Stalingrad was The Battle that Saved World War II Essay

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“…I was shocked when I saw the map. We are entirely alone, without help from outside. Hitler has left us in a lurch. If the airfield is still in our possession, this letter may still get out…. So this is what the end looks like. Hannes and I will not surrender,… I saw four men who had been taken prisoner by the Russians. No, we shall not go into captivity. When Stalingrad has fallen you’ll hear and read it. And you’ll know that I shall not come back.” --Letter of an unidentified German Soldier (p. 16 Schneider and Gullans, Letters from Stalingrad)

How were the soldiers of Stalingrad, through months of hard fighting, bitter cold, lack of supplies, and starvation, capable of defeating the “invincible” armies of Hitler’s Germany and
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Soon the Fatherland had recovered from its deep economic slump, and before long the massive rise in nationalism led Germany to war. By 1942 Hitler seemed indestructible and the world seemed at his mercy. While Germany’s power grew in the West, the Eastern giant of Russia was awaking as well. It would be unavoidable for the two to collide in war. Like Germany, the Soviet Union had established a new nation and created a large military power in the aftermath of World War I. Czarist Russia had converted into the immense Soviet Union and transformed into a world superpower also in the wake of the Great War. For centuries before the war the man with complete control over the Motherland would always be the Czar. But the total power of Russia’s monarchy would eventually lead to its demise. During World War I, Czarist Russia went through famine and economic breakdown. The demoralized Russian army suffered several severe military losses and many of the troops deserted the front lines. Discontentment with the monarchy and its policy of continuing the war effort rose, and soon the present Czar was forced to step down. Soon after that, a revolution began and the Party of the Soviet Union, led by Vladimir Lenin, took political control. Yet there were many who opposed the new majority of the Communists and civil

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