Battle of Stalingrad | Animated History

This video was made possible by our supporters on Patreon. If you want to join the community and help us reach our next goal, consider making a pledge. The average lifespan of a soldier in Stalingrad was just 24 hours. The battle for the city that bore Stalin’s name was one of the longest and most arduous of the Second World War. It is for that reason that most historians regard the battle as a turning point in the war. I’m Griffin Johnson, the Armchair Historian, and today, in addition to telling you about the battle itself, I’ll be providing the personal accounts of both Russian and German soldiers in an effort to tell you the story of Stalingrad. But first, today’s video is sponsored by Skillshare. I know; it’s like we’re official now! Skillshare is a quickly expanding online learning community that boasts a wide array of classes on topics like design, photography, entrepreneurship, and far more. Signing up on Skillshare is free, but a premium membership provides full access to over 20,000 classes taught by experts. The premium membership still makes Skillshare more affordable than most learning platforms out there. An annual subscription costs you less than $10/month. Stay until the end of the video for more information and an exclusive offer from the Skillshare team. It’s November 1941. The Wehrmacht is just miles away from the Russian capital but is halted due to extreme weather conditions. The German infantry is plagued with frostbite while the tanks are running short on fuel, not that it matters because their engines won’t even start; it’s -4 deg F (-20 deg C). Meanwhile, in Moscow, a secret meeting is taking place, headed by Stalin himself, who refuses to leave the city and proclaims that “Moscow will be defended to the last.” At this meeting the top Soviet military brass is gathered to discuss the Red Army’s next course of action. Amid an atmosphere of panic and uncertainty, Semyon Timoshenko, the People’s Commissar of Defense, takes the podium. Timoshenko boldly proclaims: Hitler acknowledged the scarcity of oil himself, reportedly saying: Thus the decision was made by Hitler and his senior staff to divert the German Army Group South to secure both the Volga and the Caucasus. The plan would be called Case Blue (Fall Blau) and was meant to be a second blitzkrieg to break the stalemate of the Eastern Front. It called for the assembling of 1,300,000 men and 1,500 aircraft. The men that made up Army Group South were split into two detachments: Army Group A, which would swing around the city of Stalingrad, secure the oil fields at Baku, and then converge on Stalingrad from the south; and Army Group B, which was made up of the German 6th Army, the 4th Panzer Army, and their Romanian and Italian allies, would march directly towards Stalingrad, the major Soviet industrial city. The Soviets had other plans. The oil fields of Maikop and Elista, which were on the way to Baku, were both set aflame by the Red Army. Grozny, meanwhile, also enroute to Baku, was destroyed by the German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, instead of being captured, due to the fierce Russian resistance and strained German supply lines. This meant that Army Group B would be taking on Stalingrad alone and would face severe logistical problems. Hitler’s oil crisis persisted, but the Battle for Stalingrad was only just beginning. The German Army Group B, spearheaded by the 6th Army under General Paulus, met resistance from the Soviets near the Don River. It took nearly a month for the 6th Army to assert control over the area that lay west of Stalingrad. The campaign was already shaping up to be slightly more costly for the Germans than expected. However,
morale among the troops remained high as they waited for a victory and dreamt of either returning home or settling in Russian lands after the war ended. Wilhelm Hoffmann, a soldier at the time of the battle, wrote in his diary the following: If you haven’t already, I suggest taking a look at my video which goes through the majority of Wilhelm’s diary in Stalingrad. With the German advance delayed, Soviet military officials in Stalingrad, headed by Chuikov, had time to prepare for the desperate onslaught that was materializing. As Catherine Merridale relates it in her book: Citizens of Stalingrad would be forced to stay and face the battle ahead. There would be no retreat. The first direct attack on Stalingrad began on August 23rd. 600 planes of the Luftwaffe flew over the city and relentlessly carpet-bombed its inhabitants. The German planes left decimation in their wake: 40,000 Russians, mainly civilians, were killed, and much of the city was reduced to rubble. Max Hastings, in his