Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#26

Post by chancery » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:18 pm

But of course, without US and British help, the Soviet Union would not have had the tanks to pull this one of.We made their T-34s for them? JS-1s? KV-1s and KV-2s? Lend-lease gear was of great use to them, but their tanks were their design, built by them with the ground they were going to fight over in mind. Their tanks utilized wider tracks for greater cross-country mobility.I'm not any kind of WW2 equipment buff, but I thought it was generally accepted that the Studebaker 2.5 ton truck was the most valuable vehicle supplied to Russia under Lend-Lease,* and that the T-34, as modified, was overall the outstanding tank of the war, when considerations such as reliability are included.____________*Although I just saw an interesting Wikipedia mention of [/break1]wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_military_vehicles_of_World_War_II#Motor_vehicles]the Russians' use of the British/Canadian Valentine tank, an [/break1]wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine_tank#Combat_history]apparently reliable light tank that I'd never heard of before. But as I said, I'm no kind of buff.

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#27

Post by SueDB » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:53 pm

But of course, without US and British help, the Soviet Union would not have had the tanks to pull this one of.We made their T-34s for them? JS-1s? KV-1s and KV-2s? Lend-lease gear was of great use to them, but their tanks were their design, built by them with the ground they were going to fight over in mind. Their tanks utilized wider tracks for greater cross-country mobility.Except for the Shermans sent through lend lease.[/break1]com/WW2/History/Production/Russia/Lend-Lease.htm]Lend Lease Support for USSR WWIILend Lease TanksThe Red Army used extensive quantities of Lend-Lease tanks and other armoured vehicles from the USA, Great Britain and Canada. A total of 22,800 armoured vehicles were supplied to the Red Army during the war, of which 1,981 were lost at sea on the dangerous Arctic convoys. In total, Lend Lease armoured vehicles amounted to about 20 per cent of the total number of armoured vehicles manufactured by Russia in WW2. These shipments were the equivalent of 16 per cent of Soviet tank production, 12 per cent of self-propelled gun production, and all of Soviet armoured troop transporter production, because the Soviet Union did not produce armoured troop carriers during the war.The first shipments of tanks were dispatched in 1941, amounting to 487 Matildas, Valentines and Tetrarchs from the UK and 182 M3A1 Stuart light tanks and M3 Lee medium tanks from the USA. In 1942, Britain provided a further 2,487 tanks and the USA 3,023 tanks. The first units equipped with Valentines and Matildas went into service in the Staraya Russa and Valdai areas in December 1941 and January 1942.At the beginning of 1943, there were 1,023 Lend-Lease tanks in Soviet units although 6,179 had been received since 1941. In 1944 and 1945, with a major influx of American M4A2 Sherman medium tanks, some tank corps and mechanized corps were equipped entirely with this tank type. The M4A2 Sherman was not as brilliant a design as the T-34, but in post-war encounters between them in Korea and the Middle East, the US tank was invariably the victor despite the superiority of the T-34 on paper.Far more critical to the Soviet war effort was the supply of tactical vehicles, primarily from the United States. During the war, the Soviet Union produced only 343,624 cars and lorries due to the heavy commitment of major automobile factories like GAZ to armoured vehicle production. The USA alone provided the Soviets with 501,660 tactical wheeled and tracked vehicles, including 77,972 jeeps, 151,053 1-1/2-ton trucks, and 200,622 2-1/2-ton trucks. The aid was vital, not only because of the sheer quantity, but because of the quality. While Soviet auto­motive production concentrated almost exclusively on antiquated copies of American 1930 lorry designs, the vehicles provided under Lend-Lease were modern military designs with multiple powered axles and useful cross-country capability.In addition, 15,631 artillery guns and 131,633 sub-machine guns were supplied by the Allies to the Soviet Union.
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#28

Post by Paul Pieniezny » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:04 pm

But of course, without US and British help, the Soviet Union would not have had the tanks to pull this one of.We made their T-34s for them? JS-1s? KV-1s and KV-2s? Lend-lease gear was of great use to them, but their tanks were their design, built by them with the ground they were going to fight over in mind. Their tanks utilized wider tracks for greater cross-country mobility.No, they designed and build those on their own, but without the help, not all those tanks would have been available at the time. It would have taken them more time, and time was of the essence on the Eastern front after the Germand failed to take Moscow in 1941. The Red Army would probably have been able to bounce back even if "Stalingrad" had happened in 1943, but not in 1944. These Russian tanks were made in the East and had to be brought to the front, with all the risks to rail and trains from Stuka attacks. Which explains what the British lent to the Soviet Union (yes, they started before Pearl Harbor, but because of lend lease did discuss it with the USA first). Of all the British aid to the Soviet Union, the Hurricanes were the most spectacular gift, but medical equipment, railroad equipment (!) and yes tanks were also shipped.





