THE BATTLE OF STALINGRAD
(Jaire Jonas, Ryan Jarvis, Tyler Jackson, Andrew Hopson)
Who was Involved:
Nazi Germany (units involved Hungary, Croatia, Romania, and Italy) vs. Soviet Russia

Where/When did it take place:

The Battle of Stalingrad took place in Russia from July 17, 1942 to February 2, 1943 during World War II. The battle was fought all the way into deep Soviet territory and it was fought in tough conditions especially in December. By the spring of 1942 the battle was being fought in the North and South parts of the Soviet Union. By 1943 Germany's army was depleted and they were forced to stop the battle.


What Happened:

Russia had signed a non-aggression pact with Germany in an attempt to prevent war. However, either side trusted each other. Nazi Germany feared communist Russia. The Soviet Union feared Hitler. After taking France and bombing Britain into near submission, Hitler had turned his eyes towards Eastern Russia. With the help of Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Romania and Italy, the German Army was able to take Russia by surprise and invade. Russia’s, “Red Army” retreated into the country, using the scorched earth tactic, the burning of all materials and foods left behind in the retreat. This prevented Germany from recovering from their constant march and battle to re-equip and refuel. Russia used this tactic against Napoleon in nearly 100 years earlier. However, Hitler pushed on through Russia. Finally, the Russia army stopped at Stalingrad. They took their stand and prevented Russia from moving past the city. It stopped the German advance into the Soviet Union and marked the turning of the tables in favor of the Allied Powers. They began to push back on the German army as the harsh Russian winter took it’s toll on the unprepared Germans. Both sides lost many men but Russia began to push the Germans out of the country, putting Germany on the defensive.



Significance:


The Battle of Stalingrad was the battle that turned the tide of the war in favor of the Allies. When the battle ended, both sides had taken detrimental casualties. However, Germany was left with few reinforcements while Russia had the advantage of a larger country and more allies. Russia was able to push Germany back out of the country, creating an opening for the French and British to break out of the English Channel on D-Day. It put pressure on Germany from the East and the West, forcing them to open a war on two fronts. The Battle of Stalingrad was the singular defining point of the war. Without this event, Hitler pushes his troops further into Russia and takes Moscow. He defeats the Soviet Union, leaving him to fight a singular front against the Allies. However, Russia was able to push back Germany out of their country. This increased pressure on Germany and their change from the offensive to the defensive in the war allowed the Allies to defeat the Axis Powers in WWII. Without this event, Germany only is left to fight on one front against the remaining Allied Powers. Hitler would begin to bomb Britain into submission once again like in the Battle of Britain, forcing them to spread their forces to protect Britain and attack Germany. The US would be spread between their European front and their Pacific campaign against Japan. This would have kept the Allies on the defensive and the Germany on the offensive. The Allies would be so depleted and spread out that they would lose the war and Germany would take over Europe. However, all this was averted because of the biggest turning point in the war, the Battle of Stalingrad.

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Works Cited:

"Battle of Stalingrad." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 24 May. 2011.
<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/562720/Battle-of-Stalingrad>.

"Stalingrad battlefield information." Stalingrad battlefield information. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2011.
<http://www.stalingrad-info.com/>.

"The Battle of Stalingrad (July 17, 1942 - February 2, 1943)." Jewish Virtual Library - Homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2011.
<http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org>.

World history patterns and interactions. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littel, 2008. Print.