book describes the aftermath with haunting detail: The Soviet forces took up positions in the central and northern parts of Stalingrad. As the German 6th Army encircled the city, a Russian soldier named Anton Dragan documented what life was like for him as a lieutenant of the Red Army: Every inch of the city was disputed as the Germans were forced to make their way through the city house by house, stairwell by stairwell. The Russians were told to practically hug the German advance to render German aircraft and artillery support useless. The Luftwaffe maintained air superiority and continued carpet-bombing, killing Russians and Germans alike and preventing boats from bringing shipments of supplies to alleviate the defenders. It is in the midst of this scene of chaos that we return to Dragan, who describes the dire state of the Soviets’ position: During this retreat to the inner city, the Soviets were aided by artillery that was tactically positioned on the Volga’s eastern bank. The growing feeling of frustration on the German side is aptly captured by Hoffmann’s entry on 22 September 1942: And on the Soviet side, Chuikov, the commander of the 62nd Army, who maintained rigid discipline, shed light on a more desperate state of affairs: Chuikov writes on another occasion: “Everyone saw a man in flames leap out of his trench, run right up to a German tank, and smash a bottle against the grille of the engine hatch. A second later, an enormous sheet of flame and smoke engulfed both the tank and the hero who had destroyed it. Acts like this prompted the Germans to express disbelief, even in the air. A Luftwaffe pilot who had rained fire from the skies said: As the infamous Russian winter set in, the tide of battle turned. The Russians put Operation Uranus into action, planned by the Chief of the General Staff, Georgy Zhukov, and executed by a Polish-Soviet officer, Konstantin Rokossovsky. Their goal was to encircle the 6th Army and relieve Stalingrad’s determined defenders. The operation began on 19 November 1942 and involved more than a million Red Army soldiers. Only three days after the operation had begun, the 6th Army was completely encircled and trapped in the city that they had besieged. Hitler did not consider retreat an option, and he gave orders for the Germans to hold their ground. The Soviets also gained air superiority by producing large numbers of aircraft and positioning anti-aircraft guns that prevented the Luftwaffe from being able to airdrop supplies and evacuate men. One of the more notable Soviet aircraft Was the Il-2, a ground attacker which would pick up the nickname “Flying Tank.” If you’re interested in learning more about this aircraft, check out the video by my friend Tiberiu over on the YouTube channel Wartime History. This put an end to any hope of Axis victory. Now it was only a matter of time before the Soviets overwhelmed the German forces. Under General Paulus, the 6th Army and its allies held out until January before finally giving in. Although Paulus did not agree with Hitler’s orders and considered defying them, he did not attempt to break out, largely for fear of leaving other elements of the Wehrmacht in the clutches of the Red Army. When the Soviets finally overran the Germans and drove them out of their dugouts, It seemed to some that the battle had been “the same nightmare for everyone.” However: Although many historians attribute the German failure at Stalingrad solely to poor logistics and planning, the Soviets’ unwavering defense of the city was also a crucial factor in determining the outcome of the battle which would shape the rest of the war. In accordance with order #227, made famous for its line, “not one step back,” the Red Army had withstood the German onslaught. From that point on, the Soviets would remain on a near-constant offensive, pushing the Germans back to Berlin by 1945. Now back to our sponsor, Skillshare. I personally have been using my membership to browse classes like Online Business Crash Course by value Academy and Learn a Language the Easy Way by Philippa Gillström. If you’re interested in checking out Skillshare, the link in the description below grants the first 500 people two months of a premium membership for free. So click that link now to get your free two months. Thanks for watching. I’d like to thank my General Staff on Patreon: Jake Hart, John Graham, James Thompson, Derek Below, Azarde, Jim Talbott, Dmitry Stillermann, Jeff Antolak, GJ, Ben Natividad, Joe Crispin, Emmanuel Kang, and everyone else listed onscreen. I’d also like to thank those working on the Armchair History team for making this video possible. Thanks again, and I’ll see you next time with a video on the Second Sino-Japanese war.

