Stalingrad Essay

This essay has a total of 420 words and 3 pages.


The attack came as a complete surprise to the leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin.
Despite repeated intelligence warnings, which included the precise day and hour of
Germany's incipient assault, Stalin remained convinced that Hitler would not risk an
eastern war as long as the British Empire remained undefeated. It has been argued that
Stalin in fact planned a pre-emptive attack on Germany for the early summer of 1941, and
was then thrown off-balance by the German invasion.

'For two years Soviet forces pushed the German army back into Germany ...'
The evidence makes clear the defensive posture of the Soviet Union in 1941. Stalin did not
want to risk war, though he hoped to profit from the German-British struggle if he could.
In the event, the shock of attack almost unhinged the Soviet state, and by the autumn
German forces had destroyed most of the Red Army and the Russian air force, surrounded and
besieged Leningrad - where over one million people died of starvation and cold - and were
approaching the outskirts of Moscow.

The Red Army had sufficient reserves to stop the German army from completing the rout in
December 1941, but the following summer German offensives launched far to the south of
Moscow, to seize the rich oilfields of the Caucasus and to cut the Volga shipping route,
created further chaos.
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