Battle of Stalingrad

The Battle of Stalingrad was an battle which was fought between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union between 23rd August 1942, through 2nd February 1943. This battle is known as the turning point of World War 2 in the Eastern Front. About 2 Million people died during the course of this battle

861 Questions

What caused the Battle of Stalingrad?

The simple answer would be that Germany wanted to occupy the city of Stalingrad as to Hitler, it would seem to be a catastrophic blow to the USSR moral if Hitler took over the city, which was called Stalingrad (named after Joseph Stalin).

Even though the above is true, there is far more to it. Having been stopped at t Moscow, Adolf Hitler began contemplating offensive plans for 1942. Lacking the manpower to remain on the offensive along the entire Eastern Front for the rest of the war , he decided to focus German efforts in the south with the goal of taking the oil fields, which would result to draining of soviet mechanized vehicles and lender the Soviets defenseless against the German Panzer division's. Code named Operation Blue, this new offensive ,which began on June 28, 1942, and caught the Soviets, who thought the Germans would renew their efforts around Moscow, by surprise. Advancing, the Germans were delayed by heavy fighting in Voronezh which allowed the Soviets to bring reinforcements south.

Due to Hitler's stress on how long the battles on the eastern front was, he split Army group south to Army group's A and B, Army group A would go for the oil fields, while Army Group B was ordered to take Stalingrad to protect the German flank. Reason for the attack onto Stalingrad apart from moral reasons was the the Volga River near Stalingrad was a key Soviet Transport hub.

After the Germans bombed the city of Stalingrad, which led it to be a massive pile of rubble, the German 6th Army, leaded by General Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus went to push for the Volga River near the city of Stalingrad. However, on September 13, Paulus and 6th Army began pushing into the city. This was supported by 4th Panzer Army which attacked Stalingrad's southern suburbs. Driving forward, they sought to capture the heights of Mamayev Kurgan and reach the main landing area along the river. Engaged in bitter fighting, the Soviets fought desperately for the hill and the No. 1 Railroad Station. Receiving reinforcements from Yeryomenko, Chuikov battled to hold the city.

This was the building up to battle of Stalingrad but it wasn't until August it officially started. Between the 2 dates, the Germans and Soviets were engaged in a brutal street fight when guns becomes nearly useless and both sides had to resort to urban guerrilla warfare.

What was the significance of the Battle of Stalingrad?

The Battle of Stalingrad was significant because:

  • It was Nazi Germany's 1st Major defeat in World War 2.
  • Almost of the German 6th Army was totally wiped out (300,000 Men) After being encircled at Stalingrad.
  • The importance of the battle lies in the fact that the fascists were demoralized and victory of allies could well be anticipated.
  • The battle of Stalingrad was one of the biggest battles fought during the Second World War between the Fascists and Allies.
  • The battle raged for over five months. Germany lost about 1,00,000 men in this battle. Nearly 90,000 German officers and soldiers surrendered.
  • The battle turned the tide of the War as the Fascists began to suffer reverses in other areas also after the Battle of Stalingrad.
  • Practically all of Germany's forces from Army Group Center and large parts from Army Group South was used in the Battle of Stalingrad, which meant it was nearly impossible to win the war on two fronts.
  • Not only was the battle of Stalingrad the biggest battle of WWII, but it was the biggest battle in human history.
  • Soviet had a decisive Victory over the Axis
  • in total 2.1 Million people were killed, missing or captured during the battle.
  • On several occasions Germany had 90% of the city but the Soviets kept fighting due to the Stalin Non Retreat order.
  • The Soviets launched Operation Uranus to eliminate the Romanian 3rd and 4th Army. along with a part of the German 4th Panzer Army.
  • As a result to the Soviet Victory, 759,560 Soviet personnel were awarded this medal for the defense of Stalingrad from 22 December 1942.

Why was the Battle of Stalingrad significant?

Notably , it marked the turning point of the war on the Eastern Front where the Germans eventually were later defeated in Berlin .

When did the Battle of Stalingrad end at?

The Official ending was 2nd february 1943 , according to some German Stalingrad documentary some axis soldiers (11 000) refused to surrender and hid in basements where they kept fighting till the early march 1943.

How did the Battle of Stalingrad differ from a Pacific Battle?

The battles in the Pacific was for control of islands---some small and some large. This usually involved amphibious landings at one or two places on the island and then slowly advancing across the island. Sometimes, they would launch attacks to capture an air field or a prominent geographical feature. Most of the fighting was in jungles and caves.

