Stalingrad: February 1943 – The German Defeat Sources Questions

Authors Avatar

Stalingrad: February 1943 – The German Defeat Sources Questions

Does Source A explain the reasons for the German surrender at Stalingrad?

Explain your answer using Source A and your own knowledge

I think that A explains the reasons for the German defeat reasonably well, as there is no reason why Paulus should now lie, as he knew that he was facing defeat. However, I cannot be sure as to whether or not he was still loyal to Hitler. Paulus would have had first hand knowledge as to what was going on, and I know that the stated reasons for defeat were in fact occurring. This was because Hitler was not sending enough reinforcements, and those that he did send did not make it through. The results were that the troops starved, and that the German lines collapsed. This would comply with what Paulus is saying, and that fact that he is requesting immediate surrender shows the desperation of the situation. Therefore, I would say that he is telling the truth and that the basis for the defeat is given, although it is not in very much detail. It is possible that Paulus wanted to glorify his defeat by showing that he went down in the best way possible, although he clearly had not wanted to fight to the end, still showing that the source is reasonably unbiased, as Paulus can be said to have been loyal, at the end, to his own troops only. I think that the source shows good reasons for the defeat, and although Paulus does not directly blame the German High Command and Hitler, he shows that he is loyal to his troops, and has no reason to lie, as he may want people to know what really happened to him and his men.

Why do you think the photograph, Source B, was taken?

Explain your answer using Source B and your own knowledge.

Source B was probably taken in order to show the people of Russia that Stalingrad was re-taken gloriously by the Red Army, and that the Germans were easily beaten (casualties may have been classified by the government). The likelihood that the photo was actually taken as the Germans were driven out of the city is highly unlikely, as many other propaganda photos taken by both sides during the war were set-ups, and only showed the public what the government wanted them to be shown. For this reason I think that the photo was taken for propaganda purposes only, showing the patriotic raising of the flag, which would be aimed at raising the morale of the Russian public. As I have said, the photo was staged, as the photographer was most likely not there, so the raising of the flag would have had to be repeated in order that this photo could be taken. The fact that the government published this photo shows in itself that it is most likely designed to help the Russians to win the war and to boost morale. This photo would have been taken for morale, whereas other photos are often taken to provoke conflict, such as in Manchuria, and often to prove somebody else wrong (effectively lying). B may also have been taken to show the public the level of destruction that had occurred in the city of Stalingrad, as in the background we see that there are many remains of buildings, roads and vehicles – possibly encouraging the Russians to fight back with even more revenge against the Germans, who were probably being portrayed as evil in this photo, to infuriate the public and to gain support.

Join now!

Source C is a letter.

Source D is a cartoon.

Which is the most useful to a historian studying the German defeat at Stalingrad?

Explain your answer using sources C and D and your own knowledge

I think that both sources are useful, although both in almost entirely different ways. Source C shows us the view of a soldier who has nothing left to live for – he knows he will soon die, and as in A, he has nothing left to lie about. He shows us the extent to which the Germans ...

This is a preview of the whole essay