Based off of the German plan of attack do you think that the German's fulfilled their expectations? Did the read Army take any strong measures to counter this? Most interetingly, why do you think that Stalingrad MORE successful than Battle of Britain and Operation Barbarossa?
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The Germans thought they would be victorious against the Russians no matter what. They were not at all ready for a challenge. They thought the Russians were weak, disorganized, and militarily and culturally inferior. On the Russian front, German soldiers got more fight than they bargained for. It was the Germans who were starving and weak and undersupplied, and far from home.
The German plan was a disaster. Just when the 6th Army was making headway in capturing Soviet oilfields in the Caucasus, Hitler ordered them to a grudge match in the city of Stalingrad, which was strategically almost worthless. They were sent in to clear the city house by house, street by street, which is always going to be a bloody affair. But because of their losses in the previous winter, the Germans had to assign lesser trained, more poorly equiped Romanian and Hungarian troops to hold the flanks of the 6th Army's advance, and these were the units easily overrun by the Soviets and the encirclement began.
One thing that the previous post did not mention about why the Soviet counterattack worked was the fact that the Germans were simply overextended. Their supply lines were so long that they became vulnerable to attack. This fact (and the fact of the winter) helped the Red Army win this battle.
The Battle of Stalingrad was part of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and also one of the most decisive, as it marked the turning point in the war. Hitler's plan in launching Barbarossa was to capture both the oil fields and grain supplies of the Ukraine and surrounding areas. He desperately needed these resources to continue the war. A secondary aim was to enslave the people of the area.
Hitler had been warned prior to commencement of the operation that the invasion of Russia had been Napoleon's undoing; however he was confident that he would not make the same mistakes as Napoleon. He was partially right--he didn't make the same mistakes, he made new ones.
The plan did not fulfil German expectations, as it did not succeed. The Soviet Army launched Operation Uranus which surrounded the German lines, thus trapping them. The Germans were short on supplies and also totally unprepared for the Russian Winter. They should have paid heed to the words of Czar Alexander II who once said "my two best Generals are January and February."
The Battle of Stalingrad was an utter failure as was Operation Sea Lion, the proposed invasion of Britain. In fact it was even more of a failure. The German army lost more troops at Stalingrad than at any other battle, and also unwittingly opened up a second Front, this time on the East. It proved to be Hitler's undoing and the primary fatal mistake of the war.
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