At the beginning of the World War II, Stalingrad was a city of 500,000 people and was the third largest industrial city in the Soviet Union.
It produced a quarter of the Russian tractors and vehicles as well as tanks, guns, and other weapons. Their factories were the main suppliers of the most mass produced tank in the war, the T-34, that subsequently won the battle of Kursk. The city is located on the Volga River which was the main commercial water link for the Soviet Union. Also, Stalingrad was the steppingstone to the Caucasus Mountains where lay vast oil resources that the Nazis wanted to capture. Conquering Stalingrad in the heart of Russia was seen by the Nazis as a key to seizing and holding all of Soviet Union. In addition, the city was named after Stalin which made it significant for both sides as the Germans, especially Hitler desired to capture it and the Russians to defend their leaders city.
Through the months of August to February of 1942-43, the Soviets pulled off a comeback far superior to the Cavaliers beating the Warriors in the 2016 finals. On June 22, 1941, Hitler launched operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. The operation involved almost 4 million troops, and by August of the following year the German troops reached the outskirts of Stalingrad. Germany amassed 1 million soldiers including thousands of tanks, artillery pieces, and planes on the Russian step, west of the city. The Germans launched their attack on the city of Stalingrad on August 23, 1942.
Now, even before the combat began, Germans made a mistake that cost them the battle after the decision to attack the city was made. Instead of carefully planning out the invasion and mapping out the most viable options, the decision forced them to engage in side to side warfare. The region surrounding Stalingrad was strategically significant because of the many reasons listed above, however the city itself was not as important as the battle would suggest. To further explain, German troops could have presumably surrounded and starved the city with tanks as well as shelling the city with gunfire which would be followed by declaring victory. Now, by getting involved in the actual fighting in the city itself, the Germans lost their greatest advantage of tactics and mobility. In the forefront of the organized resistance were units of the red army and the workers militia. Nonetheless, the workers militia fortified every factory, workplace, and corners of all the streets in order to ensure that any invading force would be repulsed. As said by the USSR leader Stalin, not one step back became the battle cry of Stalingrad, however within three months of fighting the Germans were able to capture 90% of the city. Just when Germany thought they won, a counteroffensive was arranged by the Soviets under General Zhukov. His plan was to attack the weaker Axis troops protecting the German flank in a pincer movement which would cut off the sixth army from their supply line. The outnumbered Axis troops were easily defeated and General Zhukov was able to surround the city leaving the enclosed sixth army to be plagued by starvation, disease, and frostbite. Because of Hitler’s vicious mentality of fighting till the last man stands, he order the sixth army to not surrender and promised for reinforcements. In February 1943, the German General of the sixth army, Friedrich Paulus was captured forcing the army to shamefully surrender because the German reinforcements never arrived. There were tremendous casualties on both sides of the front, however Stalingrad had been the biggest defeat in the history of the German army and a critical turning point for the Allies. This turning point prevented the loss of vital oil fields that would deprive most of the Soviets oil which would be a detrimental blow to their industrial power while greatly strengthening Germany’s. Because of the change in the course of the war, in Russia, a new quality emerged where the people and the their communist leadership became one. After Stalingrad, Germany would never again win any decisive battles on the eastern front and the Soviet Union with the anti-fascist resistance carried this unstoppable push forward, all the way to Berlin. Looking at Stalingrad through a Soviet perspective, the aim, determination, and the expression of motivation to realize the justice of their cause can be seen in their deeds, the people rose to defend their city, their Soviet motherland, and the workers state. The months following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Empire triumphed in the Pacific winning many small battles with rich resource territories, however they still found themselves in a difficult position. Japan’s main enemy, United States, had not shown any signs of surrender which worried Japan’s leaders as they knew the US industrial-strength would ultimately defeat them. Japan needed was a decisive battle, one that would demoralize the Americans and finally bring them to the negotiating table. It was considered that the Americans center of gravity in the Pacific was the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii, specifically it’s carriers. Destroy this and you will destroy their will to continue the war, therefore the only chance Japan had of winning the war was of the American carrier fleet was destroyed.Japanese abandoned their plan to expand into the Pacific and would remain on the defense for remainder of World War II. The American victory exemplified the indispensable power of code breaking and tactical foresight. This was the turning point Americans needed to shift the war in the Pacific in their direction. The Japanese military had lost a great deal of morale, but the US military and the American public were energized for the first time since Pearl Harbor. The Japanese could be defeated and the Americans would be the ones to do it.During the time period between January and August of 1943-1944, significant decisions were made that helped factor in the efforts to shape the remainder of