WW2 The True Cost of War WW2 The Battle of Stalingrad Part 2 2019 Documentary worldatwar

[Music] at the end of November 1941 Fritz taught the head of the German armaments ministry demanded a meeting with Adolf Hitler Todd said to Hitler the war would cost something like 150 billion dollars which is more than Germany's gross domestic products before the war Nazi Germany's failure to not rush her out the war in the summer of 1941 meant that she could basically no longer afford the war as Toth said this war can no longer be won militarily now just think about that for a moment in the winter of 1941 this is even before Hitler failed to take Moscow years before the end of the war Hitler has actually been told that he can't win the war if Hitler chooses to fight on Hitler does more than that because on December the 11th he then declares war on the United States after Pearl Harbor just think about that he is declaring war on the richest nation on earth when he's got no money to do so it's surely total lunacy on the face of it it's crazy but what you've really got to do is to try and see the world from Hitler's perspective one of the factors fairly influencing Hitler's decision to continue to fight the war to the desperate end is his conviction that he's really fighting two wars he's fighting the standard between the great powers but he was also fighting a war against the international Jewish conspiracy this is his chance to attack what he regards is the biggest enemy the Jewish bankers in America unless you see Hitler's visual warning that way it's quite hard to work out why he continues to fight the way he does this is a war of numbers and there's only one number that counts it's not dollars it's not Reichsmarks it's the number of Jews he can kill right from the very beginning Hitler's war was never just about conquest it was about extermination Hitler's plan was always to take over vast sways of land and basically to get rid of its population to make room the Germans Laban drown and just as he did in Poland Hitler sends squads of merciless killers to Russia their sole purpose was the ethnic cleansing of Germany's latest round in preparing the Operation Barbarossa for Einsatzgruppen units were created in the summer of 1941 they were expanded initially from 3,000 to maybe around 30,000 people involved in direct atrocities and the Einsatzgruppen became the primary forces behind the mass shootings of Jews in Ukraine in Bella Russia and the Baltic States and in southern Russia but death squads form only part of the Nazi killing machine it's also important to remember the cost which was built into the plan it wasn't incidental of allowing millions of people millions of Russians and Ukrainians to starve to death the sheer callousness of Nazis strategy is thrown into full focus as the Panzers of Army Group North reach Leningrad in September 1941 this is the city of the revolution named after Lenin the German army no longer had the strength to take both Leningrad and Moscow so Hitler decided to starve the city but he didn't intend to starve Leningrad into submission he wanted to starve it to death Hitler had absolutely no concern for the welfare of the civilians he said we have no interest in saving a single civilian a cordon would be placed around the city so not only couldn't miss to be relieved but also the citizens couldn't come out this is a neutral process in which a very beginning of it the Nazis bomb a food Depot the four acre site is engulfed in flames incinerating 3,000 tons of valuable bread making flour enough for six months this begins the longest siege in history almost three and a half million people were trapped by the siege of leningrad in the end they held out for 872 days thats almost two and a half years against constant bombardment by the Germans a daily minimum of one thousand tons of supplies is needed to keep the population of Leningrad alive most of these are ferried across Lake Ladoga to the east of the city along a hard 1 corridor carved out of the German lines when winter set in that Lake froze and that meant that the Soviets were able to build a highway across the ice so food and supplies could be brought in and people could be brought out but the ice was not always reliable one woman was travelling across the ice as part of a convoy she was in the second lorry her children were in the first line and she recalls watching that lorry with her children to sink down into the ice her lorry didn't stop you just simply went round the first lorry and she watched her children going under as her lorry simply carried on despite the highway supplies often fall far short of the 1000 tonnes per day the city needs by November 1941 the food ration is 125 grams of bread a day which is you know not enough calorific intake to sustain human life it is a fraction of the rations received in other countries even under wartime conditions imagine this loaf of bread is the daily calorific intake required for somebody in the second world war in Britain even with rationing you actually get more than a loaf per person per day in Nazi Germany well it starts off at a loaf per person per day but it drops as the war goes on but then it has to be better than occupied Europe here you're on half a loaf per person per day that's just enough to stop you from starving but even that's better than if you found yourself in Leningrad besieged by the Nazis that's just two slices per person per day in 1944 in the Warsaw Ghetto a single slice of bread and if you were in a concentration camp it drops to just that and that's murder pure and simple things get so bad in Leningrad that people resort to all kinds of