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Forum LockedStalingrad wasn’t the main turning point of the war.

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    Posted: 30-Jul-2005 at 19:33
Kursk was. After Stalingrad, the Soviets were given a beating at Kharkov. Erich von Manstein's counter stroke against Kharkov in Feb/March 1943 saved the entire southern front and gave the Germans back the initiative they had momentarily lost at Stalingrad. The Germans were still able to draw upon very powerful formations (especially armour)in the summer of 1943 (six months after Stalingrad ended)and had Hitler not wasted them in the gamble that was Kursk then things might have reached stalemate throughout 1943. Many in the German army (including von Manstein) wanted to attack in May 1943 but Hitler posponed it back to July and this breathing space allowed the Soviets to be prepared. The Germans had the Soviets back on the defensive again in the spring of 1943 just after Stalingrad and an attack soon after could well have made things turn out a lot differently. The gamble that failed at Kursk in July 1943 was the reason why Germany was only capable of a fighting retreat (however well it managed it) for the last two years of the war.

Kursk was the crucial turning point in the war, not Stalingrad. It is a common misconception that Stalingrad was.It wasn't. The German army was by no means on the back foot for good after Stalingrad. It was still a very very powerful formation with lots of new armour types coming to the fold- Tiger tanks, Panther tanks plus a multitude of other types. Another misconception often made is that Stalingrad was the first time the Soviets got the upper hand over the Germans. That is not true either. The Germans were thrown back before Moscow in Dec/Jan 1941 which led to a stalemate and no more advance on the Soviet capital ever again. The fact is, after Stalingrad the German army was by no means only able to retreat. It counter-attacked successfully around Kharkov just 1 month after Stalingrad and was still capable of massive offensives with enormous numbers of men and equipment. The Kursk offensive in July 1943 saw massive numbers of German men and material thrown into the fray. The point being, Stalingrad was a defeat for the Germans yes but it didn't stop them from being able to mount powerful offensives in the east.

After Kursk, the Germans never again had the means to mount massive offensive attacks in the east(apart from Balaton in March 1945). It was long slow hard two year fighting retreat from Kursk all the way back to Berlin. Stalingrad didn't halt the days of massive German offensives in the east. Kursk did. The German front could still have been saved in Russia after Stalingrad. The Germans were only stopped and driven back for good after Kursk.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Jul-2005 at 23:23
And before that the battle outside the gates of Moscow was the one tyo really halt successful German attacks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jul-2005 at 21:09

I remember a conversation with a friend in which he was saying that one very under-rated turning point of the war was El-Alamein. Granted, the war in Africa started out as a sideshow, a mere diversion. But had the Germans lost at El-Alamein, they could have gone on to conquer Egypt (and the Suez canal), as well as most of the relatively undefended Middle East, with the all important oil fields in Kirkuk. This would have constituted a great blow to Britain (disrupting the trade route to India), as well as enabling to Germans to secure another oil supply, besides the Romanian fields which were insufficient. One of the major reasons for German lost battles after 1942 was problems with the oil supply.

This is not to detract anything from the importance of the war on the Eastern front. But even the  eastern war might have gone very differently had the Germans won at El-Alamein. Just a different viewpoint...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jul-2005 at 22:19

 Stalingrad "Casualties for the Axis totalled at around 850,000. Among those lost were 400,000 Germans, 200,000 Romanians, 130,000 Italians and 120,000 Hungarians"

 At Kursk the Germans casualties were 200,000 men killed wounded or captured the Soviets 4 times that number, critically massive numbers of tanks were lost by the Germans and Russians, however the russians could readily replace losses the germans couldnt, resulting in all 1 million dead wounded or captured.

 Kursk was a massive battle that caused major damage to the Germans and its true the Germans never recovered, but Stalingrad was worse in that the amount of men lost the amount of time lost in that battle was devastating 199 days of absolute chaos. At such a critical time in the war had Stalingrad gone the Germans way who knows how theyd of been stopped.

 Stalingrad was a turning point Kursk was the deathblow thats how I view it.

