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The Contender
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4 Points

The Battle of Stalingrad was more important than any other battle that took place during WWII.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,376 times Debate No: 39417
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




If you accept this debate then please state your arguments. I will respond in the next round. Please state which battle(s) you consider to be more important than the Battle of Stalingrad.

Note to voters: please base your votes off of which argument you found more convincing, not off of nationality or personal beliefs.


I do believe that the Soviet Union was the main contributor to the defeat of Germany, and that Stalingrad was definitely one of the most important as well as bloodiest battles of the war. However, I believe that one battle that is usually not spoken of to much that had more of an effect to the Russian war effort against the German Army was the Battle of Moscow. On October 13, 1941 the undefeated German war machine marched upon the city of Moscow, against the defending Russians. Both armies were a million men strong and after a clash of arms the Russians emerged victorious, successfully halting the German advance.

This Battle was very decisive for the following reasons-

1. At this point in the Germans Army was practically undefeated, this battle marked their first major defeat
2.Moscow was the center of Russia's rail system and transportation hub
3.This victory gave the Russians the much needed moral boost they needed
4.This victory opened up Russia's ability to launch counter-attacks against the invading Germans Army (who by the formation of their offensive plans left the flanks of many German armies open)
5. Finally, Moscow was the capital and held a symbolic significance to the Russian people
Debate Round No. 1


The Battle of Moscow was of the most important battle of WWII (and also the largest battle in history) and yes, it is rarely mentioned. However, this battle did not destroy the German war machine the way that the battle of Stalingrad did. During the Battle of Moscow the Soviets lost ~1 million men. The Germans suffered less than 400,000 casualties and thousands of these men died as a result of the Russian winter. Although Moscow was saved, the Germans were still winning the war.

The Battle of Stalingrad was the most decisive because during this battle Germany suffered a staggering 850,000 casualties. This was the largest defeat for Germany and changed the entire coarse of the war. Had Germany won the battle and captured the valuable oil fields of the Caucuses they could threaten the entire British Empire: from the Caucuses the Germans could strike at the British oil-fields in the middle-east, India, and Egypt. Had Germany won this battle the Soviet Union would have been defeated since 80% of all Soviet oil came from this region. In addition, Stalin was ready to sacrifice whatever men he had left in order to defend Stalingrad and this would be the chance Hitler needed in order to finally destroy the Soviet armies.


"There are even more reasons to proclaim December 1941 as the turning point of the war. The Soviet counter-offensive destroyed the reputation of invincibility in which the Wehrmacht had basked ever since its success against Poland in 1939, thus boosting the morale of Germany"s enemies everywhere. The Battle of Moscow also ensured that the bulk of Germany"s armed forces would be tied to an eastern front of approximately 4,000 km for an indefinite period of time, which all but eliminated the possibility of German operations against Gibraltar, for example, and thus provided tremendous relief to the British. Conversely, the failure of the Blitzkrieg demoralized the Fins and other German allies. And so forth"

It was in front of Moscow, in December 1941, that the tide turned, because it was there that the Blitzkrieg failed and that Nazi Germany was consequently forced to fight, without sufficient resources, the kind of long, drawn-out war that Hitler and his generals knew they could not possibly win." (

According to General Alfred Jodl, Chief of the Operations Staff of the OKW, Hitler then realized that he could no longer win the war.(Andreas Hillgruber (ed.), Der Zweite Weltkrieg 1939"1945: Kriegsziele und Strategie der Grossen M"chte, fifth edition, Stuttgart, 1989, p. 81.) And so it can be argued that the tide of World War II turned on December 5, 1941.

There are many more instances such as the one above when Germany realized there was no hope against Russia. The victory at the Battle of Moscow ensured that Germany would have to fight a prolonged war, something that they would be not to handle, which is why they adopted the strategy of the blitzkrieg in the first place. Germany was doomed once Russia was able to halt the German advance, the only thing Hitler thought could save him was if Japan would have opened up a second front of their own, but Japan at this time had the US and Chinese to worry about.
Debate Round No. 2


After the Battle of Moscow, Hitler could no longer launch offensives along the entire front. He would also have to fight a long war instead of defeating the USSR in 5 months.