desperate measures to stay alive people were eating household pets and rats anything even if it was poisonous they had no heating they had no transportation they had to go and fetch water from a hole in the river neva the effort required even to go and do that was enormous grabbing bread from the hands of strangers and there was an expression which was quite simply don't go to bed because very often if you lay down you were in such a physically weak state that you simply wouldn't wake up again but dying in your sleep could be the least of your problems housing administrator visited a woman whose children had died and there was a pot boiling on the stove and the woman said Oh smut in' so the housing administrator took out the lid and started labeling through it and there was a human hand inside the pot over the course of the siege something like 2,000 people were arrested for cannibalism and that was just the tip of the iceberg more than 1.1 million soldiers and civilians died in Leningrad at a rate of around a thousand a day all part of a Nazi plan to starve Russia to death more Russian people were killed at Leningrad than British and American soldiers were killed throughout the entirety of the war but Leningrad refuses to surrender and the siege drags on for years 872 days starting September 1941 ending in January 1944 in the end it would have made far more sense for Hitler either to bring his troops away from Leningrad or to devote enough troops to actually take the city yet for Hitler Leningrad is a symptom of a much much darker malaise because by January 1942 the Nazis have decided to fulfill their racial destiny they must turn murder into an industry on the 20th of January in 1942 fifteen middle-ranking functionaries of the Nazi administration was in a lakeside country house at von C on the outskirts of Berlin it was a number of bureaucrats meeting to decide precisely how to best exterminate the Jewish people before relaxing over cognac and cigars it is not a moment when key decisions are made but actually just collating coordinating the vasa confers marks that switch from mass shootings mostly in the former Soviet territories to mass extermination which means the construction of dedicated killing facilities it is quite significant in some ways for one thing it was actually trying to implicate people from different areas different backgrounds so that more people would feel some responsibility both for carrying this forwards and maintaining secrecy as better than good by the end of the war as many as 800,000 people had become implicated either directly or indirectly in what would become chillingly known as the final solution to the Jewish Question their murderous intent was driven by Hitler's growing conviction that he must kill as many Jews as he can this is a war which is accelerated during this period because Hitler think the Jews really are responsible for something he thinks that for every German killed on Easter front you know jurors got to pay then on the seventh of December 1941 Hitler's war against international jury takes on a whole new urgency after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor at the end of 1941 came 1942 was there doubt that the program against the Jews becomes radicalized partly because he made a state sent to the war by a global war against the Jews and international manure and that if he doesn't fight that war at the end they will destroy Germany and so this is where the focal point of the war for Hitler that the fight against the Jews really came to a head he felt that even if he was going to self a military defeat he would go a long way towards accomplishing his central war aim by exterminating the Jews his time was limited and he would have to find more expeditious ways to eliminate the Jewish people yet while the war with America may have accelerated the Holocaust it did not start it some historians argue that actually was the development of a European war into a world war with the entry of America that made all the difference but I think all the evidence suggests that the difference had already been in the planning in the preceding months that planning was prompted by a brutally simple logistics problem the way in which the Nazis had murdered Jews in the former Soviet Union through shooting couldn't be repeated infinitely for the Jews of the whole of nazi-occupied Europe the shooters having to get blind drunk some of the shooters having severe mental problems as a result so they start looking for more efficient ways of killing during the autumn of 1941 experiments on Soviet prisoners of war as well as on Jews were carried out and the idea was to find the best the quickest the safest means of murdering Jews and shown though they devised specially constructed vans where the exhaust pipe was piped back in people were told to get in the back of the truck and in that course of that journey to a mass grave they'd have six eiated those people with carbon monoxide fumes so shall know was the first place where they really started bringing Jews to a specific place in order to kill them rather than going to places where there were lots of Jews and killing them where they found them at the same time as between 150 and 300 thousand Jews and Gypsies were being suffocated in vans at home now another more efficient method of killing was being developed elsewhere there were six sanatoria for the mentally and physically disabled within the right that were repurposed to kill the mentally and physically disabled however in August 41 there is this public sermon and by Bishop Clements count from Garland there is a lot of public outcry and Hitler ever worried about