21
Politburo
Post 21 Dec 2006, 23:54
Quote:
Germany made so many mistakes anyway. Especially the idea of taking stalingrad was dumb, they should have continued to Moscow.

I disagree. They tried to take Moscow and failed. To have tried again would have been to reinforce failure. Hitler was right to change his angle of attack. Going for the oilfields of the south was actually quite sensible; Stalingrad just happened to be in the way. But Hitler's tactics at Stalingrad were not sensible.

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As for Stalin, he is not a fighter. He had a train waiting for him in moscow to run away.

False. He considered evacuating Moscow and moving the entire Soviet government east to beyond the Urals. A train was prepared to take Stalin east. Legend has it that he paced up and down the railway platform all night, debating with himself whether he should leave Moscow or not. By morning, he finally decided to stay. He ordered the train to be emptied again and taken away. If Moscow fell, then Stalin would fall with it. He even made plans that, if the worst happened, he would die fighting to defend Moscow, personally leading his troops into battle. By the way, in 1940, Churchill had made similar plans. If the Germans invaded, he planned to stand on the steps of 10 Downing Street with a machine gun, puffing on a cigar and killing Nazi troops until they shot him down. WWII was such a life-and-death struggle, and it had so many violent swings of fortune, that almost every single one of the national leaders involved in it made plans for their own deaths. The common factor was the desire to create a legend which would inspire future resistance even in the face of apparently impossible odds. It is worth noting that Saddam Hussein signally failed to create such a legend - he was dug out of a hole in the ground like a cornered rat and paraded on TV by his enemies. Neither Stalin nor Churchill would have allowed any such indignity to happen to them.
"Comrade Lenin left us a great legacy, and we fucкed it up." - Josef Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Jun 2004, 17:01
Komsomol
Post 22 Dec 2006, 00:22
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Jul 2006, 10:21
Party Member
Post 21 Apr 2007, 23:10
Quote:
Well if the Germans took Moscow which i doupt they could have, it would damage the Soviet Wareffort derly, Because Moscow serves as a major Rail and Road link.


Not so much on the war efforts front...

Wasn't the Soviet industrial efforts entirely shifted eastwards after the Nazi thrust? Even if the Nazis took Moscow, their supply lines would be way overstretched & they wouldn't be able to sustain repeated infantry wave attacks.

To disable the USSR completely, the Nazis would have to occupy every bit of Kamchatka, which is practically a possibility as an invading army, unless you can move your troops using wizardry...also don't forget, troops need to get fed. Medical treatments are necessary for your injured (WIA). So are ammunition & personnel reinforcements. All this needs to get hauled by rail. Or thru airdrops. There's no way in hell the Nazis could've done this all the way from Germany to Kamchatka.

If Moscow is taken, the frontlines will shift further eastwards. And the fighting will still continue on the partisan level on the Nazi occupied Soviet areas.

As long as Kamchatka was around, the USSR wouldn't be beaten into submission by Hitler. If say, Germany had the total population of 2006 China or India, yeah, he might've been disabled the USSR militarily. But again, if he had so many people, there's no way in hell Germany would be in a position to start a fraggin' conquest.

But, the loss of Moscow would've been VERY adverse in sense that...

according to Richard Sorge (most famous USSR spy, if not in the world) reports, if Moscow would've been taken, the Japanese would have mobilized against the USSR offensively on its eastern front. This would've made things very complicated.

The USSR is still way vast of territory for both Japan & Germany to hold, though.

Quote:
As for Stalin, he is not a fighter. He had a train waiting for him in moscow to run away


Yeah. If Stalin isin't a fighter, then Neil Armstrong isin't an astronaut. The train was not to make him "run away" but was to help him relocate further eastwards, to continue the USSR's war efforts, in case Moscow's defenses were breached. In the end he didn't even use it.

Stalin won against a technologically superior foe & a MUCH more advanced war machine. He more than handled the nazis- he routed them. And despite all the devastation of WWII, he caught up to the US in terms of being another world superpower...and the world's second largest economy. That's fighter material right there.

When you want to judge someone, look at the results they induced...

Stalin's hardest battles continued well after the so called "V-E day." He had a devastated economy. The US profitted from WWII economically. ZERO industrial infra damage. Stalin had to catch up to the US in a very short amount of time- and he did...instead of whore the USSR out.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Feb 2009, 03:41
Party Member
Post 16 May 2009, 18:48
why was stalingrad named stalingrad? wasn't it because of the war, what was the name of the city before?
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