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Battle of Stalingrad

This research paper analyzes the reasons for the German defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. The German Sixth Army and Axis allied and relief formations were destroyed at Stalingrad because at critical junctures during the summer and fall of 1942 and the early winter of 1942-43, Adolf Hitler and the rest of the German High Command as well as some field commanders, notably Friedrich von Paulus, Sixth Army's commander at Stalingrad, were outgeneraled, outfoxed, outmaneuvered, outfought and even outproduced by their Soviet counterparts.

After smashing an ill-conceived Soviet offensive in the Kharkov area in May, the Wehrmacht made broad advances in June-August in southern Russia. The Germans captured Sevastopol in the Crimea, swept through the coal rich Donetz (Donbas) Basin and arrived at the gates of Stalingrad. However, Hitler and his generals fell victim to unwarranted overconfidence. In late July they revised their originally sound strategic plan and split their forces between Stalingrad and the Caucasus oil fields.

This decision coupled with the Soviets' tenacious defense of Stalingrad in September-October slowed the German advance and bogged down von Paulus' forces in urban warfare sufficiently to permit the Soviets to plan, organize and mount a powerful counteroffensive which trapped Sixth Army in Stalingrad in late November. This amounted to a massive German intelligence failure and both a strategic and tactical coup for Josef Stalin and the Red Army, which learned and adapted important lessons from their previous defeats at the hands of the Germans. The Soviet Union also accomplished a weapons production miracle. Efforts to relieve Sixth Army failed because of the failure of the Luftwaffe to resupply it, overextension of German logistical capabilities which was aggravated by the demands of other fronts, and communications and command problems involving Hitler, Luftwaffe Field-Marshal Hermann Goerin...

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Battle of Stalingrad. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:24, December 07, 2021, from