his support and the population terminates that officially that's at exactly the same time his reports are coming from the east saying that the shootings are not going well and so the Finizio experts are brought in to look at other ways of gassing and one of these is to experiment with cyclin b gas which they do on September the 3rd in Auschwitz killing Soviet prisoners of war on that particular experiment this proved so effective that the Nazis eventually converted the nearby POWs camp at Auschwitz Birkenau into a dedicated death camp with four gas chambers capable of killing four thousand four hundred and sixteen people a day almost 1.6 million people a year additional killing facilities were created at Belzec Sobibor Maidan ik and Treblinka in Poland it took no time before the death camps were functioning like clockwork the camps were heavily camouflaged so people would arrive thinking they were being taken to a work camp you would be subjected to a selection process if you were sent one way because you were old or you were young or you were unfit to work then you would essentially be sent to have a shower this was in fact not a shower but gas chamber they would have to get undressed leave their belongings and so on and then they were converted into the gas chambers either a zyklon-b tablet would be put into a special hatch and would gasp everybody inside to death or else carbon monoxide would be pumped in either way everybody in that supposed shower would end up dead their bodies will then be cleared away by the Sonderkommando these were or inmates whose job it was to take away the gold teeth to take away anything else that could be used and to dispose of the body mostly Sonderkommando Gallants worked for a little while and then they too were gassed but a few did survive and the way they described what must have been a struggle within the gas chambers how the strongest the fittest were on top of the mound and the weak and the old and the children were at the bottom partly trampled to death Xander commando members were themselves victims and so the perpetrators again had an easier job of it not having to do that very emotive close work with the dead bodies of those they're just killed now if you survived the entry procedure that was because you had some work left in you you would therefore have your head shaved you would receive a tattoo you would be sent to a barracks and there your work would begin making munitions or whatever it was that was being made inside that camp you would live on starvation rations you would be liable to be killed at any moment and not just killed women in the camps could be subjected to the most inhumane treatment an SS sergeant man called Erik Bauer recalled the fact that he had kept two sex slaves to Jewish actresses called Ruth and jela and he had kept them and then other SS NCOs officers people have come in on a regular basis and just basically raped them and he had complained in his testimony about the fact that they're being raped at night in his custody used to keep him awake like so many others the girls were used like animals then gassed once their usefulness was over this torque state-sponsored mass murder to a whole new level there had been previous genocides for instance the Armenian Genocide in in Turkey during the first world war and others before that throughout history but the death camps were something unique in human history Hitler and Himmler and the SS industrialized this process who had the transport system the fact that it was not so difficult to Joanie's excellent railway system to move these people to death centers this was a supreme perversion of the Industrial Age to industrialize murder to turn it into an industrial process to make it into the everyday between them these five polish death camps murdered at least 1 million four hundred seventy four thousand and 166 human beings by the end of 1942 and each camp only needed a couple of hundred prison guards to run them in these hellish places even a human kindness could inadvertently snuff out life freida Weinman was the daughter of a woman with three young children and when they arrived at Auschwitz Frida and her two brothers were sent one way while Frida's mother was handed somebody else's child and sent the other way [Music] and when Frida's older brother soreness happening he sent his little brother over to the other cue to stand with Frida's mother because he felt that his little brother would feel safer with his own mother but of course what he was actually doing was condemning his brother to death because they were in the queue to be taken straight to the gas chamber [Music] a quite different example which i think is so little written about is that of gay men there was a French homosexual called Pierre sale and he had to stand and see how his young lover called Joe with whom he was deeply in love was brought into the camp was made to stand in the middle and the appellplatz had a bucket put over his head and then dogs were unleashed on him PSL could never get over that experience for the rest of his life that's the kind of human tragedy that multiplied by millions was taking place every single day so how did civilized 20th century society get to the point where it was mass murdering millions of people just because of who they were we can talk about raid that anti-semitism we can talk about Nazi ideology and seeing the Jews as the root of all evil but all of that doesn't ultimately explain the madness of deciding you are going to physically murder all these human beings of every age from tiny babyhood through to old age one of the most important things in relation to Holocaust