The funny part about the planes was, that even while the British were training Russian pilots, so many were delivered that together with fast increasing Soviet production, the Red Army soon had a shortage of pilots. That is where the Free French came in. [I do not know whether the Poles supplied ANY pilots. Any Polish pilots who survived the Stalinist killing of the Polish officers probably were among the first permitted to leave and fight on the British side. But it needs checking.]





One of the reasons why cavalry was used to attack at Stalingrad may have been that there were not enough tanks. Though the belief that Italians would have been more frightened of supposed Cossacks attacking them, is also a possible expalnation.

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#29

Post by chancery » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:10 pm

Except for the Shermans sent through lend lease.Ah, thanks. I thought I recalled something about Shermans, but was too lazy to drill down to find it. But I think your quote supports my comments about trucks.Interesting remark in your quote about the Shermans doing better than the T-34s in post-WW2 combat. It strikes me as curious; I've been reading a bit about the Normandy campaign, and none of the allied tanks seemed like very good places to be in those battles.I suppose the devil might be in details such as which versions were involved, and how well they were maintained, crews trained, etc.

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#30

Post by SueDB » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:11 pm

With the cavalry I would think that horse borne mobility against non armored and assumed not very mechanized troops in the freezing winter makes sense. Horse can give you a huge advantage when the weather is so cold the armor and other vehicles freeze up. You have to run the engines continually otherwise they won't start again if shut off. -60F adding a wind is the coldest I have been out in. Let me tell you that diesel forms a gel in tanks and fuel lines very fast. Most fuel tanks are exposed to the cold on the outside or frame of a vehicle and not equipped with heaters. To thaw our vehicles when the got that way in the interior Alaskan winter, we had to use 400,000 BTU forced air heaters run off of a gasoline lawnmower engine to run the big fan.
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#31

Post by John Thomas8 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:52 pm

Shermans in every theater of operations earned a nickname: Ronson. Because it would light every time when struck. We cranked out a bunch of 'em, but it was a instance of quantity over quality.

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#32

Post by SueDB » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:37 pm

Shermans in every theater of operations earned a nickname: Ronson. Because it would light every time when struck. We cranked out a bunch of 'em, but it was a instance of quantity over quality.And the ants overwhelmed the Tiger, even a King Tiger at every turn.
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#33

Post by SueDB » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:41 pm

One of the things I consider tragic is that in the beginning, the reinforcements were only trickled across the river to keep the fighting going, not to win. Having millions sent to a certain fate is not a pleasant. At the other end, the Siege of Leningrad is still ongoing with and without help from the Finns.
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#34

Post by ZekeB » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:19 pm

Marching was an efficient way to move troops before the advent of the railroads and other mass transportation methods. It seems to me that goose stepping would be a very inefficient way of walking/marching. I'd like to know who in the world dreamed up the goose step march.
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#35

Post by SueDB » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:46 pm

Marching was an efficient way to move troops before the advent of the railroads and other mass transportation methods. It seems to me that goose stepping would be a very inefficient way of walking/marching. I'd like to know who in the world dreamed up the goose step march.It is still an efficient way to deal with troops regardless of transportation. You don't always get dropped off in the middle of the battlefield. Sometime you have to hike a ways.Goose step....it is a ceremonial march. No, I would never try anything like that on a hike in the tules.
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#36

Post by Estiveo » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:13 am

I don't have a lot of first-hand stories of WWII from relatives/friends. My father was in Korea, and didn't want to talk about it. The only Grandfather I knew was in WWI and didn't want to talk about it. (Grampa was my step-grandfather and was 18 years older than my grandma, but the best Grandpa evar!)Anyway, the WWII stories I have first hand are from family friends. One was actually Hitler Youth; came to the U.S. in the early fifties with his parents. He used to talk about his life as a pre-teen/teen in Nazi Germany to high school history classes, but he's mostly retired from that now.The other family friend was involved in the liberation of Dachau. Haunted is the best term I can think of for him. A few paragraphs of his account are found in the book, Dachau, 29 April 1945, The Rainbow Liberation Memoirs, edited by Sam Dann. ©1998 Texas Tech University Press, pages 104-106. As far as I know, this is the most complete account he ever gave, and includes his return visit with his wife in the 90's. The most he ever said to me was, "I was at Dachau. I never left."
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#37