Stalingrad was a basic siege of a city. At first, the German army advanced up to edge of the city. Then the fighting became street to street and house to house. Eventually, the Russians were able to surround the city and trap the whole German VI Army and cut it off from reinforcements and supplies.

What happened in the Battle of Stalingrad?

The first large-scale German defeat of World War II.

The Battle of Stalingrad was as battle of World War II between Nazi Germany and its allies, and the Soviet Union, for for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 17 July 1942 and 2 February 1943.

It is often cited as one of the turning points of the war. The battle was the bloodiest in modern history, with combined casualties estimated at nearly two million . The battle involved more participants than any other in history, and was marked by brutality and disregard for military and civilian casualties by both sides. The German offensive to take Stalingrad, the battle inside the city, and the Soviet counter-offensive which eventually trapped and destroyed the German 6th Army and other Axis forces around the city, was the first large-scale German defeat of World War II. The Battle of Britain, Moscow and El Alamein preceded it and were large scale defeats. Soviet and Russian studies identify ten campaigns, strategic and operational level operations.

It is of great strategic significance because during the battle a large air - sea battle was being fought for the Mediterranean. Much of the German air force was diverted from Stalingrad to fight in that battle. Germany could no longer fight in the East or the West without the battle for one affecting the other.

The reason Germany lost:

The Germans needed oil for their campaign into Russia. Hitler split his massive Moscow force into three pieces, of which the southern one advanced into the Caucasis to link up with German forces coming through North Africa and the middle east. Stalingrad was a great prize to claim along the way. For political reason the German army became involved in an attritional battle for the city with both Hitler and Stalin ordering "not one step back."

Despite weeks of intense fighting, the Russians managed to hold a small bridgehead on the bank of the Volga and supplies and troops were being ferried in large amounts into the city.

This allowed General Zhukov the Soviet Commander in chief to build a strategic reserve which was used to strike at the Romanian and Italian army that was fighting alongside the Germans. The Romanians collapsed and the Germans encircled.

Hitler would not give and sent in a large number of reinforcements, or permit a breakout by the encircled troops. The attempt at air supply of of the entrapped army failed because the German air force did not have the capacity due to other commitments.

Eventually, the Germans gave up and a hodgepodge of 91,000 cold, battered, and half-starved troops surrendered to the Russians.

What tanks were used in the Battle of Stalingrad?

Germany used their:

Panzer III


Tiger (very few)

The primary tank was the Panzer IV, with lots of support from the StuG III assault gun.

Whiles the Soviets used their








The primary tanks of the Soviets was the T-34.

What is the Battle of Stalingrad?

The southern Russian city of Stalingrad was a major industrial city, producing tanks, among other equipment, for the Soviet war effort. In terms of location, the city sat on the flank of the route toward the oil fields in the Caucasus region, while it was also a major transportation center between northern Russia and the Caspian Sea. Finally, the mere fact that it bore the name of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin gave more the reason for Adolf Hitler to conquer the city for morale reasons.

In the summer of 1942, German, Italian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Croatian forces, organized as the German Army Group South (B), which contained the 6th Army under Colonel General Friedrich Paulus and the 4th Panzer Army under Hermann Hoth, marched toward Stalingrad. The initial attacks were very successful, thus Hitler transferred the 4th Panzer Army away from the Stalingrad offensive to join Army Group South (A), which was moving toward the Caucasus oil fields. This move, however, caused major traffic jams on the inadequate road systems of Russia, slowing the offensive plans upwards of a week. With this delay in mind, Hitler changed his mind and re-assigned the 4th Panzer Army back into Army Group South (B) for Stalingrad. By the end of Jul 1942, the Germans had forced their way across the Don River. At this point, the Germans began deploying Italian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Croatian forces on their northern flank, leaving the attack of Stalingrad to the German forces. The only exception was the Croatian 369th Reinforced Infantry Regiment, which fought alongside the German 100th Jaeger Division.

Stalin recognized the threat to Stalingrad and appointed Marshal Andrey Yeryomenko on 1 Aug 1942 as the commanding officer of the Southeastern Front to plan the defense. Political commissar Nikita Khrushchev was assigned to assist Yeryomenko. Among the first orders Yeryomenko issued was to move the city's grain, cattle, and railroad cars east across the Volga River. Then, he organized the Soviet units immediately to the east of the Volga River into the 62nd Army, which was later placed in command of Lieutenant General Vasiliy Chuikov on 11 Sep 1942.

