Mon 13 Jan, 2003 05:14 pm
Although I'm not specialized in war history, I want to focus attention to a website, which gives some great information on this battle, which finally led to the defeat of Fascism:
Memory - Remembrance; Stalingrad/Volgograd 1943 - 2003 (H-MUSEUM'S Current Focus)
Walter, I thought we saw all of the 'important' sights of St Petersburg on our visit there a few years ago, but it seems we missed the "Mother Russia" memorial. We did see an impressive sculpture on one of the main roads in St Petersburg, near a theater where we saw a cultural show. I wouldn't mind a re-visit to Russia; there's so much to see. c.i.
Well, there was one more pivotal battle of the WWII that led to irreversible depletion of Hitler's military potential, I mean the Kursk battle that occurred in July 1943, but it is mentioned much less than the Stalingrad one.
I want to provide a link that gives a pretty good description of the Kursk Battle
Certainly the battle of Kursk was the most important/longest/heaviest tank battle in history.
However, it happened later than the battle of Stalingrad (which momentarily is just 60 years ago - hence that webside and thus this thread). So, I consider, it is fair to say:"The Battle of Stalingrad (August 1942 - February 1943) was the decisive World War II Soviet victory that stopped the German southern advance and turned the tide of the war. At Stalingrad Soviet armies began the series of offensives that were to take them to Berlin."
OK, in general I agree with this. But I got used to mention the Kursk Battle along with the Stalingrad one as main reasons of defeat of Hitler: these two deprived Wehrmacht of its offensive potential.
By the way, Stalingrad battle had repercussions far away from the USSR: it did not permit OKW to provide Feldmarschal-General Erwin Rommel with reserves he desperately needed in the North Africa, hence he lost the battle.
thanx for the information much needed
Walter and stiessd,
Back in a recess of my brain, I remember a remark by Alexander P. Seversky in "Airpower: the Key to Survivial." He wrote that some German tanks were literally stopped by by dead men and horses.
I also remember a movie called something like "Red Star Rising." It starred Dana Andrews and it was about Stalingrad. It played on TV late after midnight for years. But I noticed many years ago, that the title had been changed to something more palatable to the McCarthy-ites. I can't recall the changed title.
Also, there is a poignant book called "Letters from Stalingrad" edited by Peter Ustinove. The book is composed of unsent letters found on the bodies of dead German soldier. They are wrenching and heart rendering.
I think that Stalingrad was unique in hitory because of the nature and savagery of the battle. Sixth Army was heavily reinforced with Pioneers, many of them brand new mechanized Pioneer units--and they literally dug their way into the city by day, only to have Guards divisions raft across the river, and infiltrate by the gulleys, ditches, sewers and storm drains at night. After ten days, Mamayev Kurgan was so churned up by the shelling, that offensives launched by either side would bog down before the enemy artillery was called in. Workers at the Krazny Oktyaber and the Felix Derzhinsky tractor factories would build new tanks, and members of the assembly line would join survivor's of destroyed Soviet armored units to crew the new tanks, which headed into the battle unpainted (don't bust my rendering of Russian and Polish names in the Roman alphabet, i ain't no expert, and don't claim to be). The Lazur (sp?) chemical works was so heavily bombed in the opening days of the battle, that the Soviets built an entire factory underground, long before the Germans were moved to that necessity. That battle was truly unique in history, there were simply no precedents for that struggle, and what it would require of its particpants.