However after the Battle of Moscow, Hitler could still have won the war in the east. The Soviets had horrible leadership which only began to improve in late 1942. For example, during WWII, some 11 million Soviet Soldiers died and another 7 million were injured. Throughout WWII the Soviets mobilized 25 million men. The Battle of Moscow was the first defeat major for Germany but this battle did not turn the tide. The Soviets might have won or they might have lost. At Moscow the Soviets failed to encircle and destroy army group center. At Stalingrad the Soviets destroyed the German 6th army. Some historians say that the chances for German victory in the east ended with the defeat at Stalingrad. Others say Germany lost all chances for a victory when the 1943 summer offensive at Kursk failed. However the battle of Moscow in no way shape or form ended the chances for a German victory in the east. From the beginning of Operation Barbarossa to the end of the Battle of Moscow, the Germans repeatedly destroyed Soviet divisions. By the end of the Battle of Moscow the axis had suffered ~1 million casualties. On the other hand the Soviets had lost some 7 million men, 3 million of which had become prisoners of war. In other words the Soviets had lost over 7 times as many men as the Germans. The Battle of Moscow was for the Soviets the same as the Battle of Britain had been for the British. The battle "saved" the country but that is about all the Battle of Moscow did since it failed to destroy large enough German forces. As a result of the defeat at Moscow Germany moved fresh divisions from France to the eastern front and prepared for a fresh offensive toward Stalingrad. The Soviets lost hundreds of thousands long before the Germans even reached Stalingrad. If Germany was still gaining land then how was the Battle of Moscow a "turning point." The Battle of Stalingrad completely changed the coarse of the war. The Battle of Moscow saved the Soviet Union. The Battle of Stalingrad both saved the Soviet Union and destroyed the entire German 6th army.

During the Battle of Moscow the Soviets failed to encircle any significant amount of axis forces. During the battle of Stalingrad the Soviets manage to completely destroy 6 axis armies.


Importance of the Battle of Moscow:
-Saved Moscow
-Saved the USSR
-300,000-400,000 German Soldiers died
-Forced the Germans to retreat 100 miles
-Gave a morale boost

Importance of the Battle of Stalingrad:
-Saved Stalingrad(the second most important city in the USSR)
-Saved the USSR
-Saved the valuable oil-fields at the Caucuses(Grozny, Baku, Maykop, etc)
-Saved the British Empire (stopped Germany from breaking into the middle-east from where they could reach India and Egypt)
-A staggering 850,000 German soldiers died
-The entire coarse of the war in Europe changed
-The Germans were in retreat on a scale never seen before shortly following the end of the Battle of Stalingrad

This proves that the Battle of Stalingrad was much more important than any other battle fought during the second world war. Although I understand that the Battle of Moscow was one of the most important battles of the war, I would like to ask; if other people considered the Battle of Moscow to be of any significance then why is that battle so rarely mentioned.


"However after the Battle of Moscow, Hitler could still have won the war in the east."

Hitler had no chance of winning against Russia at all, regardless of whether he took Stalingrad or not. Firstly most of Russia"s industry was in the Urals, so the production of the military wouldn"t have been much hindered at all. Second the Russian Counter attacks that become possible after the battle of Moscow were able to make sure Germany had no chance of capturing Moscow,

"The first stage of the Russian counterattack was almost totally successful. In the twenty days after resuming their offensive against Moscow in the middle of November, the Germans had advanced up to seventy miles to the very outskirts of the city. Now, in thirty-four days, along six hundred miles of front, the Russians advanced in some places more than 150 miles. The Germans had lost the strategic initiative for the @257;rst time since 1939. The immediate threat to the capital had been averted. It was never to be renewed, despite a nervous moment in April 1942, when the barricades were briefly re-erected as the Germans began once again to bestir themselves for their summer offensive." (Moscow 1941 By Rodric Braithwaite)

