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The Battle Of Stalingrad And The Battle Of Normandy

1849 words - 7 pages

The Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Normandy were two vital battles in World War II. Stalingrad was the site of a critical WWII Soviet victory that terminated Germany’s advance to the east. Peaceful Normandy took it’s place in history as the starting point in the triumphant march across Europe. Both these intense events were extremely significant in the outcome of the second world war.
     After the Germans failed to win the war totally in 1941, they decided to start a fresh effort, and hoped that this would lead to victory. This effort eventually led to the city of Stalingrad in 1942. Different from the the three pronged attack of the previous year, this one had two attack directions. One from Kharkov to Stalingrad, the other from the Crimea to Caucasus. Though, this push was still very large. It included 78 Axis divisions, almost two million men. It's main purpose was to cut Stalin's supply along the Don and Volga rivers. Therefore, cutting him off from oil in the Caucausus' and "Lend-Lease" aid from the west. This battle would last for more than a year, and could be
considered one of the most important battles of the war, mainly because of two large, powerful armies meeting each other head on.
     Originally, Stalingrad hadn't really been an objective. It became one however after Hitler grew to have a personal obsession with it. It being named after Stalin himself, his enemy, made it a conquest he had to take on. The loss at Stalingrad could be partially blamed on Hitler himself. He withdrew into a shell during this period, concentrating on nothing more than the city. In the meantime, allowing for things to crumble around him.
Fortunately for Hitler, an equally obsessive leader faced him. Stalin had a similar obsession with Moscow, and it's defense. Though it isn't debatable whether or not Moscow was an important city to be in possession of, Stalin refused to believe where the German attack would be. Even after viewing a captured copy of this plan. So, the attack began and it went on without a problem. Only in July, 1942, did this good luck begin to diminish. They were few and far between at first, but gradually built up unease at German Headquarters. There were debates as to attacks on Vorozneh, or whether a move towards the oil fields was in order. By August, Hitler decided to move his attention towards Stalingrad, just when Soviet forces had started to break up before him.
     On August 7th, General Hoth's Panzerarmee came within 30 kilometers of Stalingrad, and Paulus' 6th Army arrived to begin its main assault on August, 23rd. Before this, there was a huge aerial bombardment that destroyed most of the outer suburbs, thus pushing back the Russian's to their middle line of defense. Because of the German bombing, the rubble which had accumulated provided easily defensible positions. The horribly inefficient Russian's were now able to maintain...

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