Operation Uranus Scene Analysis

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Fighting in the streets in Stalingrad was a hellish scene. The plague of rats that infested the city, the dead bodies left out in the open and the emergence of skilled snipers greatly affect both German and Russian forces. With the winter approaching and the halt of the 6th Army and the 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad, the Russian Army decides to take action in order to turn the battle. The turning point of the battle came with a huge Soviet counteroffensive, code-named Operation Uranus (November 19–23), which had been planned by Generals Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, Aleksandr Mikhailovich Vasilevsky, and Nikolay Nikolayevich Voronov (Limbach, 2015). Operation Uranus called for Soviet forces to encircle the German forces and attack on…show more content…
The German side had around 250,000 troops. The bulk of the seasoned forces for the German army where in the city limits. Those flanks were vulnerably exposed on the open steppes surrounding the city and were weakly defended by undermanned, undersupplied, overstretched, and under motivated Romanian, Hungarian, and Italian troops (Limbach, 2015). On November 23, the maneuvers to encircle from the north and south were successful 6th and 4th Panzer Armies. The German High Command suggest to Hitler to order General Paulus to fight through the Russian troops to rendezvous with other German forces west of Stalingrad. Hitler does not allow this. Hitler main goal is to push pass Stalingrad in order to reach Caucasus. The region had vast resources and oil that would greatly increase the power and influence of the Nazi Empire. Hitler also deems the victory of Stalingrad as a political statement for his regime (Limbach, 2015). Instead, Hitler orders air convoys to resupply his surrounded armies. The convoys were poor and unsuccessful in delivering the…show more content…
Many of the German soldier are starting to die mysteriously. German medical experts are sent to the front lines to investigate the cause. The findings conclude that the men are dying from starvation. German reinforcements attempt to rescue the doomed 6th and 4th Panzer armies but are unable to break through the Russian forces from the east. The Russian forces soon after begin to close the encircle enemy. Seeing the inevitability of surrender, Hitler orders Paulus not surrender and fight to the death (Limbach, 2015). Hitler even goes so far as to promote Paulus to the rank of Field Marshall and reminding Paulus that now German Field Marshall has ever surrendered. The Volga River has frozen over solid and the Russian Army starts to transport troops and equipment on the river to further attack the Germans. By January, the Nazi Armies were surrounded by seven Russian armies and Paulus has no choice but to surrender. The Soviets recovered 250,000 German and Romanian corpses in and around Stalingrad, and total Axis casualties (Germans, Romanians, Italians, and Hungarians) are believed to have been more than 800,000 dead, wounded, missing, or captured (Limbach, 2015). Of the 91,000 men who surrendered, only some 5,000–6,000 ever returned to their homelands (the last of them a full decade after the end of the war in 1945); the rest died in Soviet prison and labor camps (Limbach, 2015). On the Soviet side, many historians
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