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The Battle Of Stalingard

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The Battle Of Stalingrad

Why was the Battle of Stalingrad a turning point in the war against Germany? The battle of Stalingrad was fought for a mixture of military and political reasons. It was one of the worst battles of the war and known to many as the turning point to World War 2. Hitler's objective for many years had been to rule Germany and when the Soviets launched a counterattack it showed Hitler that he was not going to win. Hitler's generals wanted to attack the Caucasus and the oil felids but he believed that the major industrial center on the Volga should come first. Germany needed to capture Russia for its plentiful raw materials, this would help to support the country's population and their army's needs in weaponry. The Caucasus contained an abundant supply of natural mineral wealth, especially oil a crucial requirement for the German war machine. Also wheat was in the Ukraine. But Hitler also believed that the Russians were an inferior race and were only good enough to be under his laws, working as slaves in the future German empire presently being built. Furthermore the Russians had done quite badly in a previous battle against Finland 1939 - 1940. Hitler assumed that because the Soviet Union had been beaten so easily, it would take an army of his to defeat Russia in approximately just four months. On August 23 an air strike of 600 bombers was launched killing 40,000 civilians, On that evening German troops reached Rynok. The Russians were mining and sabotaging buildings as they were ousted, creating death traps for the Germans. The Germans however still pushed on. By September 3 they reached the city center, (on the western side of Volga) where they encountered solid resistance from the Soviet 62nd Army under General Chuikov. Stalingrad was now under blockade. Russian commander Marshal Zhukov was ordered to attack the north and northwest of Stalingrad. The next day one thousand German bombers flew missions over Stalingrad. On September 5, the first Soviet counterattack began and failed. The following morning Russian reinforcements arrived and the two sides were now attacking each other. The city's Soviet defenders had been driven almost to the Volga by mid-October, but the German's supplies were beginning to run



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