Battle Of Stalingrad

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The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the most crucial and gruesome battles fought in Europe during World War Two. There were numerous reasons that Hitler saw fit for invading Stalingrad on September 1st, 1942 including his obsession for conquering the city named after his biggest rival, Josef Stalin. As the battle waged on both sides suffered immense casualties as they tried to gain a strangle hold on the important industrial city of Stalingrad. After 199 days of fighting, the Battle of Stalingrad concluded, beginning what many historians view as the turning point in Hitler’s European conquest as the Germans began their retreat from Russia. By 1942, Hitler had assumed control of the German Army (an army that no longer had the strength and resources seen in Operation Barbarossa) and he listened to his generals much less than he had in previous years. Hitler’s main goals for attacking Stalingrad were to reach the rich oil fields of the Caucasus region; to conquer the main waterway of inner Russia, the Volga River; and to cripple the city so that it could no longer be an industrial or transportation center. These goals were ordered under “directive 41” code named Operation Blue where he ordered all available forces in the southern flank on the long front to destroy the Soviet forces there, allowing the German army to take the oil fields and Volga River . The above reasons were very rational from a strategic stand point, but many argue that Hitler’s obsession with conquering the city named after Stalin clouded his judgment when the battle swung in the favor of the Soviets. His ego forced him to ignore the constant warnings by his generals on more than one occasion. The first was when they originally tried to persuade him from waging battle on Stalingrad in the first place; and the second was when his army had the option to retreat during the battle itself.
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