Disaster at Stalingrad, an Alternative History

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

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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

ISBN: 1-52676-073-8

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.