 Really makes you think though how much we owe the Russians for putting up such a fight despite horrendous casualties, even though it seems Britain and America get most of the credit for the fall of the Axis.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ahmed The Fighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Aug-2005 at 03:16
Totaly agree with ITAPEVI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Aug-2005 at 07:44
I totally agree with Heraclius. Stalingrad receives as much credit as it does because it was in so many ways symbolic. Moscow may have been decisive in many ways, but it was at Stalingrad that both sides pitted the bulk of their forces into one atrocious death match. By the time Kursk hit the Russian military-industrial machine was pumping out equipment at such a rate that a sustained occupation of the whole Western USSR was no longer possible given how stretched Axis man-power was. The USSR truly recovered their nerve after Stalingrad, it was the victory written in blood which saw an incredible boost in the morale of the Soviet army.

Had the Germans won at Kursk they may have been able to mount some punitive expeditions and recapture some land. But men, supplies, quality training, aerial strength and morale were all running out too fast for a sustained push much further east. For the Soviets, those assets were only becoming more endless with every passing month and ultimately could not be resisted.

And yes, the Russians do deserve alot more credit for toppling that insult to the human race. Bravo comrades .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2005 at 08:07

 I think a German victory at Kursk would have done nothing but delay the inevitable, a victory will have cost enormous numbers of men and tanks anyway, as Constantine says Russia was pumping out tanks and other equipment at such an incredible rate losses could be easily replaced.

 The only difference between Germany and Russia was this, Russia could sustain the casualties Germany could not.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChineseManchurian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2005 at 20:30
I believe the turning point of World War II is not Stalingard also, it is Siege of Moscow and Leningard, the Germany "Quick" warfare is done then the disaster cold winter comes everything is done even Stalingard is captured.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Conquistador Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Aug-2005 at 00:15

As it have been said before in this thread, Kursk was the deathblow, but it was at Stalingard that the Germans lost the war on the Eastern front.

The whole picture of the invincible German "super soldier" was crushed, it gave the Russian army a huge morale boost, and the cost for the Germans where simply to high in the long run. Germany could not afford to lose as many men as they did at Stalingrad, Russia could.

Sure they where able to "try again" after Stalingrad, but I believe that if they hadn't lost as many men as they did at Stalingrad and the way they did it, the war in the east could have ended very diffrently. So I would have to say that Stalingrad was a turning point because it gave the Russians the upper hand and time to get their industry up and running, and the number of equipment, weapons and materials they could produce compared to the Germans speak for themself.

That and a huge population is what won them the war against Germany.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bishop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Aug-2005 at 21:29
Stalingrad was the turning point, Kursk was such a major defeat it is hard to believe that one would blame Hilter's postponing the attack as the main reason for the lost.  People tend to view history with thier romantic notions. The fact of the matter is the wonderful tanks the Germans deployed for the battle of Kursk were not ready. So Hitler delayed the operations until they were. Well they still wernt ready, the Elephant, the Tiger, and the Panther's had tons of mechanical troubles. I don't care how wonderful these tanks look on paper they couldn't change the tide of the war. The war was lost on the river Volga at the city of Stalingrad.

If you want to look into a definitive point of the war look into the handling of Operation Blue. With the German army attacking from Kursk and Kharkov enveloping the Russians and totally destroying the Russian front. Stalingrad could of been taken with a direct march east. Instead Hitler sends his armor south into the Caucasus mountains  and sends the 9th inf east in the open plains, the very place the tanks would of performed best. Then without gaining ground in the south he sends the tanks back north towards Stalingrad.

The Germans were expecting the Russians to behave like they did the first year. They expected the Russians to hold useless ground and get encircled. They did not, they retreated in good order and fought delaying actions at key points like Rostov. A blitzkrieg attack across the the don bend could of been decisive. The question is was it a bad plan on the Germans part to try to encircle the Russians or was the German army no longer able to make such penetrating blitzkrieg movements over hundreds of miles?

Either way the Germans never had a real chance after Stalingrad. But it was the summer campaign and the miss handling of Operation Blue that lost the city on the river.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Arnil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2005 at 10:45

Actualy the campaing in russia was lost from the very start

even if the russians had lost, Stalingrad and moskow

they would have stayed in the east

sooner or later the germans had retreited 

Hitler shoul`d have used his army

to defeat England

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bishop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2005 at 17:50
The Russian campaign had it's merits and the Germans could of won there. And after they defeated Russia they couldn't be challenged on the continent. The Nazi's would  likely still be in power to this day had they won in Russia.

That is if we hadnt killed off every living soul in a nuclear holocaust by now.
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