The Battle of Stalingrad

Introduction to the Eastern Front and the Battle of Stalingrad

The Battle of Stalingrad was the bloodiest battle in history and was the ultimate turning point of the second World War. This exhibition covers the invasion of Russia and the flaws of its execution, and focuses on the how the Battle of Stalingrad came to be, the strategies that were utilized, the hundreds of thousands of casualties suffered, and how the outcome of the battle marked the end of the Third Reich. The invasion of Russia, codename Operation Barbarossa, initiated on June 22nd, 1941 (Lak, 574), and had split the invading forces into three groups: Army Group North, Army Group Centre, and Army Group South (Martin). The initial invasion had cut into Russia with ease and Army Group Centre was just 50 miles away from Moscow, supporting the idea that the Eastern Front would be over by the end of summer. However, Adolf Hitler had ordered Army Group Centre's panzers to assist Army Group South, halting the assault on Moscow. By the time the panzers rejoined Army Group Centre, their Blitzkrieg only lasted a few weeks before weather grounded them to a halt (Martin).

Germany was unprepared for cold climate combat and by the time winter had set in, their tanks and weapons were freezing and soldiers were contracting frostbite. In addition, the Germans were now combating divisions from Siberia, who were well equipped and trained for cold climates and had participated in a series of counterattacks which had pushed the Germans further from Moscow. 1941 had ended unsuccessfully for the Germans.

Hitler, outraged by the failure to capture Moscow, fired Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch and assumed command of the Army himself. Now, a new offensive was devised by Hitler under the codename Case Blue and was executed on June 28th, 1942. This offensive would later result in the German Army's siege of Stalingrad and would prove to be the downfall the Eastern Front and eventual the collapse of the Third Reich, and it was all due to Hitler's incompetence as a strategic leader.


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World War II in Color, written by Jonathan Martin, performance by Robert Powell, NM Productions, Netflix,

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