World War 2 Battle of Stalingrad

It is well known that the Battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest and largest battles of World War II. Germany, the Soviet Union, and its friends were at war. The war came to an end at this time. The German forces suffered a loss of many soldiers after the battle because they were unable to recover. During World War II, from July 17, 1942, to February 2, 1943, the battle was contested. The Eastern Front's primary conflict was this one. At Stalingrad, the German sixth army was caught and surrounded after six months of combat. This Soviet victory became the turning point of the Eastern front (Danilov). The Soviet Union comprised of Colonel General Aleksandr Vasilevsky, Marshal Georgy Zhukov, Lieutenant General Vasily Chuikov and 187000 men, rising to over 1100000 people.

Moreover, the German army was commanded by General Friedrich Paulus, Field Mashal Erich Von Manstein, and Colonel General Wolfram Von Richthofen. Stalingrad was a large industrialist city which produced tractors and armaments thus it was a significant prize for raiding the German army (Piehler 105). Taking the city would terminate the Soviet transportation links with the southern Russia. The goal of Hitler was to eradicate Soviet forces and secure the economic resources of the region and finally to move his army from north to Moscow to conquer the remaining Caucasus. This operation began with substantial German victories (Hickman). The battle for the city became brutal, and Germans obtained a huge amount of the city, but they failed to proclaim their authority entirely. The areas they captured during the day were re-taken during the night by Russians.

At the battle on August 23, 1942, around six PM, one thousand aircraft began to drop bombs on Stalingrad. Hitler went contrary to the advice of his general and took on Stalingrad. The German militaries took a large part of the town where they encircled the city thus Russians were confined in and would continue for some months (Hickman). Reinforcements arrived and surrounded the Germans forcing them to surrender. The Germans lost about 300,000 people while Russians lost around 500,000 making Russian soldiers proud of their victory. The Luftwaffe continued night bombing setting much of the city ablaze hence reducing the rest to rubble (Harrison 595). The Soviet troops outside the town on November 19, hurled a counterattack which entombed the Germans inside the Stalingrad.

They were divided into two sets, group A and group B. the work of group A was attacking the South ending to Rostov smearing out through the trans-Caucasus going to the Caspian sea while grabbing the oil fields at Maikop. Group B its primary task was to secure Northern Flank alongside the Don while cutting the vibrant Soviet freight movement on the Volga. Stalin prohibited the civilians from leaving the city saying their presence would encourage high resistance from the defenders of the city (Piehler 105). Children and women were given the work of building protective fortifications and trench works. 1077th anti-aircrafts (AA) Regiment which was a unit made up of young women who volunteered without any training to participate in ground targets. The German 16th Panzer Division had to fight with the 1077th gunners up to when all the 37 AA batteries were overrun and destroyed. In the beginning, the Soviets depended on the worker's militias who were not openly involved in the war production. Within a short period, tanks were produced and manned by volunteers from the factory workers. The tanks were driven from the plant floor to the front line without gun sights and paints.

At the end of the fight, 99% of the town of Stalingrad was destroyed showing how deadly the attack was. The red army recuperated more than two-thirds of what the Germans occupied in 1943. However, on the eastern front of the city, Soviets succeeded in defeating the German army which would not be possible if the Nazis had reached the Caucasus and controlled the Caspian oil wells. The Soviets propelled Operation Uranus on November 19 that made three militaries to cross the Don River and smash the Romanian third army (Hickman). Romanian fourth army was shattered by two Soviet armies on November 20th. This was in the south of Stalingrad. On November 23rd, the Kalach United enabling the Soviets forces to encircle the 6th army trapping about 250,000 troops. These outbreaks were made somewhere else alongside the eastern front to avoid the Germans from guiding supports to Stalingrad (Piehler 105). Hitler prevented the German expertise from ordering Paulus to mien a breakout hence was persuaded by the Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goring that the 6th army could be delivered by air. This made the conditions of Paulus men to start deteriorating since it proved to be impossible.

As some Soviet armies pushed eastwards, others started strengthening the circle around the Paulus in Stalingrad. Massive fights arose as German were enforced into smaller regions. Field Marshall Erich von Manstein on December 12th, hurled action winter storm though was not able to breakdown through to beleaguered 6th army. Germans were driven back to a broad front by the Soviets thus ending their hopes for dismissing Stalingrad. Paulus men in the city resisted persistently but started facing bullets shortages. This situation forced Paulus to ask Hitler whether to surrender though the offer was declined. Paulus was endorsed to field marshal on January 30th by Hitler because no German field marshal was apprehended. Hitler expected Paulus to fight till death or otherwise to kill himself. The following day Paulus was arrested, and Soviets captured his headquarters. Later on February 2, 1943, the rest of the German who resisted gave up ending the five months of battles.

Axis forces being conquered at Stalingrad facilitated the Soviets to secure their access to the oil reserves and the industrial centers in the Transcaucasian region. This oil was essential to the Soviet wars struggles. The region was a major route through which the Americans dispatched in the lend-lease aid (Harrison 597). The support was crucial for sustaining the Soviet war efforts and assisting the Soviet industries to recover. The war was a first major disaster to the German military and gave a huge blow to the Germans morale (Hickman). The German population and the leadership of Wehrmacht lost confidence in the ability to defeat the Soviet Union thus forcing many people to pull out of the alliance. When the Soviet won the battle at Stalingrad, the threats of supplying lines was eliminated making the Soviet Union emerge from the fight with the two-to-one advantage of manpower.

On the other hand, the Germans did not recover from the disaster of Stalingrad. Germans encountered heavy losses where more than half of a million men were eliminated and half of the arms that they produce each year. Their largest finest army in the Wehrmacht, six axis army and 6th army were destroyed while their twenty-two generals were captured. This war marked the termination of Germans loans into the Russia and in Eastern Europe. There defeat saved the Soviet city losing Stalingrad to the Germans which was there second important city. Another importance of the loss was that the offensive Germans summer in southern Russia terminated the Reich from invading the British Empire. This prevented the Wehrmacht from floating into the Middle East which was little defended (Danilov). Moreover another reason why German defeat was significant at the Stalingrad was it saved the rich oil fields which provided 95% of oil to the Soviet. Had the Soviet lost the war, they could have seized this important oil fields making its advantageous to the Germans war struggle.

Adolf Hitler became angry at General Paulus due to the loss of the battle. This was shown when he demoted Paulus rank and apprehended a national day to mourn the embarrassment Paulus brought to Germany. Germans tanks faced misfortune fighting in the highways of Stalingrad as a large part of the urban was turned into wreckage which the fighting tanks could not go over. However, General Zhukov would direct the Soviet Union to more victories by the completion of the conflict since he was one of the garlanded generals according to the antiquity of Soviet Union (Hickman). The Germans defeat encouraged by the temperature drop up to zero, a decrease in the ammunition and shortage of food. These made them unable to continue with the war leading to their defeat.

Work cited

Danilov, Alexandru. "Battle of Stalingrad, the Turning Point of World War II in Europe." Historia.Ro, 2017,

Harrison, Mark. "World War II: won by American planes and ships, or by the poor bloody Russian infantry?" Journal of Strategic Studies 39.4 (2016): 592-598.

Hickman, Kennedy. "The Battle of Stalingrad: A Turning Point on the Eastern Front." Thoughtco, 2017,

Piehler, G. Kurt. "Europe on Trial: The Story of Collaboration, Resistance, and Retribution during World War II by Istvan Deak." Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 34.4 (2016): 104-106.

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