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World War II

The German Sixth Army on Stalingrad's Approaches

on Fri, 08/19/2011 - 16:17

By August of 1942 reinforcements sent to assist Army Group B's drive on Stalingrad had transformed the German Sixth Army from a potent assembly of men and machines to the most powerful army in the world, with 22 divisions and supporting units under the command of General Friedrich Paulus. Facing the Sixth Army, and Fourth Panzer Army's seven German and four Romanian divisions, was a Soviet Stalingrad Front that had been decimated in July.

The Briansk Front Versus the German Second Army: July 21- July 29, 1942

on Sat, 01/13/2018 - 21:09

Last year I published a series of articles examining some of the significant but often overlooked Soviet counterstrokes directed against the Sixth Army's flanks outside Stalingrad. To this day, when one thinks of the exposed northwestern shoulder of Germany's drive into the Caucuses, and Soviet efforts to penetrate that flank, they think first and foremost of events exactly like those. However, what one needs to understand is that from Case Blue's first days the Red Army proved far from a passive defender.

Army Group South on the Road to Rostov

on Fri, 12/08/2017 - 20:51

On June 22, 1941 Nazi Germany launched it's invasion of the Soviet Union (codenamed Operation Barbarossa). The Germans concentrated the bulk of their effort in three massive Army Groups (North, Center, and South). In this article, we shall take a look at Army Group South's operations during Barbarossa as well as examine the condition in which the Army Group stood as several key points in the campaign. In this way we can better assess how and why Army Group South fell short in terms of taking its objectives for Barbarossa.

The State of the Red Army on June 22, 1941

on Wed, 11/22/2017 - 21:28

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 Hitler's minions confronted a Soviet military establishment very much in flux. On the one hand, the Red Army was huge - having added four million men to its ranks in the previous three years. On the other hand, Stalin's purges had greatly undermined the doctrinal and leadership basis that had put the Red Army on the path to perhaps being Europe's preeminent military force by the end of the 1930s. In addition to suffering shortages of experienced, well trained officers the Red Army had, much like the Wehrmacht, armed in breadth but not depth.

Evaluating The German Army and Luftwaffe's Growth From September of 1939 to June of 1941

on Mon, 10/23/2017 - 19:41

In a previous article I detailed why as early as 1939 one could see that at least in terms of the equpping and manning of Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht (armed forces) that quantitative measures were proving less important in comparison to the qualitative in deciding the size and shape of Germany's military machine.

From Reichswehr to Wehrmacht

on Mon, 10/09/2017 - 20:59

Though it is popular to think of the 1939-1941 "Blitzkrieg" era Wehrmacht as a near unstoppable war machine, reality is far different. Material shortages similar to those afflicting the German army in the years 1944-1945 were all too apparent during the Third Reich's early war march across Europe and the Mediterranean littoral. Ironically, however these shortages had far more to do with German decision making than the commonly held view that Germany didn't have enough economic resources capable of being converted into military strength.

Notable Problems in Determining World War II Era German Divisional Strength Returns

on Wed, 09/27/2017 - 19:21

For over a decade now, I have sought, via my professionally published work and at this website, to drill down into exactly how and why the Second World War in Europe ended as it did. To that end, the major component of my research has focused on the war fought between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. More specifically, I have sought to show that qualitative elements proved more instructive in determining the outcome of Germany and the Soviet Union's struggle in comparison to other theories that mass/quantitative factors proved decisive in the Red Army's victory.

However, when examining the

How The Air War in the Mediterranean Theater Undermined Germany's Strategic Effort in 1942

on Tue, 07/11/2017 - 17:51

When it comes to World War II, at times it's hard to get past the numbers. After all, they are huge. In the course of civilization there has never been a more destructive war. However, it's imperative in analyzing the reasons why the war ended as it did that we also take account how much qualitative factors proved the trump card in determining victory or defeat.

How the British Strategic Position in 1942 Highlights The Mediterranean Theater's Role in Undermining Germany's Schwerpunkt

on Mon, 06/05/2017 - 00:39

I have often and long argued that the Mediterranean Theater of the War became not just a crucial drain on Nazi Germany's efforts during the Second World War - but perhaps represented the primary cause Hitler's war machine failed to lock down a long-term strategic advantage in Eastern Europe during 1942. There are numerous reasons why this is true. This month I would like to further develop a few of those elements.

World War II: Getting Past the Numbers

on Tue, 04/18/2017 - 19:59

The Second World War ended seventy-two years ago. Yet, today it is still easy to find historians arguing that the reason Germany lost the war boiled down to a numbers game. Perhaps the leading advocate of the brute force thesis behind Germany's predetermined defeat is David Stahel.

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