Battle of Stalingrad far more important than D-Day in defeating Germans?

That is asserted here. I always thought D-Day was the main crushing blow.

Battle of Stalingrad


Was the Battle off Stalingrad much more important than D-Day?

I wouldn’t say Stalingrad was “more important”. D-Day gave the Allies a foothold in France, and marked the beginning of the end on the Western front. If Germany had repelled the landing, the war would have lasted longer. German casualties at Stalingrad may have done more damage to their war machine, but the strategic importance of D-Day balances things out in my book.

Eastern Front more important than Western? Sure. Stalingrad the epitome of Soviet victory over Germany? I’m not so sure. Stalingrad was the first decisive Soviet victory*, and a huge one, although expensive…but I think of Kursk and Bagration as bigger deals.

*Yes, the Sovs also stopped them outside Moscow and reversed some gains in the winter, but it wasn’t anything like Stalingrad.

However – without D-Day, the Soviets could still have won, making Stalingrad still meaningfuk…and America would still have survived. But without Stalingrad (or equivalent defeat elsewhere), Germany probably would have conquered Russia and made D-Day moot – no point in dropping a few divisions onto the shore of two completely occupied continents and a Germany flush with Russia’s resources.

So in that sense, Stalingrad was the sine qua non for D-Day.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Eastern Front play a part in why Germany was defeated in Normandy?

The main premise of the push towards the East for Nazi Germany was acquiring resources, foremost to everything else, oil.
It was a matter of simple accounting and logistics, the Nazi war machine was on its way to a grinding halt for lack of resources, they desperately needed to grab more.
Stalingrad was when and where that plan came to an end.
The beast began to starve and it was just a matter of when, not if, it would die.

Also, don’t forget that the Western Allies and Russians arrived pretty much at the same time to Berlin. Even without a D-Day things would have ended about the same time.
Of course, what would had happened to Europe after the war would had been very different.

Kursk was more significant than either.

Kursk was part of the defeat of the German Operation Citadel.

It was part of an overall defeat called operation Bagration, which has already been mentioned.

The objectoive of Citadel was to shorten the Axis front, and so free up resources for other operations.

It was already noted by Axis commanders that the front had a salient that was unsustainable, however Citadel relied upon having a certain number of Axis divisions, however these were not up to strength and were in many cases lacking experience.

A succesful operation Citadel would only have delayed things, one could argue that this attempted attack in itself shortened the war by using up vital resources and destroying axis units.

The Russians were almost as evil a dictatorship as the Nazis,their ex allies in the invasion of Poland, and had cold bloodily murdered and enslaved even more people then the Germans had in the "Purges"alone .

So if D Day had failed and the Soviets had in the end successfully defeated Adolf and his friends(Which was probable) then Europe would have under their dictatorship rather then his.

So its not really a case of saying that the Russians did more to ensure world freedom during WW2 then the Western allies.

The Russians fought ONLY for their own interests after their former ally turned on them.

Though Britain ended up fighting for its life after all of its European allies had surrendered it initially entered the war out of moral principles as did the Commonwealth.

Though Germany actually declared war on the U.S. after Pearl Harbour rather then vice versa Americas incredibly intensive participation in the European war was due to "Doing the right thing"rather then any self interest.

Comparison between Russian participation and Western allied participation in the war is inappropriate.

While Lust4Life looks at the Allied role through rose-coloured glasses, he’s got the idea down. The Eastern Front victories, Stalingrad among them, saved Europe from Hitler. D-Day saved Europe from Stalin.

I would need to look up the exact numbers, but from memory over 90% of German military casualties in WWII were suffered on the Eastern fronts.

Germany was fighting three different wars in 1944 and losing all three of them. The Soviets would have beaten them eventually without any help from America and England. America and England would have invaded France and beaten Germany without any help from the Soviets. And even if there had been no land battles, Germany would have still been beaten by the air bombing campaign and atomic bomb.

Germany was certain to lose World War II and it was just a race to see who would win first.

I think you’re making a point that’s completely outside the scope of what I was talking about.

Nowhere in my post did I say anything at all about the goodness of Soviet Russia and certainly did not imply they ensured freedom.

It is a matter of incontrovertible fact that the Eastren Front consumed more resources and destroyed more German warmaking caopacity than the Western Front (leaving the bomber offensive out of the picture, anyway, since bombing did not require D-Day). You can feel any way you wish about the war and the morality of the goevernments engaged, but you can’t change the objective fact that, to use the commonly quoted figure, 75% of the German war effort was expended against the Soviets.

And Comparison between Russian participation and Western allied participation in the war is pretty much the question asked in the OP. It’s not inappropriate.

For the record I agree that without D-Day, the great contest for Europe’s politics between Soviet and Western influences would have been over before it began. But that’s irrelevant to what I posted.


Gosh, no, it was not. This is like claiming that the Battle of Britain was part of D-Day.

Kursk was a defensive battle (from the Soviet perspective) fought in the summer of 1943. The German plan to destroy a large part of the Soviet army with an enveloping offensive generally failed over the course of about a month in July-August 1943.

Bagration was fought a year later, and is the code word for a gigantic Soviet offensive designed to crush Army Group Centre. It was massively successful.

Kursk and Bagration are not the same battle.

Exactly. Americans tend to think it was America who singlehandedly defeated Hitler. I forget who is the author of the quote:

Russia suffered enourmous casualties and endured suffering like America can not even imagine. All that has been minimized historically when they turned into being the bad guys.

I think that Htler and his generals realized that victory (in Russia) was no longer possible after Stalingrad. No matter how many advanced tanks were produced, Germany was on the downward slope. My question: that would have been the time for the German generals to have killed Hitler and sued for peace-surely the realization was sinking in (that Russia would eventually overwhelm the German army).
another point: seeing all the dead and wounded coming back from the Russian front must have been shocking for the German civilians-were they in denial? or was the nazi propaganda machine still promising victory? German casualties (by mid 19430 have to be over 1 million-that must have had a huge impact upon morale.

My family was originally from Ukraine. My wife is an immigrant from Ukraine. Her parents and her grandmother are still living. They endured Russia from pre-WWII until the fall of the USSR. Have you ever heard of the Holodomor? Granny endured that. Have you ever heard of Siberia? Following WWII, the whole family got packed of there for a seven year stay, courtesy of the Russians. When they were finally permitted to return, following Stalin’s death, they were on a KGB watch list. They, as well as everybody else in Ukraine, endured decades of privation and oppression at the hands of the Russians.
You know what?
The Russians were fucking badguys.

What?! You mean Song of Russia lied to me?

They tried. The von Stauffenberg plot was hatched as response to Stalingrad.

I am reminded of the old joke

Compared to who?

In this thread we are discussing Stalingrad. In Stalingrad they were the good guys.

Now this I cannot agree with (the rest of it, maybe so). I don’t think the willingness would have been there for a French invasion into the teeth of the Wehrmacht.