World War II in the favor of the Allies. The historic event which would be remembered as a celebrated day through the acts of heroism and patriotism of soldiers occurred on a stormy morning of June 6, 1944. The D-Day invasion was monumental because it was the largest amphibious attack in world history. Since D-Day was such a massive project which comprised of many military strategies and decisions from different countries, it was a huge risk because if the Germans discovered where the invasion was taking place, the Allies would not have been able to win the battle and recover, ultimately leading to Germany winning WW2. This whole operation served as a somewhat proof that the Allies have improved from their past mistakes and this invasion was the culmination of everything they have learned in their former military attacks. Germany suffered the greatest loss that they have experienced so far in the war as it placed a significant dent in the German military It took the Allies over 11 months to plan this whole elaborate operation which started at the Tehran Conference. This conference occurred in late November of 1943, where the leaders of the most powerful Allied Nations – USA, USSR, and the British Empire – met to discuss strategies on defeating Nazi Germany. It was difficult to trust Stalin, since the USSR leader had a past of betraying his allies, but Roosevelt and Churchill had to abide to his pressing demands on having a two front war even though both of them had other plans in mind. In addition, if the Soviet were able to beat Nazi Germany, communism would spread as post war Europe would be under Stalins rule. The following months were arduous for all parties involved as much of their resources had to be moved to Britain undercover. Choosing the right location was vital to the whole operation as well as masking it for the Germans to believe it was somewhere else. The beaches of Normandy would post issues as the landing forces would not be as strong as they could be due to limited landing craft and paratrooper aircraft. Two strategies which were both a success were set in order to combat this issue. First, the Allies launched intense aircraft attacks to bomb railway lines, roads and bridges across France with the aim of making it difficult for the Germans to move reinforcements easily into Normandy. Secondly, a deception plan was in motion which convinced the Germans that the Allies were planning to land further east around the Pas-De-Calais region. The main reason why the D-Day invasion was important was because it happened to take place at a time when Germany had already conquered almost all of Europe, and it was a necessity for the Allies to set a lodgement for themselves in order to have any chance of defeating Germany. This was the Allies one and only chance of completing this operation. Aside from establishing a foothold in Europe, the key objective was to capture the city of Caen which layed south from the British assault area. This city was a strategically important road junction since beyond it laid open country suitable for the development of armored formations and construction of airfields that the Allies could use. Hitler’s rule of no retreat and fighting till the last man standing ultimately caused the death of a lot more Germans than the Allies originally expected. At 6am on June 6, 1944, the Allied forces comprised of the USA, the British Empire, and Canada rushed the stormy beaches of Normandy defeating the German defenses. This substantial victory against the German forces caused a huge boost in morale amongst the Allied soldiers as well as proving that absolute victory against Germany was possible. After this event, Germany was no longer seen as the unbeatable force that they used to be. To follow up, the extremely disorganized response that Germany showed against the invasion granted, Hitler did not take the Normandy attacks as seriously as he should, furthermore proved that they have a weakness which can be beaten with calculated strategies. Now that the allies have gained a foothold in Europe, they started to destroy bridges and trails that were commonly used by the German army in efforts to stop Germany from regaining the land that they have presumably occupied. This contributed to the Allies gaining lots of land in France, conclusively leading to the liberation of Paris on August 25th.This would deny Germany from any further exportation of France’s economic and manpower resources that they had previously been using to fight the Allies. Henceforth, with over one million Allied troops in Europe, the two front war against Germany had successfully begun with the Allies on the Western front and the Soviets on the Eastern front. If it wasn’t for the favorable outcome of the D-Day invasion, Nazi Germany would proceed to only be fighting against the Soviets and Germany’s superior military would eventually end up winning against the them. This would result in Germany controlling all of Europe as well as all of Russia making it essentially impossible to overpower. Fortunately, D-Day was a monumental ascendancy for the Allies, however Hitler’s stubbornly maintained the attitude of being able to easily crush the Allied invasion force in due time and ignored anything or anyone opposing a different tactic, including his generals. Concurringly, he made it outright transparent that the war would continue indefinitely and enforced his rule of no retreat as well as fight until the last man standing which would promptly lead to Nazi Germany’s downfall. Because of Hitler’s adamant mentality, many highly ranked SS officers and generals soon lost faith in him and finally realized that he was not fit to control or to make important decisions on behalf of Germany’s military. Patently, now that the American, British, and Commonwealth countries were fighting Germany on the Western front as well as the Soviets attacking Germany on the Eastern front, they were trapped having nowhere to go and not possessing the resources needed to defeat both adversaries.