Stalingrad and Leningrad: The Deadliest Battles of World War II

Stalingrad and Leningrad: The Deadliest Battles of World War II

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World War II was waged on a scale never seen before or since in human history, and the unfathomable casualty figures are largely more desperate for the carnage between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during Hitler`s invasion of Russia and the attribution of Stalin`s defense. The invasion came in 1941 following a non-aggression pact between the two in 1939 that allowed Hitler to turn his attention to the West without fear of an attack from the Eastern Front. While Germany focused on the West, the Soviet Union sent large contingents of troops to the border region between the two countries, and Stalin`s plan to conquer territory in Poland and the Baltic angered Hitler. In 1940 Hitler saw Stalin as a great threat and made the decision to invade Russia: "In the course of this struggle Russia must be eliminated ... Spring 1941. The faster we destroy Russia, the better" (Hoyt, p. 17) When the siege of Leningrad began in the fall of 1941, the Soviets knew they were in a desperate struggle for life or death. The Russians, in fact, would not even have had the opportunity to surrender if they wanted to, because the order to the German armed forces ordered them to completely destroy the city: "After the defeat of Soviet Russia, there is no longer any interest in continuation of the existence of this great urban center ... After the encirclement of the city, the surrender negotiations are to be refused, since the problem of resettlement and the feeding of the population cannot and must not be solved by us. preserve even just a part of this huge urban population ".

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