Our Debt to Stalingrad

by J. Bradford DeLong J. Bradford DeLong, a former deputy assistant secretary of the US Treasury, is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau for Economic Research. 25.10.2012


"Seventy years ago, 200,000 Soviet soldiers – overwhelmingly male and predominantly Russian – crossed the Volga River to the city of Stalingrad. As members of Vasily Chuikov’s 62nd Army, they grabbed hold of the nose of the Nazi army and did not let go. For five months, they fought. And perhaps 80% of them died in the ruins of the city. On October 15 – a typical day – Chuikov’s battle diary records that a radio message was received from the 416th Regiment at 12:20 PM: “Have been encircled, ammunition and water available, death before surrender!” At 4:35 PM, Lieutenant Colonel Ustinov called down the artillery on his own encircled command post.

But they held on.

And so, 70 years ago this November – on November 19 to be precise – the million-soldier reserve of the Red Army was transferred to General Nikolai Vatutin’s Southwestern Front, Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky’s Don Front, and Marshal Andrei Yeremenko’s Stalingrad Front. They went on to spring the trap of Operation Uranus, the code name for the planned encirclement and annihilation of the German Sixth Army and Fourth Panzer Army. They would fight, die, win, and thus destroy the Nazi hope of dominating Eurasia for even one more year – let alone of establishing Hitler’s 1,000-year Reich.

Together, these 1.2 million Red Army soldiers, the workers who armed them, and the peasants who fed them turned the Battle of Stalingrad into the fight that, of any battle in human history, has made the greatest positive difference for humanity."

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A Book Introduction

Defeating Hitler: Whitehall's Secret Report On Why Hitler Lost the War by Paul Winter

October 13, 2012
Published for the very first time, the top secret report Some Weaknesses in German Strategy and Organisation 1933 - 1945 was prepared by Whitehall's highest intelligence body, the Joint Intelligence Committee, and presented to Britain's Chiefs of Staff in 1946 to 'set down certain aspects of the War whilst there are still sources available who were closely connected with the events described'. Paul Winter sets this unique and important document in its historical setting, providing biographies of key figures referenced in the report and a timeline of the crucial events of the Second World War.

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