is not simply to sideline it as something from history something that that happened a long time ago to other people the main thing is not to forget that this happened but even more importantly not to forget how it happened big part of it is to privately with their humanity even in the way we talk about other people that is better that they drown and arrive on our shores this is the kind of mindset that it's not a million miles from where we ended up at the end of the 1930s you can see the initial problems being in 1933-34 when people just fall into line whether it's career ism opportunism bandwagon effect I think that capitulations by people who should have known better and should have done otherwise in first 18 months is the first step where it really goes badly wrong it's partly cuz it does an endless propaganda that presents the Jew is the enemy and so on and then you increase that with little acts by saying that these people are different these people are not good they're not healthy to society as a whole and soon people are taking this for granted that that is the way things are well perhaps they deserve to be treated like this because you know there's no smoke without fire and then it gets more extreme and more extreme and by that time you as the bystander are somehow implicated in this there's an increasing radicalization and once it's in wartime it's a quite different situation because there you can say your country is endangered your country is at war if you're a good patriotic German you don't want to risk endangering your country at war step by step you cross all those sessions until it is actually possible to kill the Jews in in huge numbers without really questioning why you're doing it [Music] words are so important that's where it all starts phrases like they're not people they're animals easy enough to overlook but my goodness me do they lead places because before you know it terrible things could be happening again by discounting the Jews and Slavs as animals Hitler and his henchmen could justify all that they had done so far but to cling on long enough to kill all the Jews it confined Hitler's tottering state needs more resources to fight the war and in spring 1942 the Nazis come up with a plan to do just that it will thrust one Russian town into the cauldron of history it's name is Starling on the 8th of May 1942 more than one and a half million German troops backed up by almost 2,000 tanks and over 2,000 aircraft roll into the Northern Caucasus they find themselves facing 1.7 million Russians with almost 4000 tanks and 1,600 planes but despite their numbers the Russians aren't ready for what hits them Stalin was so convinced that a German attack was still coming in Moscow they refused to believe any intelligence to suggest otherwise Hitler is absolutely elated because now that Springs here those Panzers can really punch through just as they did in the blitzkrieg of the early days of Barbarossa but after their initial surprise the Soviet fallback becomes more organized these armies are withdrawing strategically so the forces that end up withdrawing to Stalingrad have not been crushed in the way that some of those forces were in June July and August of 1941 this enables the Soviets to strengthen the city that bears their leaders name the battle of stalingrad is often presented as a battle between two dictators and Stalin wanted to defend the city the boys name hits that wanted to capture selling out because it had starred in this name but there was more to Stalingrad than just a name it was also an immensely important industrial hub strategically it was one of the lowest crossing places of the river Volga and if the Germans could hold it they would prevent the Soviets from retaking the Caucasus capture Stalingrad cut the Volga the Seas the oil but symbolically if Stalin loses his named city it's as though he's conceding the fight to Hitler determined that his name city must not fall Stalin issues are not one stepped back order to the armies dedicated to its defense when one of its generals ignores the order and starts to withdrawal across the Volga he is summarily dismissed Starling was incandescent this isn't just because it's a city with his name on it if he tells his generals it's got these factories you know it's got our main waterway if we lose the Volga then the war is over bear in mind this is the area from which Russia gets 90% of its oil if he can deny that oil to Russia and take it to himself he's effectively not Soviet Union out of the war it hitless under no illusions about this and he even goes on to admit if I don't seize the caucuses by the autumn then there's no way that I can win this war Stalin places an iron wills veteran of the Russian Revolution in command his name is fasoli Chu cough when he takes over at Stalingrad on the 13th of September 1942 the Soviet defense force is shrunk to a mere 20 thousand men and 60 tanks and the tanks of so little fuel they have to be towed into position by contrast Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus is 6th army in like 280,000 men the Soviets have dug into the industrial heart of the city anchored upon a 300 foot high artificial Hill known as the mamaev Kirkham this high ground dominates three giant industrial factories the most famous of which is the judge in ski tractor works these factories are vast think of Battersea Power Station in London or Grand Central Station in New York these huge brick and concrete structures were built for industry but they had another purpose now they became a kind of fortress in the battle for Stalingrad they were able to stand up to Shellington bombing to a source