Post by brommbaer » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:02 am

I don't have a lot of first-hand stories of WWII from relatives/friends. My father was in Korea, and didn't want to talk about it. The only Grandfather I knew was in WWI and didn't want to talk about it.That is exactly my experience, only one generation further back:


My father was in WW I for one year, as a German soldier in the trenches in the Champagne, and he never talked about it. It was only from my mother that I learned that he was rather ill with dysentery during that war.





His father died about 10 years before I was born, and there is nobody around whom I could ask, so I do not know wether he wanted to talk about his war. He was a Prussian soldier in the war against France, 1870/1871. Yes I know :geezer: :lol:





It never ceases to amaze me in retrospect that I started school exactly four years after WW II ended - and nobody talked about the war. Much less about possible experiences at the front. But of course the consequences of the war were always there, classmates whose fathers were dead or missing, buildings still in ruins etc., families uprooted - like my own, but since I had grown up with that it was nothing special.

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#38

Post by Roboe » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:47 am

One of the things I consider tragic is that in the beginning, the reinforcements were only trickled across the river to keep the fighting going, not to win. Having millions sent to a certain fate is not a pleasant. At the other end, the Siege of Leningrad is still ongoing with and without help from the Finns.To give a perspective: Of the 10,000-strong 13th Guards Rifle Division that was sent across the river to defend Stalingrad from mid-September 1942, only 280-320 were alive in February 1943.

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#39

Post by TollandRCR » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:37 pm

The professor could be one the 50,000 German Stalingrad POWs who returned. Many died in captivity because of contagious diseases that they already had when captured. Note that the survival chance of a German POW in the Soviet Union was twice that of a Soviet POW in Germany, even though most German POWs were only released many years after the war. Stalingrad was an exception. About no German soldiers on the Western Front: almost all the East European POWs and defectors whom the nazis convinced to fight on their side were sent to the Western front. Did not the US too prefer to send Japanese American soldiers to Europe to fight the Germans? Of course except for the spies and interpreters. Reports about the first POWs taken on June 6th, 1944, said that most of them were Russians.The professor that I mentioned was Paul Lorenzen. He had already completed his studies at the University of Gottingen and was understood to be a outstanding mathematician and logician. I suspect that he was on the Eastern Front to employ his mathematics in artillery. I also suspect that he was one of the first ones in the air lift. I mentioned him because he is, to me, an example of a German who fought in the war but was never a Nazi. Although Hitler did have his millions of willing executioners, he also had soldiers who were caught up in a war not of their making. Unfortunately, rockets, grenades, and bullets did not discern the difference.
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#40

Post by TollandRCR » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:02 pm

Off Topic
I am on the Pacific coast in Yachats, OR, visiting a friend for Thanksgiving. Portland was having very high winds and hoirizontal rain on Sunday and Monday. Some bridges were closed. Crossing the Coast Range from I-5 was interesting. Yachats had two one-minute hail storms yesterday, complete with thunder and lightning.So this morning I was talking with a slightly older fellow who now lives in Canada. When the first hail storm came, his wife went into a panic, so much so that they got into their car to drive to Newport for psychiatric assistance. The pills had not worked.She goes into a panic whenever there is thunder and lightning. They both grew up in Berlin during the war. They experienced the Allied bombing raids of 1942-1943 before being evacuated to the Bavarian Alps along with their mothers. An antiaircraft battery was at the end of his block. At about six years old, he had learned to sleep as a firefighter sleeps: everything ready at the foot of the bed, including a toy car. He had to make it down four flights of nine steps each to the bomb shelter.When he and his mother were evacuated, they were in a much safer place, but there was even less food than was available to civilians in Berlin. The community of mothers and their children foraged for nuts, nettles, and anything else that could be turned into food. Not everybody lived.I asked him when he first realized that Germany was defeated. He was very definite: when they saw the Germans racing back to Berlin from Italy, with the Allies in hot pursuit. The German retreat was very disorderly; they had trucks turn over and other accidents as they raced back. One of the overturned trucks was a supply truck; he believes that it carried supplies for officers. The evacuee community took what they could from the truck: food, wine, and a special kind of chocolate. The chocolate was heavily laced with caffeine. He ate many bars over several days, resulting in total constipation. He and his mother went up the road to a small American encampment where they found a tent with a red cross. Inside the tent was a black medic, the first black person he had ever seen. The medic dispensed something that solved his problem and told him to eat no more of that chocolate.It was days before Allies arrived with enough food to feed the evacuees. When he and his mother returned to Berlin, they found their apartment in the American sector still standing but no food. Then care packages started arriving from the states. He observed that Americans and Canadians had just remembered the veterans but that nobody ever talks about the civilians who were injured and killed. He believes that far more German civilians were killed than were German soldiers. Why don't we remember them, no matter which side their country was on?
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#41

