Seventy years since Nuremburg

Sep 2012
9,171
India
#51
From what I've read there were 93,000 POWs.



Manstein was a very capable commander and highly qualified to offer informed opinion about German prospects soon after Stalingrad. His view was that, as hard a blow as Stalingrad was, it didn't necessarily mean the war was lost. It's likely that, had Manstein been heeded, Germany could've ended the war in the east on favorable terms before 1944.
The usual figure of prisoners at Stalingrad is 91000. However the break up I saw in another reference gave 60,000 killed, 35000 flying out of the pocket, 10000 fighting on in the pocket and 105000 prisoners out of 210,000 German personnel. This is from Google reference as below.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Stalingrad
I have to emphasise here that the battle of Stalingrad was the beginning of the end of the German war effort in Soviet Russia, it was thereafter a question of trying to stem the onrushing flood of the confident and ever stronger Red Army. There is no ground to believe that Stalin and his Government would have ever accepted any kind of armistice or a compromise peace after Stalingrad. They knew it after Stalingrad that the enemy had received a punishing blow and were sure of their victory thenceforth.
 
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starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,081
Connecticut
#52
There is no ground to believe that Stalin and his Government would have ever accepted any kind of armistice or a compromise peace after Stalingrad. They knew it after Stalingrad that the enemy had received a punishing blow and were sure of their victory thenceforth.
No not quite. In March 1943 Manstein demonstrated quite clearly that Germany wasn't beaten and that Soviet offensive operations were very costly and risky undertakings. Stalin was very concerned that the Germans would establish a defense line based on the Dneiper. Had they done that, right after March 1943, the Soviets would've had an extremely difficult time breaching German defenses. Even if they had broken through, their forces would've been cut to pieces in a counterstroke like those at Kharkov in May 1942 and March 1943.
Realizing (before Kursk) that driving the Germans back would be inordinately costly the Soviets (according to 1 or 2 books I've read) agreed to negotiations after stalingrad. The talks failed because the Germans asked for too much--a Soviet-German border on the Dneiper. But the point is the Soviets, after March 1943, were not all that confident they could recover their lost territory at an acceptable price militarily if at all.
 
Sep 2012
9,171
India
#53
No not quite. In March 1943 Manstein demonstrated quite clearly that Germany wasn't beaten and that Soviet offensive operations were very costly and risky undertakings. Stalin was very concerned that the Germans would establish a defense line based on the Dneiper. Had they done that, right after March 1943, the Soviets would've had an extremely difficult time breaching German defenses. Even if they had broken through, their forces would've been cut to pieces in a counterstroke like those at Kharkov in May 1942 and March 1943.
Realizing (before Kursk) that driving the Germans back would be inordinately costly the Soviets (according to 1 or 2 books I've read) agreed to negotiations after stalingrad. The talks failed because the Germans asked for too much--a Soviet-German border on the Dneiper. But the point is the Soviets, after March 1943, were not all that confident they could recover their lost territory at an acceptable price militarily if at all.
I am quoting herewith an extract of a letter written by Marshal Zhukov to his wife dated 5th October 1943 ( referred from ' Stalin's General The Life of Georgy Zhukov ' by Geoffrey Roberts, page 180 from 2012 edition) " We are sitting on the Dnepr. The Germans would like to hold out on the Dnepr But it is apparent that they will not succeed. " It may be of interest that the Soviet forces had deliberately gone on the defensive since mid-April 1943. Operation Citadel started by Germans on 4-5th July 1943.The attack was called off by Hitler after the Prokhorovka battle i.e. after 12 th July 1943. Immediately thereafter the 2nd battle for Ukraine started in August 1943. My point in quoting these timelines is that after failure at Kursk, Hitler just could not sustain the offensive and had to fall back continuously all the way to Berlin. Why would the Soviets offer any compromise when they were clearly winning.
 