The first attacks on the city came in the form of aerial strikes conducted by the German Luftflotte 4 under the command of Colonel General Wolfram von Richthofen, targeting shipping on the Volga River and known defensive fortifications. Between 25 and 31 Jul, 32 Soviet ships were sunk on the river, and a further 9 were seriously damaged. As for the city, it received about 1,000 tons of bombs, which damaged about 80% of its structures. As the oil tanks exploded and their contents spilled, "[t]orrents of burning oil and petrol flowed into the Volga until the river itself was in flames.... Stalingrad became a gigantic pile of ruins and debris stretching along the banks of the Volga." On 23 Aug, a massive air bombardment caused a firestorm that killed thousands. The Soviet Air Force was generally ineffective in countering the aerial attacks. By 31 Aug, only 192 aircraft were operable, and only 57 of them were fighters. Despite German air superiority and the heavy bombardments, however, some of the factories continued their work, turning out tanks and war supplies until they could no longer do so, and at that time the workers were conscripted into the Soviet Army.

By the end of Aug, the German Army Group South (B) had reached the Volga River north of Stalingrad. By 1 Sep, the Soviet forces could only reinforce the city by crossing the river as the city was now surrounded on three sides. Meanwhile, river crossings continued to be subjected to German attacks, now both by air and by artillery pieces. To preserve the strength of the Soviet regulars, Chuikov deployed women and conscripted civilians as the first line of defense. A post-engagement report written by an officer of the German 16th Panzer Division noted that the fight to silent 37 anti-aircraft batteries (used in anti-tank roles) was difficult, and he was shocked to find out afterwards that they were crewed by women. In the morning of 5 Sep, the Soviet 24th Army and 66th Army launched a counter-offensive against the German XIV Panzer Corps, but it was driven back at the face of superior firepower, particularly from the air, which destroyed 30 out of the 120 tanks that the Soviet forces lost in the attack. On 18 Sep, the Soviet 1st Guards Army and the 24th Army launched an offensive against VIII. Armeekorps at Kotluban near Stalingrad. Again, German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers played an important role in repulsing the attack, destroying 41 out of the 106 Soviet tanks destroyed in the morning; Bf 109 fighters also shot down 77 Soviet fighters during the engagement. By the end of Sep, Chuikov had realized that he could not sustain a battle of attrition, thus he decided to dig in to the cityscape, thus minimizing the German advantage of the control of air. Additionally, he also developed the "hugging" tactic which kept his front lines very close to the German lines; this also deprived the Germans of the ability to use dive bombers to support the ground troops due to the risk of hitting German troops.

Back on 28 Jul 1942, Stalin had issued the Order Number 227, disallowing defending Soviet troops to take even a step back. Khrushchev and other political commissars dispatched to Stalingrad were those who policed this order. All who withdrew from the front lines were considered deserters and cowards, and they were brought before a military tribunal, which usually delivered death sentences or transferred the accused to penal battalions. There were also incidences where deserters were shot on the spot. Even as the battle fought on and more and more of the city slowly turned into rubble, Stalin continued to also forbid the civilians from evacuating; instead, they were ordered to join the fight or to help construct defensive structures. Any civilian discovered to be evacuating the city in secret, like their military counterparts, were also in violation of Order Number 227.

The battle for Stalingrad turned into bitter street fighting by this time. Every building was turned into Soviet fortresses, and even the sewer tunnels became battlegrounds. The railroad station became the scene of ferocious combat; on a particularly violent day, the marshalling yards exchanged hands 14 times within six hours, with the Germans finally capturing it only because the Soviet unit deployed there had been completely wiped out. At an apartment building at the edge of a square in the city center, Yakov Pavlov's platoon defended against waves after waves of German attacks. The German efforts to capture this apartment building was so costly that the Germans marked the building as a fortress on their field maps, while the Soviets nicknamed it "Pavlov's House". At his command bunker, Chuikov said that "Stalingrad could be seized by the enemy on one condition only if every one of the defending soldiers were killed."

While the German Luftwaffe controlled the air during the day, Soviet air force sneaked small scale bombing raids at night. These attacks were generally ineffectively and were regarded more so as a nuisance rather than a threat.