Post by Foggy » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:18 pm

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He believes that far more German civilians were killed than were German soldiers. Why don't we remember them, no matter which side their country was on?Because we're not proud of what we did to civilian populations in WWII. It was deliberate policy, and it was intended to demoralize the enemy nation as a whole. The firebombing of Dresden. The firebombing of Tokyo. Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All of those killed way more civilians than soldiers. On the other hand, while we had very, very little regard for civilians ... our enemies had none whatsoever. A good example of that is the way the Wehrmacht treated the civilian Russians on the march that ended in Stalingrad.
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#42

Post by Roboe » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:32 pm

Off Topic
He believes that far more German civilians were killed than were German soldiers. Why don't we remember them, no matter which side their country was on?Because we're not proud of what we did to civilian populations in WWII. It was deliberate policy, and it was intended to demoralize the enemy nation as a whole. The firebombing of Dresden. The firebombing of Tokyo. Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All of those killed way more civilians than soldiers. On the other hand, while we had very, very little regard for civilians ... our enemies had none whatsoever. A good example of that is the way the Wehrmacht treated the civilian Russians on the march that ended in Stalingrad.I think most people today still prefer to think of the German population as the one that enabled Hitler and his Nazis to commit such unspeakable crimes, and therefore they deserved what they got during the war.Mind you, there has been a sort of revisionism taking place since at least the 90's, where historians took a critical look at what was previously considered common knowledge. I still remember being shouted at by my Grandmother back in 1998, when I had the audacity to recieve a book that dealt with the large number of Danes who volunteered to serve with the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front. In her mind, they were all dumb losers who had betrayed their country, QED. In reality they represented a wide cross section of the Danish population, some were members of the German minority in Southern Denmark (which had been German territory from 1864 until 1920) and there had been a massive local pressure on them to sign up, others were members of the Danish Army who were concerned about the impact of Bolchevism - and who had been given the green light by the Danish Government to serve in German uniform, a green light that was retroactively removed in 1945.Mind you, I could understand why she was upset. One of her brothers was active in the Danish Resistance until he was discovered, but when the Germans came for him he had already gone underground. So they took the other brother instead and sent him to Germany in his place. This caused such a deep rift between the two that they never spoke to each other again.

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#43

Post by Roboe » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:27 pm

70 years since the Battle of Stalingrad concluded with the surrender of Generalfeldmarschall Paulus and his 6th Army.To mark the anniversary, the Volgograd city council has voted to temporarily change the name of the city to Stalingrad today and a number of other key dates associated with the 'Great Patriotic War'.

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#44

Post by SueDB » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:44 pm

The grave of the Wehrmacht. RIP Soldiers...
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#45

Post by ZekeB » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:06 am

I am looking for a Garand as you speak. Finding one that doesn't have a worn out barrel is becoming quite an endeavor. As it is I expect to only find one with mixed parts.
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#46

Post by SueDB » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:55 am

Make a visit to any one of our allies/former allies. That is where all the surplus weapons went after the "big one".
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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#47

Post by james920 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:15 am

Battles are not good :((

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Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#48

Post by james920 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:56 am

Battle is awesome \ :D /

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Re: Operation Uranus and der Kessel: The Battle of Stalingrad

#49

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:48 pm

Just pulling up this thread cause it is now 75 years since the start of the Battle of Stalingrad.

Sources vary between July 17 and August 23 as to which date the carnage started.

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