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Nazi Germany s Black day

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  • Nazi Germany s Black day

    It was this week, 64 years ago, that an event happened which to Nazi Germany, was to put it in the modern context, what 9/11 was to the United States, a day of national shock and massive loss to an enemy, a day of which things would never be the same again afterwards, a day which they would never really get over, namely the surrender of the remains of the 6th Army at Stalingrad.
    Rumours had been circulating in Germany for weeks, that an entire army had been surrounded by the Russians, deep in that huge country. A rescue offensive had failed, as did a attempt to supply the trapped army by air. On 3rd February, the radios of the 6th Army HQ went silent, Germanys Army High Command sent Luftwaffe long range fighters over the smoking and destroyed city to try and ascertain the situation.
    Finally, several days later came a gloating communicique from Moscow, the 6th army, its commander, Field Marshal Von Paulus, along with over 20 Generals, and almost 100 000 half starved German soldiers had gone into Soviet captivity. Over 150 000 of their comrades had died during the Battle.
    The Aftermath included Germany marking 3 days of national mourning, Hitler in Shock and out of the public eye, Goebbles announcing "Total War", Some German Generals forming a POW puppet, anti Nazi Commitee in Moscow. The Russians did not know what to do with so many prisoners, feeding them was a problem, some groups of prisoners were simply shot, others despersed to POW Camps all over Soviet Central Asia, the vast majority of these would die in the camps.
    Over 20 veteran divisions had been annihilated, completely wiped out, the aura of German invincability had been smashed. From a political viewpoint Germanys Eastern European Allies were starting to look over their shoulders, feeling out ways to leave the Axis camp.
    Von Paulus himself lived a unhappy life, a Soviet puppet until the end of the war, and after the war living in Eastern Germany, always defending his actions during the Battle.
    There would still be over 2 years of war to go for Germany, but early February 1943 was truly a black period for the Third Reich, in many ways the beginning of the end for Nazism.
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