With the city gradually being reduced to rubble, snipers on both sides became more and more active as they began to gain more and more hiding spots. The most successful Soviet sniper was Vasily Zaytsev, who claimed somewhere between 200 to 400 kills; he became an effective centerpiece for Soviet propaganda aimed at raising morale.

On 5 Oct, 900 dive bombing sorties were flown against Soviet positions at the Dzerzhinskiy Tractor Factory, wiping out entire regiments of troops entrenched there. On 14 Oct, 2,000 sorties were flown, dropping 600 tons of bombs against various Soviet positions. By this time, the Soviet forces in Stalingrad were forced into a 910-meter strip of land on the bank of the Volga River, running out of supplies due to the German control of the air over the river. Also on 14 Oct, a renewed German attack against the Soviet forces, pushing for the following 10 days, but they failed to eliminate final Soviet foothold on the west bank of the Volga River. On 8 Nov, the Luftwaffe at Stalingrad took a heavy blow not from the Soviets but rather from Hitler, who had transferred entire units of Luftflotte 4 to southern Europe in response to the Allied landings in North Africa. The Soviet Air Force suddenly found an opportunity to rival the German air forces in the region, right at the time when Moscow was planning on launching a major counter-offensive to take advantage of the oncoming winter and its effects on German tanks.

On 19 Nov 1942, the Soviet offensive, Operation Uranus, was launched, oversaw by Marshal Georgi Zhukov and tactically led by General Nikolai Vatutin. The Soviet 1st Guards Army, the 5th Tank Army, and the 21st Army shattered the northern flank, manned by the Romanian 3rd Army, on the first day. Silesian soldier of the German Sixth Army Joachim Wieder recalled the fighting:The 19th of November will live in my memory as a day of black disaster. At the break of dawn on this gloomy, foggy day in the late autumn, during which lashing snowstorms were soon to appear,... Russians attacked like lightning from the north and the following day from the east, pressing our entire Sixth Army into an iron vice.

On 20 Nov, two additional Soviet armies joined in on the attack. By 21 Nov, the third day of the offensive, the Soviets had already surrounded Stalingrad along with 290,000 Axis troops inside. Hitler's advisors immediately suggested the troops trapped within to break out and form a new line at the western bank of the Don River, but Hitler refused, while chief of the LuftwaffeHermann G

What are some Battle of Stalingrad quotes?

‎"16 September. Our battalion is attacking the grain elevator with tanks. Smoke is pouring out of it. The grain is burning and it seems the Russians inside set fire to it themselves. It's barbaric. The battalion is taking heavy losses. Those are not people in the elevator, they are devils and neither fire nor bullets can touch them."

German soldier Willi Hoffman, 94th Infantry Division, on the battle for the grain elevator.

If during a hurricane your car is flooded is it a total loss?

You insurance adjuster will make that determination. More than likely the answer is yes. Just adding something that seems rather odd to myself anyway. Some insurance providers pay for hurricane damage but not the flooding caused by the hurricane. Apparently that has to be covered by having flood insurance included in the policy as well as storm damage. HUH?

What happened after the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943?

The 6th Army of Von Paulus was sent to the Gulags in Syberia. From 91000 pows only 6000 returned home

What was the end result of the Battle of Stalingrad?

The ending results were:

-USSR were victorious

- 2 Million men died

-loss of the German 6th Army.

What led to the Russian victory at the Battle of Stalingrad?

The Germans didn't have enouph soldiers to ward of the Russians

What does 'destroyed as a result of battle' mean?

" Destroyed as a result of battle" is when a monster is considered destroyed during Damage Calculation, where its ATK or DEF is being compared to the other monster's ATK. It does not mean destruction at any other time during an attack, like through the effect of Mystic Swordsman Lv2, or Newdoria.

How many troops survived in the Battle of Stalingrad?

It is known that 2.5 Million People fought during the Battle of Stalingrad and ruffly 1.85 Million People were killed during the Battle of Stalingrad, so Around 650,000 people survived that battle 2/3 of the Survivors were Soviets.

Did Russian snipers play a significant role in the Battle of Stalingrad?

The Russian Sniper learned and perfected his craft in Stalingrad. The Russian Snipers exacted a terrible toll on German Military Officers and Technicians. German Officers usually led from the front and with the abundance of Russian Snipers the life of a Officer wasn't very long.