They also as I"m sure we both know failed in their objective to capture Leningrad (I actually had family who lived through Leningrad, and my grandfather was an officer when they broke the siege.). So the German war machines already failed in both objectives and Stalingrad what was left was Stalingrad. With Germany's line spread thin and the Russian manpower highly out powering the Germans, there was no conceivable way that the Germans could have won even if they took Stalingrad. Also the red army destroyed anything of value that the Germans could use so imagine the time it would have taken for the Germans to actually make use of the oil fields, while they also had to worry about the massive Russian reinforcements who were not only making their own war materials but were being given made materials from the USA.
Now had Germany taken Moscow, moral everywhere would have been devastated, Stalin would have had to divert big portions of his reinforcements to retake his capital against what I'm sure would have been a fierce German defense. Could things have played out differently if Russia lost Moscow, its definitely possible, but would the loss of Stalingrad with Moscow and Leningrad still holding their own would still have spelled defeat for the Germans? Yes the Germans would still have lost; they just did not have the man power or the resources to handle the Soviet Union. At the best they would have received a draw. But by keeping Moscow I believe Russia made sure it was a Victory.

Comparing the two battles in terms of numbers definitely shows that Stalingrad was a much more brutal battle, and I don"t disagree with you on that, the carnage was on scale never seen before. The main difference is Stalingrad was a Numbers Victory, Moscow was a Strategic Victory. A great example would be the Battle of Antietam in the American Civil War. Even though the south killed more union men, the union held the line and this eventually led to the downfall of the south. Yes there were bigger and more famous battles like Gettysburg and such, but if the South would have won at Antietam the North would have most likely lost or came close to it. This scenario is no different than the Battle of Moscow.

In regards to your statement about why the battle of Moscow isn't spoken of too much well, that's because we live in the USA, go to Russia and you will learn all about it. Many books are written about the Battle of Moscow, (I own two myself ). I personally see it as a failure of our history education that we don"t know. I know in my case up until my AP Euro class my Junior year of high school, the only battle we were ever really taught about regarding Napoleon was the battle of Waterloo. The part Russia played was summed up in one word "winter". It made me sick knowing that there were countless battles such as Smolensk, Borodino, Berezina that we never talked about, and the only battle we did mention in AP Euro was Smolensk. (Plus Waterloo)

It was pleasure debating with you, and I"m glad you see Russia being the main reason Germany lost, I still know people who think we fought against Russia in WWII, and that D-Day was when Germany only began losing.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Epiphron 3 years ago
You misread my comment, I said that Hitler would not have won even if he took Stalingrad. By the time the battle of Stalingrad happened Hitler would not have been able to win. The Soviets manpower and industrial output was to high for the Nazis to ever match. I was replying to your statement which I quoted at the top. In which you said Hitler still could have won after the battle of Moscow, I was merely saying that since he didn't win the battle at Moscow it wouldn't matter if he took Stalingrad or not,. I wasn't saying that the Nazis never had a chance from the beginning.

I hope that this cleared up the misunderstanding, and I enjoyed the debate as well. Glad to have a discussion with someone who doesn't think America is the only reason WWII ended.
Posted by STALIN 3 years ago
Ye Epiphron I agree with what you said in your last paragraphs when you talk about the failure of American schools in teaching WWII. D-Day is always exaggerated; one time my teacher even said that it was a turning point in WWII. The truth is that it had no effect on the outcome of the war since by 1944 Germany had no chances of winning WWII anyway. The only things that are ever mentioned about the eastern front is that the leader of the USSR was Stalin, that the winter was fierce, and that there was some battle called "Stalingrad" that was fought in the east. The Battles of Moscow and Kursk and Berlin, Operation Bagration, the Siege of Leningrad are never mentioned. However the Battle of the Bulge was mentioned. Anyway, I learned about all these things myself outside of school. And it was nice debating with you Epiphron.
Posted by STALIN 3 years ago
What Con said in the final round when he stated that Hitler had no chance of winning against Russia is complete nonsense. Hitler lost in Russia due to his mistakes. Had he not turned south to encircle Soviet forces at Kiev and went straight ahead toward Moscow, he would have definitely captured the city and the war for Russia would almost certainly be over.
Posted by Epiphron 3 years ago
I write my arguments in word and then copy and paste them. Whenever I do this the apostrophes turn in to quotation marks. Its really annoying and I don't know why it happens.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by gabbsmcswaggin 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: its really close
Vote Placed by thett3 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I think the best argument in the debate was Cons point about how the battle of Moscow stalled the Blitzkrieg. The best chance the Germans had to win the war was to rapidly defeat the USSR before it could fully mobilize it's resources. Had the Nazi's won the battle of Moscow, I draw from the debate that they likely would've won the war.