they were able to protect the people holding them against the attackers so yes they may have been built to produce all manner of industrial goods but my goodness me they now served a new purpose the terrain around these factory fortresses is a pockmarked hellhole of blown out craters and collapsed buildings bombed to rubble by German artillery and aircraft but ukhov realizes that the very nature of the German assault can be turned to his advantage cities are held to fight him once you blown half of them apart and defenders can hide themselves in rubble the rubble was perfect cover for small units with Molotov cocktails or individual snipers credibly difficult for tanks to win Clark the Russian sniper is hiding in every building and fighting from every building to God's locals have got a huge advantage because they know the city he orders them to get within grenade throwing distance that's just a few meters essentially and it means that the Germans can't counter-attack with their stupid dive bombers because the sukkah wouldn't risk attacking very close to German armor or German troops and to throw the German 6th army into a battle against these desperate people this was something nobody had taught in the German Staff colleges deal with this even so just one day and his command Chuco finds himself with his back pinned against the Volga general Paulus launches a massive assault on the city center driving really hard for the mamaev Kurgan this hill was so important that it was to be the site of continuous fighting for 112 days and that's despite the fact that the average life expectancy of somebody fighting over it was about 76 hours chuka finds himself pushed so far back and rear wheels of his rocket launchers are actually hanging over the harbor walls so he can get the elevation he needs to fire his rockets by the evening of September the 14th the situation is desperate the Russians have no choice but to throw in the only reserve division they have for Stalingrad 10,000 members for thirteen of guards led by General Alexander and intserv the guards have just been force marched 450 miles so it's no wonder they're exhausted and were still about a thousand of them don't even have any rifles they ferry across a vulgar and they're thrown straight into the fight on the other side the ferry across the Volga is under constant bombardment the Germans whole strategy was if they could take the embarkation point stop reinforcements coming across the Volga to keep the city fighting just 15 tanks are holding the jetty when the guards arrive and they charge straight at the attacking Germans who are only about 200 yards away the guards manage to push their way up the hill and regain the riverfront something enormous covered here but they managed to stop the German advance by the end of the Battle of the ten thousand guards ride about 320 such acts of suicidal heroism become - a penny in Stalingrad it was an epic fight for survival hitting two of the most vile dictators and they're equally ruthless armies against each other and the stories that come out of it are just extraordinary you've got this story of a marine called Michael panikkar KO who tries to throw a Molotov cocktail but it explodes in his hand drenched him in fire but that wasn't enough to deter him he picked up another carried on charging was approaching him and he managed to destroy attack and that story so representative of how Soviets wanted to remember the battle and actually you can see him on this huge frieze the vulgar frieze which commemorates the battle then you've got the extraordinary story of a signal called TTFN who's sent to reconnect some severed communication was on the mamaev kerger he was later found dead but between his teeth on one side he had one wire and on the other side he had the other wire he's actually used his skull as a conductor do we take these stories at face value clearly some are gonna raise eyebrows the whole mythos donnagon and they're sort of small and stories fictionalized or not are all part of a very powerful narrative that inspires the soviets to fight back this is what it means to defend Mother Russia the mythology is so compelling that Hitler himself is sucked into the saga he becomes obsessed with taking Stalingrad on the 9th of November he orders Paulus to strip every German unit he can find from the axis armies defending the flanks of Stalingrad and against the anvil of the factories in the center that same day when Paulus is launching this great offensive Hitler stands up in front of the party faithful had a huge gathering in Munich and he says to the crowd I will soon be the master of Stalingrad but Hitler has reckoned without marshal zhukov what Hitler doesn't know is that this is exactly what Zhukov wants him to do because Stalingrad in truth was a trap [Applause] Hitler has become so obsessed with Stalingrad that he decides to throw everything at it this is what you called it has been waiting for a lot of German was for moving more more their troops and resources into signing great unknown to them of course the Soviet High Command and Bunnicula marshal Zhukov and look to the situation realized this was a potential trap what we needed to do was to build up large forces on the flanks of the long and very extended German line unbeknownst to Hitler the Soviets have been preparing for a moment like this ever since the Nazi tanks first rolled into Russia I think it's fair to say that the German High Command Hitler - of course really had no idea what was going to be involved in the war in Syria you know they thought the Red Army was you know a primitive already bad in there and they didn't have