Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by Class of '42, Apr 27, 2020.
A string of photos showing the aftermath of the biggest disaster on the Eastern Front.
I wouldn't say "the biggest disaster". That was the greatest victory. And these "poor men" have left the bloodiest trail behind them before they themselves tasted bitter taste of defeat. That was well deserved end. They have been beaten badly but not harshly enough to repay them for devastation they left behind: dead children, raped and murdered mothers, elderly, executed pows etc. Too many have returned from captivity.
well put--good call .....thank you
....and occurring ''not long'' after the start of Barbarossa---especially considering the huge victories of the Germans before that
Too many returned? I thought the Stalingrad PoW returned to Germany was only 10%. That's pretty heavy losses. I'm not judging what the Soviets did and understand why they were so angry with the Germans (you cited them above). Additionally the Germans wouldn't even feed some Soviet PoWs and many starved to death in the camps.
A couple years ago there was in Pacific section almost identical situation: someone has shown a photo of Japanese ship sinking with many sailors staring hopelessly towards the inevitable end in waves. That photo was described as a "tragedy". Looking at it without a clear context the photo itself encourages empathy. But, once you know more, sympathy vanishes and indifference or rather contempt emerges.
I said then: this is a victory, a desirable outcome in a strugle against the Evil. The best thing about the WWII is the happy end. For Germans and Japanese too. Their defeat was a bitter catharsis of these otherwise great nation's.
Less, 5% I think. Too many. I am not insensitive, quite the contrary. My heart is with their numerous victims. May God have mercy upon the Nazi rotten souls.
Combined German losses of 6th Army and 4th Panzer were over 300,000 men
900 aircraft destroyed
1,500 tanks destroyed (100 Romanian)
6,000 guns destroyed
290,000–362,000 (238,000-300,000 captured)
2,422+ aircraft destroyed
600+ aircraft captured
450+ tanks lost
1,000+ guns captured
Your compassion is overwhelming. Anyway, forgot what officer said it and it may have been said at our American Civil War, but it went something like, "When the enemy was fighting, shoot him. When he surrendered, feed him." The animosity on both sides (Soviets and Germans) was high and I can't blame the Soviets for being pissed.
C'est la guerre.
I guess it all depends which side of the war you are on..war is hell as they say.
I find bizzare that there are still individuals that are on the side of murderous Nazi hordes.
In the middle of the fierce fighting in Stalingrad Germans still had enough time and will for hunting civilians and making selection: Healthy Gentiles were send to death camps to work, Jews and unhealthy Gentiles were executed. How can someone possibly be on the side of murderers?
There are many theories why Germans lost and there are many individuals accused of being responsible for the disaster, but the real reason is hidden behind these numbers:
Untill August of 1942, the task of German infantry was simple: walk behind tanks supported by the Luftwaffe and hunt the survivors. But once, the Luftwaffe has lost the air supremacy the German soldier had for the first time to stand up and fight in close combat against the undefeated enemy ready to fight even with just entrenching tool in his hand to protect his own country. For the Nazis that was frightening prospect.
It was the failure of the Luftwaffe that enabled Chuikovs' close combat tactics and the German soldier had to fight a war he wasn't prepared for.
Yet, in 1941 Germans were convinced they will return to home by Christmass and wait for their share of entrenching the Lebensraum at the east. A picnic war has ended with the end of the Luftwaffe air supremacy.
The Nazi and their horrible system had to go. No dispute over it.
But when former enemies could meet as friends and have no animosity towards one another, why perpetuate the hatred? We saw that post-war not only with fighter pilots (Stanford Tuck and Galland) and in the case of a B-17 pilot, Lt. Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler (the man who could have shot Brown out of the sky), but even with Japanese and Marines. There's even a case where a Luftwaffe pilot helped an American Jew escape. The pilot, fond of living and not overly enthusiastic about dying for the fuhrer, wanted out of the war and would use his position as an officer to escort two Americans toward the West. The Americans would see to it that the pilot could safely enter Allies' line (see Gendleman - A Tale of Two Soldiers). Post war they renewed their friendship. Goodbye Darkness by William Manchester tells of one Marine Raider's redemption. Even some Vietnam Era vets have done the same and visited Vietnam but this time in friendship.
I don't see anything to be gained by hating long dead people. The important thing is not to let it happen again.
Something I read long ago....
"The German soldiers, as they stood on the banks of the Volga, must have wondered what exactly had brought them there.
It wasn't a German General. An Austrian politican had"
..of course WW2 was not only the most destructive war--but also reconstructive--Germany and Japan rebuilt with new politics/etc....--it reshaped the world for decades--in civil wars all over...politics...etc ...new countries.....new groups---...but then that created new wars and conflicts
.....a happy end in 1945---but a beginning of reconstruction and more conflicts
The best way to prevent recurrence is to talk freely and openly without fear from insulting perpetrators.
The word "hatred" is commonly misused in conversation to justify unjustifable, to defend undefendable by disqualifying the opposite side, without addressing the real subject of conversation. Here, in this context the right word is "contempt" because in my wiew Nazis lack properties worth respect. Why should I hate utterly beaten ordinary war criminals. I just despise what they did and praise those who defeated them. Victory at Stalingrad was a great achievement for the entire humanity.
Of course. Solutions to problems always create new problems because it is impossible to reconcile the conflicting interests. The problem is inherent o the human nature, not to the common sense.
I have never perpetuated nazi domination as some just cause for the destruction and suffering of others..but I simply feel as a military historian that the Battle of Stalingrad was one of the most compelling and strategic campaigns on the Eastern Front is all. Yes it was a disaster to the Third Reich is all..if you misunderstood me in being sympathetic or supporting Hitler..than I would of joined Storm Front years ago...but I at the same time I have no love for Stalin and his cronies and communist as well...time for a drink or two.
But what your own point of view, or more precisely biass has to do with this?
Is ideology a viable excuse for moaning over death of a horde of murderers who left behind them Babi Yar and many other places of mass atrocities. Does your "affection" towards Stalin absolve them of all their grave sins?
Stop drinking, think.
Class of '42s lack of "affection" for Stalin does not absolve the Germans of their grave sins...Just as you "contempt" for Germans and praise for Soviets for not absolve Stalin & the Soviets of their grave sins.
Funny how you have "contempt" for one mass murderer, yet praise another mass murderer.
Takao, I know that you lack knowledge and common sense, so I don't take you seriously. You constantly use propaganda slogans. Do you use your head for anything else except for combing and chewing hamburgers?