There was never enough junior officers to go around, especially in combat arms, so as a result a sergeant usually led most platoons and lieutenants led quite a few companies (that should have been led by captains).

I believe that most platoons were better led because they were now being led by an experienced Sergeant, instead of an inexperienced lieutenant. The downside was that new lieutentants, who should have been groomed by platoon sergeants, missed out on valuable experience and knowledge. I believe that the hardest hit area would have been at company level where lieutenants, with little experience, would have been occasionally thrust into Command of A company. The Russian sniper played a crucial role in the Battle of Stalingrad all the way to the Battle of Berlin. The Russians also employed numerous successful female snipers who earned numeorus medals, awards, and fearsome reputation.

Why did the Germens have to surrender to the Russians in the Battle of Stalingrad?

Because at that point, they were totally screwed! They ran out of food and all kinds of craziness. The Ruskies were burning all their own stuff and it left the Krauts totally assed out.

Why did no Waffen SS units participate in the Battle of Stalingrad?

This is part of an article by Waffen SS leader Leon Degrelle, who led his men to the bitter end at Stalingrad. As a statesman and a soldier he knew Hitler, Mussolini, Churchill, Franco, Laval, Marshal Petain and all the European leaders well during World War Two. Leon Degrelle is one of the most famous Waffen SS soldiers. After joining as a private he earned all stripes from corporal to general for exceptional bravery in combat. He engaged in seventy-five hand-to-hand combat actions. He was wounded on numerous occasions. He was the recipient of the highest honors: The Ritterkreuz, the Oak-Leaves, the Gold German Cross and numerous other decorations for outstanding valor under enemy fire. One of the last to fight on the Eastern Front, Leon Degrelle escaped unconditional surrender by flying some 1500 miles across Europe toward Spain. He managed to survive constant fire all along the way and crash-landed on the beach of San Sebastian in Spain, critically wounded. Against all odds he survived. Slowly he managed to re-build a new life in exile for himself and his family.

Degrelle says: Hitler's Russian campaign was the "last chance" campaign. Hitler did not go into Russia with any great optimism. He told me later on: "When I entered Russia, I was like a man facing a shut door. I knew I had to crash through it, but without knowing what was behind it." Hitler was right. He knew the Soviets were strong, but above all he knew they were going to be a lot stronger. 1941 was the only time Hitler had some respite. The British had not succeeded yet in expanding the war. Hitler, who never wanted the war with Britain, still tried for peace. He invited me to spend a week at his home. He wanted to discuss the whole situation and hear what I had to say about it. He spoke very simply and clearly. The atmosphere was informal and relaxed. He made you feel at home because he really enjoyed being hospitable. He buttered pieces of toast in a leisurely fashion, and passed them around, and although he did not drink he went to get a bottle of champagne after each meal because he knew I enjoyed a glass at the end of it. All without fuss and with genuine friendliness. It was part of his genius that he was also a man of simple ways without the slightest affection and a man of great humility. We talked about England. I asked him bluntly: "Why on earth didn't you finish the British off in Dunkirk? Everyone knew you could have wiped them out." He answered: "Yes, I withheld my troops and let the British escape back to England. The humiliation of such a defeat would have made it difficult to try for peace with them afterwards."

At the same time, Hitler told me he did not want to dispel the Soviet belief that he was going to invade England. He mentioned that he even had small Anglo-German dictionaries distributed to his troops in Poland. The Soviet spies there duly reported to the Kremlin that Germany's presence in Poland was a bluff and that they were about to leave for the British Isles.

On 22 June 1941, it was Russia and not England that Germany invaded. The initial victories were swift but costly. I lived the epic struggle of the Russian Front. It was a tragic epic; it was also martyrdom. The endless thousands of miles of the Russian steppes were overwhelming. We had to reach the Caucasus by foot, always under extreme conditions. In the summer we often walked knee-deep in mud, and in winter there were below-zero freezing temperatures. But for a matter of a few days Hitler would have won the war in Russia in 1941. Before the battle of Moscow, Hitler had succeeded in defeating the Soviet Army, and taking considerable numbers of prisoners.

General Guderian's tank division, which had all by itself encircled more than a million Soviet troops near Kiev, had reached Moscow right up to the city's tramway lines. It was then that suddenly an unbelievable freeze happened: 40, 42, 50 degrees celsius below zero! This meant that not only were men freezing, but the equipment was also freezing, on the spot. No tanks could move. Yesterday's mud had frozen to a solid block of ice, half a meter high, icing up the tank treads.