Comments 100

  • Don't forget to check out Skillshare!

    A big thank you to TIK's videos for expediting our research process. His channel:

    Check out Tibi's video on the IL2:

    Mistakes should be posted below this comment.

    Thanks for watching,

  • Who tf is Igor dragon??????? Ur lying

  • exactly 1 year difference while writing this

  • Wait a minute he isn’t in an armchair

  • As usual, not a single word on the Romanian Army. Our 150K troops and their sacrifice mean nothing to you. I don't know why I thought you're better, you're the same dismissive filth as other so-called "historians"…

  • Why subscribe or use Skillshare? If I wanted to watch cartoons I can do that anywhere. Yours aren't even funny.

  • The Germans did not decimate Stalingrad. "Decimate" mean to reduce by 10%. The Germans did far more damage than that.

  • Your mike sucks

  • if i was germany i wouldnt have taken over close countries, i wouldnt have declared war at that time i would secretly built up my planes and bombers into the thousands but smaller numbers for tanks and such and i mean as many bombers as possible and then done a same time attack on russias main citys and england and maybe united states at the same time, i would want so many bombers in the air it would be insane, dont focus on missles, tanks and such

  • Did the Germans know how to extinguish oil fires at the time? All I know is that the Soviets lit them up, but that alone isn't enough to remove an oil field forever. Gulf Storm demonstrated that.

  • The real reason the Soviet’s won because of Reznov and Dimitri

  • Great video staff member. Thats why im an old suscriber of yours. Bring the next video. Great job staff

  • Operation Uranus
    Operation UR ANUS
    basically watch your ass 😂

  • Alot different than fighting the french

  • what insanity made the Germans who surrendered believe they would ever see their homes again? Seems better to fight and maybe win your way out of the fray then to surrender and surely die as 97% ultimately did.

  • Thanks to global warming Germany can now invade Russia during the winter

  • This is no land beyond the Volga.

  • Sound is too low

  • One thing I saw on a documentary I found interesting was there was never a German field Marshall who surrendered and when the Germans were surrounded at Stalingrad Hitler promoted Pollus( I think?) to Field Marshall. It was basically a death sentence on him but he would die a hero, but he surrendered anyway. Hitler wouldn’t promote another field Marshall during the war.

  • I like this channel and I've watched it before but the volume is so low. Just thought you might like to know. 🤔

  • Great job armchair historian, the video was great but it left me with more questions than answers.

  • German when they capture a country: Hippidy hoppidy your country is now my property

  • Know the stories well, but still feel like crying every time I hear them.

  • The Germans were not on the strategic defensive after the Battle of Stalingrad as stated in the video. The Germans launched Operation Citadel (the battle of Kursk) in July 1943, which occurred after the Battle of Stalingrad and was also the largest tank battle of the war. The Germans were on the strategic defensive AFTER the battle of Kursk.

  • About the rape of helpless women by both armies, unfortunate.

  • Should have just laid siege to the place and starved them out.

  • We have to admit that it was the Russian set really beat these Germans . They bad Stalin was such a mass murder ! He killed way more then Hitler ever did .

  • The madness & stupidity of Hitler makes him the worse enemy of the German Reich! 😕

  • Aaak straighten those posters! I'm not even OCD and it bugs me.

  • how about the Caucasus region ? German did not occupied it ?

  • Lmao maybe you've heard of the free skill share…. it's called YouTube. Dont waste your money on that scam

  • these noobs, i liberated Stalingrad myself in very difficult!

  • I feel like many commenters underestimate the infrastructure of 1940’s Europe. Weather was a huge factor to consider in war, even today poor weather can be the difference between troops getting air support or not however, at that time, much of the continent was still made up of villages and towns- often these places would not even have paved roads. While the Soviet troops were obviously required to defeat the besiegers, the weather made it difficult to keep lines of communication and supply open. Thus a combination of starvation and tactics won the day.

  • I've restarted this several times and still haven't reached midway. Well put 2gether. Nice vid. Very informative.

  • Funny how the Soviet Union did everything they could to stop the Germans, but all the world remembers is that they were forced back by a season.

