Alternative histories provide intriguing possibilities but can also ignore some of the situations that explain how the real history was formed. This book makes a very good job of arguing the case with solid evidence, some fresh insights, and presents it in an absorbing and enjoyable text with good illustration, including a photo plate section. – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Disaster at Stalingrad, an Alternative History FILE: R2878 AUTHOR: Peter G Tsouras PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline books BINDING: soft back PAGES: 242 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: World War 2, World War II, WWII, Second World War, Great Patriotic War, Eastern Front, German Army, Red Army, oil fields, Stalingrad, Panzers, war of attrition, weather conditions, politics, Hitler, German Generals
IMAGE: B2878.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/yxcgm5f3 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: Alternative histories provide intriguing possibilities but can also ignore some of the situations that explain how the real history was formed. This book makes a very good job of arguing the case with solid evidence, some fresh insights, and presents it in an absorbing and enjoyable text with good illustration, including a photo plate section. – Very Highly Recommended The author has provided a very credible alternative view of one of the great battles and turning points of WWII. Of course, we know how things turned out in reality, and we also know some of the reasons, but this fresh review of the situation, and what could have been done differently for a different outcome, offers convincing arguments. In the process, it is a provoking and controversial account that some readers may not accept, but it is well-argued and supported, making it very good reading and important to all with an interest in WWII as a military history. It also demonstrates that military history can always benefit from fresh insights. Certainly, the German Generals intended to bypass Stalingrad and starve it while they concentrated on their primary objective to taking the rich oil fields of the Caucasus. Their military objectives were achievable because the panzer armies were moving swiftly across huge areas with the Soviets falling back before them. The manuals on which the blitz krieg was built worked superbly in Poland, the Low Countries and France. There was no need to slow, or halt, the rapid advance by taking every strong point, town, or other fixed asset. The panzer spearhead kept going forward, isolated features like towns and left them for the following foot soldiers and the bombers. In most cases, little effort was required to deal with these by-passed enemy pockets because the advancing panzers forced surrender on the enemy. In war, victory is often a matter of building and maintaining momentum. The enemy can always benefit from a temporary slow down or halt. The British could have won at Arnhem if they had been able to maintain the momentum that carried their advanced troops to the bridge at Arnhem. That momentum faltered because the reinforcements and fresh supplies required more aircraft than were available and the initial airborne troops were insufficient to hold the drop zones and advance to the primary objective. As the Germans overran the drop zones, what transport planes were available ended up dropping most of their cargoes to the Germans. There were several parallels with the plight of the German Army occupying Stalingrad. In the Stalingrad saga, Hitler proved to be the most valuable weapon of Germany's enemies. He insisted on the taking of Stalingrad and Stalin insisted on the Red Army throwing the Germans out. The main motivation for both Hitler and Stalin was that this city was named for Stalin. Its loss to Germany would have been an enormous propaganda defeat beyond any military or other benefits. Once Hitler had ordered the taking of Stalingrad, the German Army lost momentum and the Russians devoted more resources than they would have considered for any other city. It also meant that the Germans lost their race with winter and, as they were not adequately prepared for winter fighting, they faced one further major disadvantage. Whether the Germans could have maintained their momentum by isolating and passing by Stalingrad is arguable. Their lines of communication were already over stretched because of the speed of their advance. They ended up dividing forces to secure Stalingrad but that did nothing to aid their logistics challenges, suggesting that they could have had enough resources to reach the oilfields had they not become embroiled in bitter street fighting. By not reaching the oilfields, the Germans made ultimate total defeat inevitable because the late stages of the war saw them frequently running out of fuel for vehicles and aircraft. However, it can be as convincingly argued that they were defeated at Dunkirk when the BEF and many French troops escaped to Britain and the RAF then successfully withstood the German air assault that failed to win German air superiority over Britain to enable an invasion to be launched. The author offers compelling arguments and proof in support of his fresh insight into the Disaster at Stalingrad.