In 24 hours all of our tactical options had been reversed. It was at that time that masses of Siberian troops brought back from the Russian Far East were thrown against the Germans. These few fateful days of ice that made the difference between victory and defeat, Hitler owed to the Italian campaign in Greece during the fall of 1940.

Mussolini was envious of Hitler's successes. It was a deep and silent jealousy. I was a friend of Mussolini, I knew him well. He was a remarkable man, but Europe was not of great concern to him. He did not like to be a spectator, watching Hitler winning everywhere. He felt compelled to do something himself, fast. Impulsively, he launched a senseless offensive against Greece.

His troops were immediately defeated. But it gave the British the excuse to invade Greece, which up till now had been uninvolved in the war. From Greece the British could bomb the Rumanian oil wells, which were vital to Germany's war effort. Greece could also be used to cut off the German troops on their way to Russia. Hitler was forced to quash the threat preemptively. He had to waste five weeks in the Balkans. His victories there were an incredible logistical achievement, but they delayed the start of the Russian campaign for five critical weeks.

If Hitler had been able to start the campaign in time, as it was planned, he would have entered Moscow five weeks before, in the sun of early fall, when the earth was still dry. The war would have been over, and the Soviet Union would have been a thing of the past. The combination of the sudden freeze and the arrival of fresh Siberian troops spread panic among some of the old Army generals. They wanted to retreat to 200 miles from Moscow. It is hard to imagine such inane strategy! The freeze affected Russia equally, from West to East, and to retreat 200 miles in the open steppes would only make things worse. I was commanding my troops in the Ukraine at the time and it was 42 degrees centigrade below zero.

Such a retreat meant abandoning all the heavy artillery, including assault tanks and panzers that were stuck in the ice. It also meant exposing half a million men to heavy Soviet sniping. In fact, it meant condemning them to certain death. One need only recall Napoleon's retreat in October. He reached the Berzina River in November, and by December 6th all the French troops had left Russia. It was cold enough, but it was not a winter campaign.

Can you just imagine in 1941 half a million Germans fighting howling snowstorms, cut off from supplies, attacked from all sides by tens of thousands of Cossaks? I have faced charging Cossaks, and only the utmost superior firepower will stop them. In order to counter such an insane retreat, Hitler had to fire more than 30 generals within a few days.

It was then that he called on the Waffen SS to fill in the gap and boost morale. Immediately the SS held fast on the Moscow front. Right through the war the Waffen SS never retreated. They would rather die than retreat. One cannot forget the figures. During the 1941 winter, the Waffen SS lost 43,000 men in front of Moscow. The regiment Der Führer fought almost literally to the last man. Only 35 men survived out of the entire regiment. The Der Führer men stood fast and no Soviet troops got through. They had to try to bypass the SS in the snow. This is how famous Russian General Vlasov was captured by the Totenkopf SS division. Without their heroism, Germany would have been annihilated by December 1941.

Hitler would never forget it: he gauged the willpower that the Waffen SS had displayed in front of Moscow. They had shown character and guts. And that is what Hitler admired most of all: guts. For him, it was not enough to have intelligent or clever associates. These people can often fall to pieces, as we will see during the following winter at the battle of Stalingrad with General Paulus.

Hitler knew that only sheer energy and guts, the refusal to surrender, the will to hang tough against all odds, would win the war.

The blizzards of the Russian steppes had shown how the best army in the world, the German Army, with thousands of highly trained officers and millions of highly disciplined men, was just not enough. Hitler realized they would be beaten, that something else was needed, and that only the unshakable faith in a high ideal could overcome the situation. The Waffen SS had this ideal, and Hitler used them from now on at full capacity.

From all parts of Europe volunteers rushed to help their German brothers. It was then that was born the third great Waffen SS. First there was the German, then the Germanic, and now there was the European Waffen SS. 125,000 would then volunteer to save Western Culture and Civilization. The volunteers joined with full knowledge that the SS incurred the highest death tolls. More than 250,000 out of one million would die in action. For them, the Waffen SS was, despite all the deaths, the birth of Europe. Napoleon said in St. Helena: "There will be no Europe until a leader arises."

The young European volunteers have observed two things: first, that Hitler was the only leader who was capable of building Europe and secondly that Hitler, and Hitler alone could defeat the world threat of Communism.

For the European SS the Europe of petty jealousies, jingoism, border disputes, economic rivalries was of no interest. it was too petty and demeaning; that Europe was no longer valid for them. At the same time the European SS, as much as they admired Hitler and the German people, did not want to become Germans. They were men of their own people and Europe was the gathering of the various people of Europe. European unity was to be achieved through harmony, not domination of one over the others.

I discussed these issues at length with both Hitler and Himmler. Hitler like all men of genius had outgrown the national stage. Napoleon was first a Corsican, then a Frenchman, then a European and then a singularly universal man. Likewise Hitler had been an Austrian, then a German, then a greater German, then Germanic, then he had seen and grasped the magnitude of building Europe.

After the defeat of Communism the Waffen SS had a solemn duty to gather all their efforts and strength to build a united Europe, and there was no question that non-German Europe should be dominated by Germany.

Before joining the Waffen SS we had known very difficult conflicts. We had gone to the Eastern front first as adjunct units to the German army but during the battle of Stalingrad we had seen that Europe was critically endangered. Great common effort was imperative. One night I had an 8 hour debate with Hitler and Himmler on the status of non-German Europeans within the new Europe. For the present we expected to be treated as equals fighting for a common cause. Hitler understood fully and from then on we had our own flag, our own officers, our own language, our own religion. We had total equal status.

I was the first one to have Catholic padres in the Waffen SS. Later padres of all demoninations were available to all those who wanted them. The Islamic SS division had their own mullahs and the French even had a bishop! We were satisfied that with Hitler, Europeans would be federated as equals. We felt that the best way to deserve our place as equals was in this critical hour to defend Europe equally well as our German comrades.

What mattered above all for Hitler was courage. He created a new chivalry. Those who earn the order of the Ritterkreuz, meaning the cross of the knights, were indeed the new knights. They earned this nobility of courage. Each of our units going home after the war would be the force that would protect the peoples' rights in our respective countries. All the SS understood that European unity meant the whole of Europe, even Russia.

There had been a great lack of knowledge among many Germans regarding the Russians. Many believed that the Russians were all Communists while in fact, Russian representation in the Communist hierarchy was less than insignificant. They also believed that the Russians were diametrically opposite from the Europeans. Yet they have similar familial structures, they have an old civilization, deep religious faith and traditions which are not unlike those of other European countries.

The European SS saw the new Europe in the form of three great components; central Europe as the power house of Europe, western Europe as the cultural heart of Europe and eastern Europe as the potential of Europe. Thus the Europe the SS envisioned was alive and real. Its six hundred million inhabitants would live from the North Sea to Vladivostok. It was in this span of 8,000 miles that Europe could achieve its destiny. A space for young people to start new lives. This Europe would be the beacon of the world. A remarkable racial ensemble. An ancient civilization, a spirtitual force and the most advanced technological and scientific complex. The SS prepared for the high destiny of Europe.

Compare these aims, these ideals with the "Allies." The Roosevelts, the Churchills sold Europe out in Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam. They cravenly capitulated to the Soviets. They delivered half of the European continent to Communist slavery. They let the rest of Europe disintegrate morally, without any ideal to sustain it. The SS knew what they wanted: the Europe of ideals was salvation for all.

This faith in higher ideals inspired four hundred thousand German SS, three hundred thousand Volksdeutsche or Germanic SS and three hundred thousand other European SS. Volunteers all, one million builders of Europe.

The ranks of the SS grew proportionately with the growth of the war in Russia. The nearer Germany was to defeat the more volunteers arrived at the front. This was phenomenal; eight days before the final defeat I saw hundreds of young men join the SS on the front. Right to the end they knew they had to do the impossible to stop the enemy.

So from the one hundred and eighty-men strong Leibstandarte in 1933 to the SS regiments before 1939, to the three regiments in Poland, to the three divisions in France, to the six divisions at the beginning of the Russian war, to the 38 divisions in 1944, the Waffen SS reached 50 divisions in 1945. The more SS died, the more others rushed to replace them. They had faith and stood firm to the extreme limit, The exact reverse happened in January 1943 at Stalingrad. The defeat there was decided by a man without courage. He was not capable of facing danger with determination, of saying unequivocally: I will not surrender, I will stand fast until I win. He was morally and physically gutless and he lost.