    It's the same with France, a country with probably the most successful military history, but all the people make fun of them because they were pretty weak in both World Wars

  • video starts at 1:20. (shameful)

  • But Germany alone defeated many countries and also during battle of Stalingrad the Russian manpower was double of German's . Salute to German army

  • You should make historical movie with your animating skills

  • Many historians think at the Battle of Stalingrad as the "turning point" of the war. Stalingrad had an incredibly effective PR. With Stalin saying not one step back and they should defend the city of his name etc. and Hitler telling the enemy would run if Stalingrad falls. However the axis front north of Stalingrad, along the Don was in terrible shape. The reason was the following: the Germans started to collect their troups to start the offensive spring 1942. But they quickly realized that the men and equipment needed to carry out the attack would leave the front unguarded on a long stretch. Thats because they collected the remaining axis forces (romanians, italians and hungarians). But these auxillary forces were badly equipped, their weapons were not modern, they were not suited for the winter. And they were to few to guard such a long frontline. The Russians firstly encircled the 6th army but then also have destroyed the surrounding forces. The Russian attack was overwhelming carried out by more than a million people. They pierced the frontline and pushed it back, destroying several armies. So at the end it wouldn't had mattered if the Germans took Stalingrad or made 30-50 km more progress, the Russian attack was already in preparation. Also the western allies flooded Russia with foreign aid (Land lease) around the same time. In late 1942, but before Operation Uranus, axis troops captured some soviet soldiers and were suprised that they have good clothing, modern weapons and american canned food.
    So the German position was already doomed before the offensive, the frontline was too long and the Russians had many more men than the axis.

  • Thank you for not being a pansy moat people these days don't include the swastika

  • I appreciate it man

  • Ура! Победа за нами! за Советский Союз! моя красная армия! Спасибо, Товарищ

  • Honestly in ww2 Germany and Japan would have lost no matter what

  • Dang. The amount of lives lost in one battle is appalling. Hell indeed.

  • Maybe they should have just left the bum allies there long with maybe one German Division and bomb the hell out of it and then tried to keep the defensive line and the rest of the army Swan South to try and secure the oil you know I think that would have been a good idea

  • Sad there's so many people shooting their mouth off about the French in WWII without any context as to why it would be ineffective. But I guess this is the YouTube comment section of a WWII video, so it will be filled with inbred racists making retarded claims and baking up their statements with wikipedia links

  • Fucking hell. Much respect to the Russian soldiers defending the city.

  • WW2 will always have a place in my heart……my great grandfather burned up in a tank, and one of my grandfathers made it to Berlin……rip to the 21 million + Soviets that died in the war.

  • The soviets pulled a Cesar

  • I could be wrong, but wasn't the 24 hours life expectancy at Stalingrad exclusively for soldiers of the red army? I thought German soldiers had a life expectancy that was atleat three weeks.

  • 6:32 bf5 be like

  • In 2018 the Germans lost again in Russia

  • fun fact; IL-2 ilyushin is now used as fire fighter plane 🙂

  • Cool vídeo man, but too much sponsors ads etc unfortunately.

  • In the 80s West Germany came to terms with WWII and made movies to tell their side of the story. Stalingrad is amazing in capturing the hopelessness of the situation

  • Hands down the most decisive battle for all of WW2. I couldn't imagine how nasty this was.

  • The Lord Christ will be returning, birth pains are happening, Repent before it's too late

  • What if skillshare was used to organize the wehrmacht?

  • I realize that bodies are needed to prepare defenses….but lets be honest…forcing the civilians of Stalingrad to stay put was pretty damned merciless. "War is all hell, and you cannot refine it." Sherman was right.

  • Rokossowski wasn't "Soviet Polish". He was Russian and Soviet. He was born in Warsaw in Russian empire. While he was Pole by birth, he was Russian, Bolshevik and then Soviet officer. He was later sent to Poland to control things but Poles never took him for their own

  • This channel is horseshit.

  • Who the hell told Hitler that mustache was a good idea? He’s the true criminal.