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starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,081
Connecticut
#54
I am quoting herewith an extract of a letter written by Marshal Zhukov to his wife dated 5th October 1943 ( referred from ' Stalin's General The Life of Georgy Zhukov ' by Geoffrey Roberts, page 180 from 2012 edition) " We are sitting on the Dnepr. The Germans would like to hold out on the Dnepr But it is apparent that they will not succeed. " It may be of interest that the Soviet forces had deliberately gone on the defensive since mid-April 1943. Operation Citadel started by Germans on 4-5th July 1943.The attack was called off by Hitler after the Prokhorovka battle i.e. after 12 th July 1943. Immediately thereafter the 2nd battle for Ukraine started in August 1943. My point in quoting these timelines is that after failure at Kursk, Hitler just could not sustain the offensive and had to fall back continuously all the way to Berlin. Why would the Soviets offer any compromise when they were clearly winning.
I meant the Germans might've prevailed in an alternate history scenario, in which they avoided the mistakes they made historically. Instead of squandering much of their remaining panzer forces at Kursk, they should've withdrawn behind the Dneiper right after March 1943. Their defenses would've been much stronger had they conserved their strength that way instead of squandering it as in real life--not only via kursk, but by trying to defend in eastern Ukraine, where defense was difficult (few geographical barriers).
 
Sep 2012
9,171
India
#55
I meant the Germans might've prevailed in an alternate history scenario, in which they avoided the mistakes they made historically. Instead of squandering much of their remaining panzer forces at Kursk, they should've withdrawn behind the Dneiper right after March 1943. Their defenses would've been much stronger had they conserved their strength that way instead of squandering it as in real life--not only via kursk, but by trying to defend in eastern Ukraine, where defense was difficult (few geographical barriers).
Talking of alternative scenarios , German ought not to have attacked the Soviet Union. They would have been the victors in WW II or at least in a very strong position had they tackled Britain first and at least fought her to a draw, by summer 1941. No doubt Stalin wanted to attack Germany, but was held back by the poor performance of his army against Finland and his own purges of his army. But he could have been dealt with by a strongly defensive Germany who might have been freed from a strong enemy like Britain by that time.
Basically Hitler was a land warrior and disregarded sound advice by his Admiral Raeder. But then he had already squandered his precious few resources on building up a big armoured army, when he could have added some sizable numbers of U-boats to his fleet.
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,081
Connecticut
#56
Talking of alternative scenarios , German ought not to have attacked the Soviet Union.
Good advice although if Germany had attacked Russia but then sought peace anytime from October 1941 to August 1942 they probably could've negotiated a settlement leaving them territorially a lot better off in the east than they were in May 1941.


They would have been the victors in WW II or at least in a very strong position had they tackled Britain first and at least fought her to a draw, by summer 1941.
It's possible that, if Germany had neither attacked the USSR nor declared war on the US, the war with Britain would've eventually petered out leaving Germany master of most of the continent.



No doubt Stalin wanted to attack Germany,
I don't think so; he was afraid of the reich, for good reason.

Basically Hitler was a land warrior and disregarded sound advice by his Admiral Raeder. But then he had already squandered his precious few resources on building up a big armoured army, when he could have added some sizable numbers of U-boats to his fleet.
The investment in armor down to 1940 was barely adequate. More U-boats, yes, but by sacrificing Bismarck and Tirpitz not panzers. Inevitably Germany had to emphasize land power because it was surrounded by enemies--or potential targets-- on land.
 
Sep 2012
9,171
India
#57
Good advice although if Germany had attacked Russia but then sought peace anytime from October 1941 to August 1942 they probably could've negotiated a settlement leaving them territorially a lot better off in the east than they were in May 1941.




It's possible that, if Germany had neither attacked the USSR nor declared war on the US, the war with Britain would've eventually petered out leaving Germany master of most of the continent.





I don't think so; he was afraid of the reich, for good reason.



The investment in armor down to 1940 was barely adequate. More U-boats, yes, but by sacrificing Bismarck and Tirpitz not panzers. Inevitably Germany had to emphasize land power because it was surrounded by enemies--or potential targets-- on land.
I agree with your last point regarding Bismarck and Tirpitz. A collosal waste of precious resources.
 
Sep 2012
9,171
India
#58
I say that the trial was definitely necessary to put across to the world the brutality of the Nazi set up, but may be some of the sentences could have been for life imprisonments rather than for death.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,815
Sydney
#59
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The problem was that with 60 millions dead , millions of civilians in horror letting the leadership alive would be seen as unnatural justice .

It was pretty good not taking out revenge on the German population at large or Germany as a political entity .they would have deserved more pain than what they got
 

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