Reading the book ' Stalingrad--The Turning Point ' by Geoffrey Jukes. It is about the battle of Stalingrad ( 1942-1943 ), in which Field Marshal Paulus, under Hitlers's instructions, threw scores of German divisions in suicidal attacks at Stalingrad, which were repulsed and annihilated by the Russians in the most vicious battles of the Second World War.
The flexibility and imaginativeness of the Russian defence, and the boldness of the counter offensive, planned and executed primarly by Marshals Zhukov and Vasilevsky of the Russian army,was in sharp contrast with the dull 'mincing machine' approach adopted by Paulus and the German High Command ( OKW ).
The trap on the German 6th Army and part of the 4th army was laid superbly by Zhukov, Vasilevsky, Yeremenko, Rokossovsky, Vatutin and Stavka ( the Russian High Command ), resulting in 330,000 German soldiers being surrounded in the Cauldron, of which only 91,000, including `1 Field Marshal ( Paulus ), and 24 Generals were taken prisoners. Of these, only 5000 survived the war.
The Russians fought heroically, even unto death, against fearsome odds. No wonder the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, presenting the Sword of Honour for the city of Stalingrad, to Soviet Prime Minister Stalin, said " The Russian army tore the guts out of the German war machine ".
Stalingrad marked the turning point of the Second World War. The military balance thereafter shifted in favour of the Russians