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Old 05-29-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: southern california
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stalin did one good thing, he destroyed the nazi's.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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Well the allies cam ashore at salerno in July 43. Indeed some analysis of kursk suggest the German defeat there was tied in good part for the need to shift resources to deal with Salerno. But this is not generally seen as the second front.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
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Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
If Stalin knew that Stalingrad was indeed the turning point, I don't think that he would have been as adamant during the Tehran Conference in December of 1943, about the Allies opening a second front in Western Europe. Which by the way was four months after the battle at Kursk.
He knew the end of the war was still a long way off, and he saw a second front as a way to drain German resources and allow him some easier victories.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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I think Stalin was still deeply concerned before kursk. His general staff (Starvka) certainly was. Kursk was a lot closer than its generally realized - Zhukov had to commit his last signficant reserves before victory was finally won there. And the deployment of German air and armor to Italy played a role in that.
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
I think Stalin was still deeply concerned before kursk. His general staff (Starvka) certainly was. Kursk was a lot closer than its generally realized - Zhukov had to commit his last signficant reserves before victory was finally won there. And the deployment of German air and armor to Italy played a role in that.
I disagree. The German offensive was more or less successful only in the south. In the north, they had almost no gains. But even if the entire operation had been successful, that would by no means the end of the war. German planners did not even anticipate to be back at Stalingrad, if successful.

What ultimately gutted Operation Zitadelle was the Soviet counteroffensive on July 12 on the outside flank of Army Group Center (Operation Kutuzov).

German units started being withdrawn only after their overall offensive had failed.
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Old 05-30-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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They only needed to defeat the Russians troops, doing so would have preempted the critical Russian counter attacks that sealed the fate of the German army. The Germans had no chance to actually achieve their strategic aims in the battle and almost certainly had no illusion of reaching Stalingrad again. But by shattering the Russian offensive capacity they would have signficantly changed the course of the East front conflict. Even if that was not their plan.
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Old 05-30-2010, 06:26 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Armies can be rebuilt. Russians suffered some very severe losses in 41 and 42 but they recovered. While in 43 their human resources weren't what they were a year or two ago, their production of material increased, as did the flow of L-L goods. So a German victory at Kursk would have bought them some time (maybe 6 months?) but strategically their situation was still hopeless as you seem to agree.

Lets remember that even while victorious, the Soviets suffered heavy casualties at Kursk. That, however, didn't stop them from reaching Dnieper that summer.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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Six months would have had huge effect on the war - at least for what part of Germany ended up in the Russian sphere. And possibly Eastern Europe. Moreover, had German armies not suffered the massive russian counterattacks after Kursk and been given a breathing space to shift forces west to deal with the allies, the delay might have been more than six months.

If Stalin saw the allies making large gains, while he made none, he might have cut a deal with Hitler.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
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Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
Six months would have had huge effect on the war - at least for what part of Germany ended up in the Russian sphere. And possibly Eastern Europe. Moreover, had German armies not suffered the massive russian counterattacks after Kursk and been given a breathing space to shift forces west to deal with the allies, the delay might have been more than six months.

If Stalin saw the allies making large gains, while he made none, he might have cut a deal with Hitler.
Supposedly, Stalin was exploring the possibility of a deal with Hitler, but Hitler didn't want to give up all his gains in the east, as Stalin required. As it turns out, Hitler lost everything.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:34 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Too many "what ifs" here. In 1943 allies weren't making too many gains regardless - they were stuck in southern Italy until spring 1944. If Hitler felt more secure in the east, he would have had more forces in the west which might have changed the planning and the outcome of D-Day landings. So their progress would have been slower as well. It is hard to say. I mean, other than that the war would have dragged on longer, it is very hard to say what the political outcomes would be or even assign probabilities.

A deal with Hitler almost certainly would have been temporary at best. The Soviets already tried that in 1939 with less than spectacular results. Soviet troops would have to be permanently mobilized and at full preparedness for the entire duration of the truce, or otherwise they would be back to where they were in 1941.
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