By Edwin P. Hoyt
The tale of the siege through the acclaimed writer of Hitler's WarIn 199 Days, acclaimed historian Edwin P. Hoyt depicts the epic conflict for Stalingrad in all its electrifying pleasure and savage horror. greater than the bloodiest skirmish in history-a momentous clash costing 3 million lives-the siege was once a hinge upon which the process historical past rested. Had the crimson military fallen, the Nazi juggernaut could have rolled over Russia. Had the German's no longer held out in the course of these previous few months, Stalin may have painted Europe purple. Now, over 50 years after the main notable conflict of the second one millenium, the reality approximately this decisive second is ultimately printed.
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Extra resources for 199 Days : The Battle for Stalingrad
The troops of Army Group Center were ordered to hold the line everywhere. This grim news reached the Eastern Front in the early minutes of the new year. To make the orders more palatable, Hitler tried a ploy he was to repeat at Stalingrad: he elevated the 3rd and 4th groups to army status, although the physical strength of each was more like that of a corps. Hitler gave a New Year's proclamation to Germany's people which was carried in the Volkischer Beobachter, the Nazi Party newspaper. He spoke of the victories of 1941, and promised more for 1942, and he lamented the series of events that had forced war on him, Adolf Hitler, a man of peace.
Southwest of Moscow, Guderian was in deep trouble, trying to reduce the bulge, or salient, he had driven deep into the Russian lines. A few days before, it had seemed he was on the lip of victory. Now he was on the brink of defeat. His 2nd Panzer Army was suffering from all the troubles of the cold. The vehicles would not start and were being abandoned by the score. In two days one corps alone reported 1,500 frostbite cases, 350 of which required amputation, and that meant soldiers out of the fighting.
Russian civilians found their winter furs and felt boots being requisitioned by the Germans. On a local basis this requisitioning relieved some units here and there. The disparity in weapons was now becoming apparent as well. The 2nd Panzer Army had only 70 tanks in operation and 168 under repair. Since June it had been given 970 tanks. The Russian T-34 tank had proved to be the master of the German tanks, and the most effective German weapon against them was the field artillery. But the Russians did not yet have enough of the powerful tanks to keep going long.