  • Please incluse celsius next to the freedom units


  • The fall of The Soviet Union was one of the great tragedies in human history

  • Fast foward to the end of the war when russia seiged berlin ended the war and american politics still insisted to share berlin when the were no where to be seen in the last battle and you know the soviets are better

  • when the snow starts speaking Cyka Blyat

  • Why were the germans obsessed with attacking the city itself? Thats not where the oil was. And Whatever happened to the second German army group that went into the Caucasus to the south of stalingrad? Did they ever go north to help the 6th army?

  • Getting a little high and watching Armchair Historian all night is seriously the best way to end the day. This ones for you, AH! 🌬🥦

  • It makes me sad and angry that the comments on such videos are always memes & jokes.
    Most likely by American White teenagers without education and with internet access.
    I wish that the USA was invaded one day like the USSR, and those American White teenagers saw their mothers raped in the street and their homes bombed, and that their fat bodies could die because they starve to death, so they could understand what happened during WW2 without joking about it.

  • Uneducated people constantly blame Hitler for his decision to keep the 6th Army in Stalingrad, which occults a number of realities:
    1. Paulus could have tried to break out of the city. He was the local commander. Many German local commanders disobeyed HQ orders when it was ultra-necessary. Paulus did not break out because (according to many German testimonies) he was a paper-pusher and not an effective field commander. He hid in his bunker and looked at maps for the entire battle, disconnected from reality.
    2. The breakout itself was largely unfeasible without thousands of soldiers dying in the process. People talk about the 6th Army as if it were an easy feat to just get up and leave. At this point, these were tired broken men, all equipment had to be left, and the Soviets would maul the Germans as they escaped. Probably 10-30% of the entire Army would survive a breakout, if at all.
    So its not insanity for Paulus & Hitler to not allow a breakout. Especially if you consider the German POV that captivity in Soviet hands might not be so bad and better than risking your life breaking out. Of course in retrospect, breaking out would be better since most German POWs died as slaves, but they did not know this at the time.
    No…Altogether this was a conclusion that nobody really was to blame for. Not Hitler, not Paulus, not anyone. The Russians encircled the German Army and won, that's it.

  • There is a big error in the video.
    When Armchair historian says that "After Stalingrad, the Soviets just pushed unopposed to Berlin".
    In fact, the Germans mauled the Soviets numerous times in 1942 and 1943 in various battles, so this is wrong.
    The Germans lost strategic initiative only after the Battle of Kursk in 1943.
    The Germans were far from defeated after Stalingrad.

  • Love your videos bro keep it up!

  • Soviet troops had lower expectations because of candy and sweets? What kind of statement is that? 🙂

  • Winter is Coming

  • How dare you make a YouTube video that involves the [Redacted]!


  • The hero who burned the german tank while himself on fire name is Mikhail Panikakha. There is a monument dedicated to him in Volgograd

  • You pronounce Zhukov as Zhukov while it has to be Zhukov and not Zhukov.

  • 4 below zero Fahrenheit: another beautiful in soviet Russia

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    That grandpa was 6. Army … That was 600 000 men, … 400 000 died in stalingrade, 20 000 come home from war orisonshit.

    I heard all and got my military tactical efucation by searching mushrooms in the forest nearby. I got it from a guy eich overlived two hells, earned his money as boxer after the war … Teached ne forging, sword and schield, bow and to build it.
    He died eith 55 on cancer becsuse vastards ilegalized canvabis snd diffamated it as bad drug … Each year dies 8 to 10 millions people on cancer … How many since the 60is?
    They forbud diece tests after ilegalation.

    He told "that war was lost intentionally" and "never trust politicans", …

    The ilegal7sation 8f cannabis cost more deads then the second world war …

    And all of them died much more horrible then many of dodgers. Its tgeir personal stalingrade … Becauuse dirt that want rule snd dont want a gerb tgat rause the synaptic connection of voters.

    The bigger nazis rule you … And dumb ideots vote thrm.

