Stalingrad : Hitler's Biggest Gamble

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In early October 1942 the German Sixth Army realised that it had one last chance to break through the Soviet lines and capture Stalingrad before exhaustion and the Russian winter set in. Stalingrad examines this last attempt by the Germans to win Stalingrad and how the Red Army managed to cling on against the odds, marking the turning point of the war on the Eastern Front.
Beginning with the background to Stalingrad, the book shows how initially the Germans made progress against the city's defenders, but failed to break them. By 14 October 1942 the German Army was ready to make its third, final assault on the Soviet 62nd Army. Hitler issued an order halting all other offensive operations on the Eastern Front: Stalingrad was to be the battle that determined whether the Germans could maintain their position in the East. Victory would give Germany access to natural resources, while defeat would demoralise the Wehrmacht.
With first-hand accounts from both sides, vivid photographs, and specially commissioned maps of the combat zones, Stalingrad is a comprehensive examination of the decisive failure of the German assault that ultimately decided the course of the war in the East.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 190 x 246mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 132 photos, artworks and maps; 132 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1782749365
  • 9781782749363
  • 1,145,197

Table of contents

1. Barbarossa 1941
An overview of Operation Barbarossa and the invasion of the USSR in 1941, with the failure to capture Moscow leading Hitler to decide on securing the Caucasus's oil in 1942. Stalingrad becomes an objective to secure the German flank.

2. Operation Blue
Progress in the summer is good, and the Germans reach Stalingrad by September.

3. The Assault Begins
The first assault goes well, but the Sixth Army realise that it will be a struggle to capture the city. The Sixth Army's commander Von Paulus launches an all-out effort to capture the city before winter.

4. The Final Effort
Initially the attack goes well. The Soviet 62nd Army is split in two and the left bank of the Volga reached. The second assault makes less ground.

5. Hard Fighting
In the middle of October, the Germans launch their crucial third assault, but the attack begins to lose its momentum. By the end of October the attack has petered out, and the Sixth Army has lost its final chance of capturing the city before the onset of winter.

6. Desperation
In the freezing winter, the German divisions become exhausted by the constant hand-to-hand fighting in the city. The Soviet 62nd Army retains a foothold on the western bank of the Volga.

7. Aftermath
The failure of the attack, followed soon after by the encirclement of the city by a massive Soviet counter-attack, dooms the Sixth Army. Defeat at Stalingrad leads to a demoralisation of the Wehrmacht and, although the Germans attack again the following summer, they have lost the initiative in the war.



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About Will Fowler

Will Fowler has worked in journalism and publishing since 1972, specialising in military history. He is the author of several books on the subject.
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