A year later the SS Viking and the SS Wallonia divisions were encircled in the same way at Cherkassy. With the disaster of Stalingrad fresh in the minds of our soldiers they could have been subject to demoralization. On top of it I was laid down with a deep sidewound and 102 degree temperature. As general in command of the SS Wallonia forces I knew that all this was not conducive to high morale. I got up and for 17 days I led charge after charge to break the blockade, engaged in numerous hand-to-hand combats, was wounded four times but never stopped fighting. All my men did just as much and more. The siege was broken by sheer SS guts and spirit.

After Stalingrad, when many thought that all was lost, when the Soviet forces poured across the Ukraine, the Waffen SS stopped the Soviets dead in their tracks. They re-took Charkov and inflicted a severe defeat on the Soviet army.

I'm not sure if any did or not I do know after the battle when the Germans were being pushed back the Russian offensive was halted by Feild Marshall Von Mainstein who had under his command 6 SS panzer Divisions that had just been upgraded from panzer Grenaider divisions in France. Von Mainstein crushed the Russians in a great battle Stalin wrote after that never had they been so close to defeat. The only thing that stopped the Germans was the rain and mud but they could have restarted the attack a few months later when the ground froze unstead Hitler waited tuntill the following summer so the new Tiger and Panther's could be used Von Mainstein called this milatary suicide. Shangster.

How many French casualties were there on the beaches of Normandy during the battle of D-day and how many Canadian soldiers died afterwards because of wounds that they had received during this battle?

The number of French that died on D-Day is unknown, but thought to be small. The large loss of French lives were lost in the British bombing of Caen, due to Montgomery's' inability to bypass that stronghold before the Germans were able to reinforce it. The French loss of life in Caen was huge, and has left a deep scar on the people of that region, even to this day. They celebrate the liberation, but have cause to cry, as well.

What led to the defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad?

the lack of food and ammo


In the more "meta" (large picture) sense, the Nazi defeat at Stalingrad was due to a massive strategic blunder by Hitler.

While cities are useful marker points to use on a map when planning an offensive, in and over themselves, cities have very little military or strategic value. In fact, most of the value of capturing a city is in propaganda effect (which, can sometimes be significant). However, in terms of actually militarily winning a conflict, conquest of a city is less important than two other factors: defeating the enemy in the field, and destroying the means by which your enemy can produce war material and transport that material to its fighting forces.

That is, the "proper" goal of the southern offensive of Operation Barbarossa was the oil fields of the Caucasus, which supplied the vast majority of the fuel and petroleum products that the Red Army needed to function. A secondary goal was to defeat the Red Army in the field, killing or capturing as many of them as possible, to cripple the immediate ability of the USSR to defend itself.

Unfortunately, Hitler interfered with the execution of Operation Barbarossa - when he saw the initial successes of the plan, he began to tinker with it, rather than leave the general goals as they stood and let the local theater commanders to direct the fighting as they saw fit.

Rather than have the entire force of Army Group South continue its drive to the Caucasus oil fields from their point in the eastern Ukraine, Hitler directed that this force be split in two, with the majority of German forces being sent towards the Caucasus, and a modest German force together will allied Italian and Romanian forces be sent towards Stalingrad. The nominal purpose was to destroy Stalingrad as a transportation hub, though the real reason appears to be Hitler's desire to score a propaganda victory by capturing Stalin's namesake city.

It just goes downhill from there for the Germans. von Paulus's 6th Army was delayed in starting the offensive until early August (rather than early July). The focus of the campaign soon becomes the capture of the city itself, rather than the destruction of the Soviet forces protecting it. The Germans give up mobile warfare (where they held a significant edge in capability) for the slow slog of an urban siege (where the Soviets excelled). When the Soviets counterattack during the winter of 1943, Hitler refuses von Paulus permission to withdrawl from the city to properly fight the Soviets out in the open (where von Paulus can fight effectively). The 6th Army is cut off, and the less-competent Romanian and Italian forces (in conjunction with some German forces) are unable to re-connect with the 6th Army, now stuck (and surrounded) inside Stalingrad itself. Finally, the 6th Army is forced to surrender due to lack of supplies.

Bottom line: Hitler's change of the initial assault plan against the Caucasus leads to both a fatal weakening of that attack (which ultimately fails) and the disaster at Stalingrad. Stalingrad could still have been salvaged, except for Hitler's interference once again, and some conflicting personalities in the German High Command (and friction between von Paulus and other regional commanders).