The Battle of Stalingrad The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War Two in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad. The battle took place between August 1942 and February 1943. It was the largest battle on the Eastern front and is among one of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. The heavy losses inflicted on the German Army making the Battle of Stalingrad a turning point in the war. Three reasons that led up to this turning point was the failure of Operation Barbarossa, the first major victory of World War Two for the Russians, and how weak the German Army had become.
This resulted in risings such as the Spartacist rising where communists fuelled by the success of the Russian revolution almost occupied nearly every major city in Germany. However, the Reichstag led by the SPD had stepped into a power that was left by the Kaiser, and as a result of this it had no real option but to accept the Versailles Treaty. The most irritating part for the German people was the to pay reparations to Britain and France. Germany's failure to pay her debt led to the invasion of the Ruhr, resulted in very little success for France but did succeed in the complete collapse of the German economy. This led to the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 Hitler aided by General Lundendorff and a few hundred supporters marched on the Munich town hall as a pretext to a national revolution, unfortunately for Hitler this attempt failed and he was sent to prison.
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.
Lenin had also ended the war with Germany by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. However, this was a humiliating treaty for Russia as the Germans had been extremely harsh and the treaty took land, industries and people from Russia. After the Reds’ victory in the civil war, Lenin set about creating the world’s first communist state. He introduced war communism whereby the people saw the rapid nationalization of all industries as well as the requisitioning of all surplus grain from the peasants. Even though this solved all the immediate needs of the communist state, the majority of the peasants were unhappy about the new policies and rebelled against the Bolsheviks.
German defeat in the Great War was largely down to the incompetence and mistakes of the German Military Elite. The failure of the Schlieffen plan in 1914 can be accredited to these German leaders and also more importantly blamed for the failure in the First World War. Schlieffen, Chief of the German General Staff (1891-1906) devised what is known as the ‘Schlieffen plan’ in 1905 in response to the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale and the further negations this alliance began to have with the huge empire that was Russia. These new relations began to worry Germany and create fears of a combined attack on the country. Schlieffen’s plan aimed to counter a joint attack and then later in the Great War the Schlieffen Plan was used as a strategy to ensure a swift victory and avoid fighting two-fronted war.
Despite Hitler’s wealth of well put together weaponry, well trained and seemingly invincible army and a seemingly tactical mind-set (which made him at first so fearful and successful) he eventually made some vital errors which led to the Nazi demise. One of the key mistakes Hitler made, which allowed Russia to defeat them, is that of his overambitious stretching of the army. Whilst it was a strong army it couldn’t handle being attacked/ attacking both Britain and Russia as its resources became so overstretched that the army officers became ill-equipped and unable to fight effectively, in addition the easing of pressure from Britain also enabled the British to recover from The Battle of Britain and became a much stronger ally to the Russians in later years. The second mistakes the Germans made, which again made the Russians stronger and enabled their victory over the Germans, was the way in which they chose to attack Russia. By embarking on their attack in mid-1941 the Germans left little time to cross Russia’s vast land and reach their intended targets before the bitter winters set
In an attempt to increase their wages, industrial workers went on strike. The Tsar’s indecisiveness, the reality of him continuing the war against Germany although there were many thousands of casualties and the rest of Russia was starving due to the bad transportation systems, and the fact that he had broken his promises from the October Manifesto after the
When a significant population of East Germans migrated to the west, the economy was harmed to a greater extent. When the wall was finally completed and employed by the East German Government, it was hated. This led to more censorship and authoritarian methods from Honecker and the East German government. This continued until the Berlin Wall Fell in 1989. During this time, East Germans became fed up with the oppressive policies of the Stazi, the antics of Honecker’s government, and the hated symbol of the Berlin Wall.
This was a major victory for the Soviet Union and marked the end of the German advances. It was one of history’s bloodiest battles. 850,000 Germans were killed, wounded and captured and 750,000 on the Soviet Union side. The capture of Stalingrad was important to Hitler for two primary reasons. Firstly, it was a major industrial city on the Volga River.
War Communism was radical and involved the militarisation of Labour which was disliked by the people and made people focus purely on the needs of the war. This contrasts greatly with the First World War (WW1) because the Tsar didn’t militarise Labour completely and so the demand for supplies in WW1 couldn’t be met by the factories. Starvation was nothing new in Russia and during WW1 the supplies couldn’t reach the troops on the front line and so many soldiers had little to eat. With War Communism the majority of the food would be taken from a household to feed an army and the result was that Russians starved, this time the household starved and there was little incentive to grow more. War Communism was introduced as the focus of Lenin was on the military and getting supplies to the soldiers of Russia quickly.