I have been re-reading "Stalingrad: Anatomy of an Agony", (see Amazon page), which I have read before, but this time I had a different perspective on something because of having read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "August 1914", (part one of his magnum opus, "The Red Wheel").
It is truly astounding to read over and over of the fundamental mistaken assumptions which Hitler and the German military made about the Russians' military manpower and industrial capability. These prejudices and misconceptions were among the primary causes of the German catastrophe that was the Eastern Front in general and Stalingrad in particular. However, having read Solzhenitsyn's account of the colossal errors of the Russian Imperial Army against the Germans in World War I, it occurred to me that many of the German senior officers in World War II, (at least, those whom the Nazis had not purged), may have carried their memories of Russian ineptitude in World War I forward without making allowance for the changes brought about by the Soviets.
There is a biblical proverb, (Proverbs 11:12), saying that, "He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace." In the Scriptures, "despise" usually means to take someone lightly, to look down on them, or to refuse to take them seriously. It usually connotes pride or arrogance.
The battle of Stalingrad, therefore, appears to present a huge case study of what happened to the Germans because, in their ethnic pride and prejudice against the Russians, which both sides had toward each other long before World War I or II, they failed to rationally assess the present capability of the Soviet state. In this case, God allowed these two dictatorships to battle each other for the benefit of America and Europe. Still, we need to take heed to the danger of viewing our own military enemies in this fashion.
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