вход по аккаунту


Eastern Front/Stalingrad Lecture

код для вставкиСкачать
The Eastern Front
• Hitler had strategic and ideological
reasons for invading Russia
– Strategically he knew that the Soviet Union
and the US were critical to Britain’s
willingness to keep fighting
– He also felt he needed the agricultural and
raw material resources of Eastern Russia
– Ideologically he viewed the Soviet Union as
an amalgamation of his greatest enemies, the
Jews and the Slavs
Operation Barbarossa
• Hitler based his plan on the assumption he could
destroy the Soviet Union within one year
• Critical to his success would be to catch and
destroy the Soviet Army at the border areas
• If that did not occur, the Russians could use their
vast territory to trade space for time and cause
the Germans huge logistical problems
Operation Barbarossa
• On June 22, 1941,
Hitler invaded Russia in
Operation Barbarossa
• The operation
encompassed a total
troop strength of about
4 million men, making it
the biggest single land
operation ever
• Benefiting from initial
surprise, by the end of
July Hitler had
occupied a portion of
Russia twice the size of
Operation Barbarossa: Battle of
• With the Germans’ successes in the north and
south, Hitler assumed that Stalin’s regime was
on the verge of collapse
• He authorized an advance on Moscow before
the onset of winter
• Already however the Germans were suffering
from serious supply shortages
– By September the supply system was only meeting
current tactical consumption needs
– No supply stores for the winter season were being
Operation Barbarossa: Battle of
• The Germans caught the
Russians unprepared and
made great advances
• The Soviet Army seemed
on the verge of collapse
• At this point the weather
broke and autumn rains
turned the roads to mud
• The German advance
stalled, allowing the
Russians to hurry
reinforcements from the
Operation Barbarossa: Battle of
• Despite dropping
temperatures and
critical supply
shortages, the
German high
command pressed on
with the attack
• The German soldiers
were still in summer
uniforms and suffered
German soldier during the
battle of Moscow
Operation Barbarossa: Battle of
• Stalin responded to the crisis by
rushing his best commander,
Georgi Zhukov, to defend
• Zhukov waged a delaying
defense in front of Moscow; the
first time the Soviets took
advantage of their ability to trade
space for time
• In the meantime he pulled
reinforcements from as far away
as Siberia to defend Moscow
• Zhukov’s plan was to allow the
Germans to exhaust themselves
and then go on the offensive
Operation Barbarossa: Battle of
• By Dec 4 the
Germans had clawed
their way to Moscow’s
outskirts, but they
could not continue
– That night
temperatures were -25
degrees Fahrenheit
– One infantry regiment
suffered 300 frostbite
– On Dec 6 the Soviets
Operation Barbarossa : Battle of
• Rundstedt, the German
commander of Army
Group South, ordered a
retreat and Hitler fired him
• Field Marshall Walther von
Reichenau replaced
Rundstedt and confirmed
the withdraw order and
then suffered a heart
• Hitler was in the midst of a
high command crisis and
lost confidence in his
Field Marshall Walther
von Reichenau
Strategic Situation
• On Dec 7, 1941, Japan attacked the US at
Pearl Harbor
• In spite of his troubles in Russia, Hitler
decided to support Japan and also declare
war on the US
• Now the US would join with Britain to
adopt a “Europe First” strategy that would
destroy Hitler
Operation Barbarossa : Battle of
• As the Russians pushed forward, Hitler
refused to allow a retreat and relieved or
court-martialed generals who did so
• Hitler named himself commander-in-chief
of the army
– Each military service began to operate
increasingly independently and Germany
suffered from a lack of an overall strategy
Operation Barbarossa : Battle of
• On the Eastern Front the Germans’ stiff
resistance and control of crucial roads and
supply centers slowly took the punch out
of the Russian counterattack
• The German Army survived but it suffered
losses from which it never recovered
• Both sides licked their wounds and
prepared for renewed operations in the
• As spring 1942 approached, German
commanders recommended remaining on the
defensive but Hitler believed the Germans
must destroy Soviet military potential before
the American industrial power could come into
• Hitler developed a plan to capture Soviet oil
– At first Hitler considered Stalingrad of little
importance other than the fact that its
capture might block the movement of
petroleum up the Volga River
• On June 28 the Germans
launched their summer
• The Germans made good
headway with one
advance moving east
toward Stalingrad and the
Volga River and another
moving south into the
• In August Hitler’s erratic
attention swung from the
Caucasus to Stalingrad
• On Aug 24 the Germans
attacked Stalingrad’s
suburbs and began
fighting their way into the
• Hitler began shifting forces
from the Caucasus to
• The nature of the urban
fighting favored the
defenders and the Soviets
mounted a stubborn
• Stalingrad began to drain
the German army but
Hitler would not back off
• On Nov 19 the Soviets
launched a massive
counterattack north of
• Hitler’s overly centralized
and completely out-of-touch
command system broke
down in the face of the
Soviet onslaught
• The Soviets encircled
Stalingrad and Hitler ordered
his commanders to stand
fast anyway
• By this point in the war, no
one was willing to confront
• All attempts to
breakout or break
through failed and on
Feb 2 the Germans
– Out of 250,000
soldiers trapped in the
Stalingrad pocket,
approximately 90,000
became prisoners
– Barely 5,000 survived
the war
German POWs
Greatest Extent of Axis Control
The Eastern Front
• Ultimately enormous logistical shortcomings made
Barbarossa a failure
– Germany proved capable of fighting battles very well,
but was less capable of fighting a war of prolonged
• In the total four years of fighting on the Eastern Front, an
estimated 4 million Axis and 9 million Russians were
killed in battle
• 20 million Soviet civilians were killed as a result of
extermination campaigns against Jews, communists and
partisans, casual massacres, reprisal killings, diseases,
and (sometimes planned) starvation.
Размер файла
5 023 Кб
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа