Conflict in Europe: 1939-1945
The Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a key event of the conflict in Europe, 1939-45, which had a major effect on the outcome of the 2nd World War. For Adolf Hitler Stalingrad was important because it was to be the turning point in getting Operation Barbarossa back on track as the Germans went to control the resources in the Caucasus region. For the Russians, as a strategic centre Stalingrad was its third largest city and a major manufacturing facility, and as it was named after Russia’s leader it was at great moral importance. If the Germans had of won the battle it would have strengthened the German resources and allowed them to continue other campaigns. However in losing the Battle of Stalingrad they lost those resources and were in retreat on their eastern front which then affected the other theatres throughout Europe. Hitler’s main aim of World War II was to defeat Russia and expand Germany to the east. This would bring a number of benefits to Hitler and Germany and was formulated in a plan called Operation Barbarossa. The operation began in June 1941 and was suppose to be a three to four month blitzkrieg campaign to break the Russian resistance. A major factor in the defeat of Germany in 1918 had been because their supplies were blockaded and they did not have their own resources. To prevent this from happening again Hitler needed to be able to secure his own resources such as oil and mineral resources. To the east were large areas of farming land, mines for manganese and nickel as well as manufacturing facilities. To the south in the Caucasus region the oil fields could supply German manufacturing and the Wehrmacht war machine. If Hitler could secure this area Germany would not only be protected from a blockade but also it would increase its strength. Up until the summer of 1942 Germany had not been able to achieve the main military goals of Moscow and Leningrad. The town of Leningrad had been under...
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