Battle of Stalingrad

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The battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest battles in World War II and is also known as one of the deadliest battles in the history of warfare with over 2 million personnel wounded or killed. It took place in the southeastern portion of the soviet union. It took place in the late fall of 1942. Stalingrad was the last city in a series of battles that took place across southeastern Soviet Union. Stalin was demanding that the city be defended at all costs. It was regarded as one of Hitler’s biggest failures in his military offensive.


The battle conditions were fierce and dreadful. Any land that The Soviet’s knew they were going to lose, they would burn to the ground. Any buildings, factories or other structures were destroyed in hope of trying to starve the germans from any protection from gunfire. They also burned the food in the fields in order to starve the germans in the harsh Soviet winter. The problem was that the conditions in the summer in Stalingrad were extremely warm while the winters were extremely cold. The conditions were difficult to fight in because the tanks would freeze in the harsh conditions. Winter was not kind to the german forces, starvation, hypothermia and other sicknesses killed many of german warforce.


The leaders of the defense of Stalingrad was Vasily Chuikov. His use of “Guerilla Warfare” was one of the reasons that their defense was so successful. He also used the enemy’s strategy against them. He used the german’s “Blitzkrieg” against them, using Carpet-Bombing to draw in the German “Panzer” units and reducing them to rubble. One of the other leaders for the Soviets was Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov. Zhukov was made deputy commander-in-chief for the defense of Stalingrad and also lead the counteroffensive with Aleksandr Vasilevsky. Zhukov’s counteroffensive was one of the biggest counteroffensives in World War II. Zhukov took his Soviet Soldiers and surrounded the German Army, effectively cutting off their supply line.


The Germans also had two very effective leaders. Their commander was General Friedrich Paulus. He lead the offensive on Stalingrad but before that battle he hadn’t commanded anything bigger than a battalion. He lead until the Soviets counter-attack but then was told to hold their positions while waiting for rescue. The leader of the rescue mission was Erich Von Manstein. He was formerly the commander of the Wehrmacht and gained the rank of “Field Marshal” in World War II. He was given the task of rescuing the trapped german army on the outskirts of Stalingrad. His plan ultimately failed due to the freezing cold and starvation of his soldiers.


Ultimately, the losses in the Battle of Stalingrad were some of the largest in the war. Over 2 million people were killed, captured or wounded. Over 91,000 germans were captured in Stalingrad and over 5,000 were sent to labor camps or soviet prisons. After the battle, Soviets pushed the germans back with ease, getting the territory they lost back to the country and also pushing deeper into German territory which helped pressure Germany into surrender. The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the biggest battles in World War II. It was one of the battles that determined the outcome of the war in total.




History.com Staff. "Battle of Stalingrad." History. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.

Daniel Mulanovich, Luis Fontenoy, Gonzalo Llosa, Alonso Flores Araoz. "The Geographical Challenges of The Battle of Stalingrad." The Geographical Challenges of The Battle of Stalingrad. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.


"Battle of Stalingrad." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.






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