• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In February 1943, the German army surrendered at Stalingrad - Was Hitler's interference the main reason for this defeat?

Extracts from this document...


In February 1943, the German Army Surrendered at Stalingrad. Was Hitler's Interference the Main Reason for this Defeat? Explain your Answer. Operation Barbarossa was the German code name for the attack on Russia, and it was certainly set to be a big attack. For Barbarossa Hitler assembled three million troops, 3500 tanks and 2700 aircraft, it was also in anticipation and expectation to be very big, Hitler himself claimed 'When Barbarossa commences, the world will hold its breath'. There were a variety of reasons shown while Hitler spoke of his bold plans to move east and invade the Soviet Empire, both given military and political. Hitler needed Russia's plentiful raw materials to support his army and population, there was lots of oil in the Caucasus and wheat in Ukraine. Hitler also had an obsession with racial ideals, he felt that the Russians were an 'inferior' Slav race, and therefore only fit as slaves for the idealistic Germany Hitler was creating. This feeling of superiority also gave Hitler the confidence as he decided there would be little resistance against the racially superior German's. It was also well established that Hitler loathed the communist power, which contributed to his expansion, as well as his striving for 'living space' (Lebensraum). ...read more.


At this point Hitler was very confident as to the progress being made, and was positively certain that the Russians no longer had any more reserves, but this turned out to be far from the truth. The Russians were in fact building up reserves, and the supply lines remained strong coming form the newly positioned factories in the safety of the east. It was from this confidence that the German attack of the 6th army was aimed straight at Stalingrad to take the city, and as this happened, Stalin ordered 'not a step back', and banned any civilian from leaving the city. Because of the strictness applied by the Russian officers this is therefore what happened, the Russians refused to retreat, and showed determination to hold their ground and not give up that sacred town. It was also a credit that, not only were the soldiers very patriotic, the people of the town pitched in to save their homes. There was also a sense of twisted fate, as the German attack helped the Russians in a way. At the start of the attack on Stalingrad, the Luftwaffe had heavily bombed the city, and so as the rest of the army caught up, it was actually easier for the Soviets to defend the large piles of rubble, especially with the snipers, than to defend actual buildings. ...read more.


In contribution to this, Hitler's well-voiced thoughts of supremacy spurred on a civilian reaction and so 250 000 people of Russia joined the resistance fighters. The Germans, if they captured resistance fighters were known to hang them, this however was not a deterrent but again spurred a further reaction for the Russians to aid their country in whatever ways possible. Hitler's hate of communism meant it blurred his vision and so clouded ability to make sound decisions, it was this that showed how Hitler's views had got the better of him. So, taking all factors into consideration, it is obvious that the Germans had the potential to win all the way, yet the factors shown just denied them of a victory. I still wonder though, if Hitler had put personal feelings aside, and withdrawn from Stalingrad when he should have done, would this have been such a large turning point in the war. In conclusion I feel that it was not solely poor decisions from Hitler that led to the German surrender in February 1943, but was the good strategy of the Russians through Stalin, and patriotism and determination of the Soviet society as one, purely refusing to lose, and give up the city of Stalingrad, bearing the profound name of their much loved dictator leader. Matthew Revill 11R ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Was Hitler a weak dictator?

    Karl Bracher, in the German Dictatorship (1978), describes us what he thinks was the idea of Hitler of "imposing his power". He did not do it with power pressure, or using fear; rather he used a 'deliberate ploy', a 'divide and rule' plan in which he created several institutions to

  2. How far was the First World War the main cause of the fall of ...

    So far, I have already mentioned these effects of the war, and also how the war encouraged them, creating more of a drive to overthrow the Tsar. However, that is not the extent of the effects of the war, even though they are all linked together, as well as being

  1. Why was the Battle of Stalingrad a turning point in the war against ...

    would be catastrophic, for if it happened, Russia would basically have no chance left. Soviet forces would be completely cut off from their own oil supply (exactly what Germany wanted). Hitler did not want to give up on reaching the Caucasus, he wanted to drive the Soviets as far away

  2. Operation Barbarossa - Causes and Consequences

    The result was a titanic battle that finished of any hope of Germany winning in the East. The German army fought hard and got into the city, but again the winter confounded them. They were amazed by the Russians' strength and courage: 'The Russian soldier has an almost incredible ability

  1. The Importance of the Battle of Stalingrad.

    In all, Army Group 'South' lost 700.000 men from summer 1942 until spring 1943. This was, without a doubt and definately, the momment when the tide of the war went agaisnt Germany. What must be remembered was that Stalingrad was taken because of Hitler's orders, otherwise military thinking for centuries

  2. Operation Barbarossa and the Russian Offensive.

    One main request he made was that the Germans should on no account be able to get hold of food or equipment, thus the "scorched earth" policy was created. He also made the "a feeling of gratitude" policy, which meant all aid was given to Allied personnel.

  1. Paulus who was commander of the 6th Army, to the Germany army high command, ...

    He didn't fight with his soldiers as Chekov did and only cared about Hitler's orders. This drove his troops to surrender. Q2 Source B is a Soviet photograph taken in Stalingrad in February 1943 just after the German surrender of Stalingrad on the 31st of January.

  2. Explain why Britain was able to continue to hold out against Germany from June ...

    In the year of 1942, 1661 Destroyers and Convoys were lost but after the use of short wave radio, British losses dropped drastically. It linked ships and aircraft, which were fighting U-boats and enabled them to get in touch with their onshore commanders who made use of the latest intelligence information.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work