    Cannabis snd hho technology shows ehats going on … There would be also never a shortcumming of diesel with it …

    A big show for fumb cows costy in lufe snd madness …

    |> |> |> |> |> |> |> |>
    |> |> |> |> |> |> |> |>

  • every body is a gangstar untail the russians start speaking Massproduction

  • German Russian invasion: Take Moscow the Russians will quit.

    Hitler: Oh, wait, no, lets take the Oil fields
    Hitler again: oh squirrel!!! Lets take Stalingrad!

    Hitler finally: yeah, so you guys take Stalingrad and you guys take the oil…and the rest of you keep trying to take Moscow and Leningrad!

  • May god bless and forgive all soldiers.

  • "Today's video is sponser is skillshare. I know, it's like we're official"

    This enraged his father, who punished him severly

  • Fantastic videos and great subjects with no interrupting adds. Well done and I’m a subscriber. May I, with the utmost respect, suggest you focus on talking or storytelling more than reading from your script. Slow down and pause for dramatic effect. Thank you again for your videos.

  • 8:28
    “Cheat mod activated”
    nazi_germany.exe error

  • God sometimes you got be thankful that Stalin and hitlers alliance didn’t go threw

  • I wonder why didn't the luftwaffe bombed the artillery position of soviets on the banks of river

  • Very nice historical documentary report!

  • Germans were so focused on the city that they forgot or gambled on the timing of Soviet reinforcements. What is the significance of Baku oilfields when industrial city of Stalingrad is not captured or is leveled to the ground?
    Stalingrad and Baku oilfields were to be leveled to the ground anyways.
    Germans mistake was sending the other army group heading into Baku oilfields way out there and not supporting the main army group. Soviets did the Germans favor by torching the oilfields anyways. Just let Baku oilfields burn through German airstrike or do it for Soviets and focus on the main operation towards Stalingrad. Trying to do everything at once and getting the offensive operation all confusing was Hitler's mental ret*rdness. One group can strike Stalingrad and the other groups could have conducted a faint Northern push facing Moscow and defending Northern perimeter of Stalingrad to test any Soviet willingness to flank; a faint Southern push crossing the Volga river to the South of Stalingrad to preoccupy Soviets and test Soviet's willingness to flank; and surround Stalingrad entirely.
    Letting the Soviet reinforcements to arrive behind the German line meant that the German offensive was dragging on too long and the window of opportunity closed.
    Soviets had time to gather 1 million men reinforcement which meant that it was taking Germans too long to capture Stalingrad.
    1 million Soviet army was not all experienced soldiers but draftees. There was no worry but not to be surrounded.
    When all else failed, German army should have torched everything and pulled back rather than losing nearly the entire German Eastern army at Stalingrad.
    Hitler was a ret*rd. He just could not let his best Prussian generals who were the Europe's best military officers run his military campaign.

  • Now do a video about Nazi germanys military technology that talks about the 4 illegal terror weapons that are used unfairly in war(King tiger tank, U-boats, Bismarck battleship and the Me-262).

  • I Just Find it Completely Fascinating that a Couple of Bombed Out Husks of Houses and Factories Held Out Longer and were Over 9,000% More Successful than the Entire Country of France! 😐

  • lets be realistic, how could hitler think he can take and hold an oil field in azerbaijan while juggling a war on all possible fronts in Germany?

  • The Germans were stopped in front of Moscow due to heavy Soviet resistance, not because of winter. Stop being so biased.

  • Its pronounced ,Paul Us, not pal oos

  • Ok boomer

  • The Germans destroyed so many Russian tanks and planes but the US replaced them, some 50 thousand trucks and something like 15 thousand aircraft while Germany fought almost alone.

    If Germany hadn't gone to save Mussolini from defeat in Greece, the attack on Russia wouldn't have had to be delayed by 6 weeks, and Russia would have been beaten before winter as planed.

    If the Japanese hadn't attack the US Germany would have gone to war against the US at least before beating Russia even the the US was already waring against Germany ordering its Navi to attack German U-boat

    The German allies ruined their plans, always sapping German strength.

  • Maybe if the Germans hadn’t killed the Ukrainians and made them allies they would have won

  • This video smells a little Nazi. Author, please be very careful

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