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Craig Williams' Enemy At The Gates

740 words - 3 pages

Craig Williams' “Enemy at the Gates”

     Craig Williams was born in Concord Massachusetts. He wrote the book “Enemy at the Gates” in 1973. The point of this book was to show both the extreme importance of this battle in the course of World War II and the courage of both the German and Russian troops during this horrific battle. This book did an excellent job portraying the hardships the soldiers faced and the gruesome scope of the battle for this important city. However, it did so with a pro-axis slant.

     The battle of Stalingrad has often been referred to as the turning point of World War II. Stalingrad, now called Volgograd is located on the river Volga in the southern part of western Russia. It was of extreme importance because it was the last stronghold protecting the vast oil fields that lay beyond it to the east. Hitler believed his Operation Barbarossa would be an easy victory, claiming that troops would be home for Christmas. There was much symbolism in Hitler’s decision to attack Stalingrad and that was due to that it was named after the Russian leader Stalin and would cause a great loss of morale in the Russian army if the German army could capture it. The German 6th Army ran into incredibly fierce resistance on the part of the Russians. As the battle waged on for nearly 3 months the daily bloodbaths of the street battles began to take their toll on both sides. Russia’s use of snipers began to cost the Germans more and more lives everyday. Most famous of all Russian snipers was Vassili Zaitsev who became a role model for many soviet troops and was a huge boost in morale for the Soviet Army. Eventually Germany’s scorch earth plan was beginning to cost them as well as many German soldiers began to die off due to starvation. And if they weren’t dieing to the Russians or due to starvation the Russian winter began to also take lives as temperatures reached well into the negative double digits. Eventually on November 19th the Russians launched a counter offensive which caught the Germans by surprise and forever changed the tide of the war and the world. The...

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