stupid orders - Page 2




 
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June 1st, 2005  
vargsriket
 
I have read the War of the Rats, by David Robbins. It's about the battle for Stalingrad and the famous Russian sniper, Vasiliy Zaitsev. It gives some history insight and aproximate losses, so here they are:

Original name: Tsaritsyn
During Communism: Stalingrad
Now named: Volgograd

Began: August 23rd, 1942
Ended: January 31st, 1943

German commander: General Friedrich Paulus
Russian commander: General Vasiliy Chuikov

German 6th army kept its strength inside the city always at 100,000, drawing manpower from Italian, Hungarian and Rumanian divisions positioned on the steppe outside the city. Russians never exceeded 60,000, sometimes as low as 20,000, when fighting desperately and barely surviving until reinforcements could be ferried across the Volga river. The fighting was SO intense, for every centimeter of the city that it was named Rattenkrieg, or "war of the rats" (which is where the book drew its name). Both armies fought with incredible will and determination, the whole city was reduced to smoking ruins, a charred reminder of what the city used to look like. For months the fighting was street to street, house to house, hand to hand, sometimes the reward for hundreds of lives were mere couple meters, only to be lost the next day. The city exchanged hands many times in fact. To illustrate the Russian determination to hold the city NO MATTER WHAT, there's a landmark in the city of Stalingrad which can be seen even today, as it was preserved as a symbol of the Russian Will. It's called Pavlov's House. It was named after a sargeant in the Russian Army, Yacov Pavlov, who with a company of men took a 4 story house, and defended it for FIFTY NINE days against the relentless German attack. He actually survived the battle and WW2 and was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union medal (CMoH equivalent). Chuikov liked to point out that Pavlov and his men killed more enemy soldiers than the Germans lost in the capture of Paris. By mid-October the city almost fell into German hands, Russians had their backs to the river, but by November, the Red Army executed its "November surprise", springing suddenly with incredibly speed and flanking the Axis powers from both north and south, completely encircling them, so they were between the anvil and the hammer, or as the Germans called it, der Kessel, "The Cauldron". Of the more than 250,000 troops sorrounded on the steppe, only about 100,000 remained to surrender to the Red Army two and a half months later.

Axis casualties:
German - 400,000
Italians - 130,000
Hungarians - 120,000
Rumanians - 200,000

Red Army:
750,000 killed, wounded and missing

Final toll on soldiers of both armies:
1,109,000 deaths.

Civilian losses:
Out of Stalingrad's 500,000 pre-war population, only 1.500 civilians were alive after the battle's end!

Kinda makes you glad that you weren't born yet to see that horror, huh?
June 2nd, 2005  
rocco
 
and out of those 100000 survivors many lost their lives in russian prison camps
June 13th, 2005  
PershingOfLSU
 
One of the most famous examples of misunderstood orders is the Charge of the Light Brigade. Which was essentially a British cavalry unit during the Crimean war charging a Russian artillery position through a valley ringed by more Russian troops. Essentially the charge was suicidal but they charged anyway. The brigade in question suffered a little more than 20% dead.
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June 14th, 2005  
MI Blues
 

Topic: Pickett's Charge?


Yes, and the officers in Gen Pickett's division certainly were reminded of the Charge of the Light Brigade as they watched their soldiers fall on that July day at Gettysburg.

"General Lee, I have no division" - attributed to Gen Pickett at the end of the day
June 14th, 2005  
Gunner13
 
 

Topic: Re: Pickett's Charge?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MI Blues
Yes, and the officers in Gen Pickett's division certainly were reminded of the Charge of the Light Brigade as they watched their soldiers fall on that July day at Gettysburg.

"General Lee, I have no division" - attributed to Gen Pickett at the end of the day
Yes, and if you ever go to Gettysburg and look at the distance (better yet, try walking it) from the Confederate start point beyond Seminary Ridge to the Union position on Cemetery Ridge, you really wonder what Lee thought he was doing!

This is worse that Hood's order at the Battle of Franklin, but only just.

Of course, to be fair to the Confederacy, we should also discuss Grant's attack at Cold Harbor and Sherman's attack at Kenesaw Mountain. Both we costly failures and both of them knew better (Cold Harbor was the one attack that Grant regretted to end of his days)
July 23rd, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
The charge of The Light Brigade, although foolish it did help turn the whole battle as while the Russians were busy with this battle, other attacks went and were highly successful.
October 1st, 2005  
Dean
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocco
and out of those 100000 survivors many lost their lives in russian prison camps
Yep, 94,200 to be exact. There were some survivors that kept track of the German prisoners of war from Stalingrad as they were released from the Soviet penal system. The tally never went higher than 5,800.

Dean.