no sense really of sheer space they were going to have to occupy it's also got countless numbers of troops in reserve and for every factory to Hitler manages to overrun there another ten like it beyond the Urals as German Panzers roll into Russia more than two and a half thousand Soviets industrial plants were uprooted and carried in 1.5 million railway wagons beyond the river Volga the Ural Mountains and as far east as Siberia more than two thousand miles east of Moscow the sheer scale of Stalin's mobilization beggars belief he is stripped and taken apart tens of thousands of factories and moved into the East and these factories weren't just moved a few miles they were moved further than the Germans ever managed to reach during Operation Barbarossa these are distances that the Nazis can only dream about the Communists had no qualms forcibly uprooting a massive army of factory workers to operate their relocated production lines sixteen and a half million men and women were forced to leave their homes to work 18-hour days six days a week in appalling conditions here are these people uprooted from their factories around Moscow let's say put on chains with all the machine tools and they're taking these colorful places in the middle of nowhere if this is sprayed up so quickly that one new town on the Volga was known as biryani which translated means of the town with no name this industrial mobilisation was dedicated to one thing rearmament every factory has a quota and if you don't make your quota the penalties are really severe and of course that's one of the ironies of the Second World War is that the Soviet Union you know one of the Allies against Hitler's assault on freedom and democracy has effectively enslaved his own people in order to fight this war by the time the Germans have fought their way through Stalingrad abandoned tractor works marshal zhukov strap is in place this was something that Zhukov was incredibly good at getting a plan and methodically working towards it in order to ensure that it worked out optimally over the preceding months he'd gradually built up a formidable force more than a million men almost a thousand tanks 14,000 guns and 1,350 aircraft were ready to spring his trap the mobile Germans get sucked into the Stalingrad battle their long line of communications that comes weaker and weaker Zhukov knows at some point it's going to be possible to cut that line and to encircle sonogram and trap all the German forces inside he waited very patiently and only when Hitler stripped his flanks of the last German units to leave only Italian and Romanian troops did he make his move at 7:30 that morning 3,500 Russian guns by the opening salvos of operation euros the attack is spearheaded by t-34 and kv-1 tanks supported by aircraft this is a Russian blitzkrieg this was Zhukov playing them at their own game this enormous encircling movement which had been characteristic of how the Germans have conquered France and and so forth within five days Soviet advance columns have completely encircled Stalingrad now it's at this point when any sensible general will want to mount a tactical withdrawal and Paulus once a permission to do so Hitler orders Paulus to stand firm assuring him that the Luftwaffe will airdrop all the supplies he needs until relief arrives Paulus tells Hitler that he needs 750 tons of supplies a day Air Chief Marshal Goering claims he can airlift 500 tons a day in reality the Luftwaffe manages less than a hundred tons a day why Hitler is listening to Goering after the failure of the Battle of Britain is frankly anybody's guess there's no way the Luftwaffe is gonna supply the volume of air drops needed to help out Paulus as its lowest air the Luftwaffe was dropping less than 60 tons a day and for some inexplicable reason they weren't just popping food imagine what it's like to be one of these German troops trapped in Stalingrad you're actually starving to death that's your biggest enemy now and you see a plane that's got through the cordon and it drops a package do you run out into the open to pick up this package because every chance you could be picked off by a sniper so you run out at the same time a comrade who is also seen it runs out he gets shot you manage to get to the package and you run back undercover praying it's gonna be food my god you you need food you just want food and with trembling hands fumbling hands you open it up and it goes through your mind what if this isn't food what if this is a munition frankly to hell with ammunition you need something to eat rip this package open and there inside is a load of condoms Goering has dropped you a packet of condoms you have no bloody use for condoms at this particular moment whereas a piece of bread yeah that would come in handy traps in Stalingrad Paulus is no option but to offer a humiliating surrender of around 280,000 Germans who had been thrown into that cauldron only ninety one thousand survived to shuffle off to captivity the ninety thousand Germans who had captured at Stalingrad only nine thousand six hundred twenty-six make it back home alive the rest are basically worked to death in the gulags Stalingrad is a disaster for the Nazis of the 51 divisions that began the campaign thirty-two are lost completely and another sixteen are so shattered they will never be the same again including the reinforcements poured into the region to support the stalling campaign twelve thousand guns 3500 tanks and something like 3000 aircraft have been lost with them people are too quick to talk about turning points in relation to war but I think what we have here is a true turning point because Hitler said at the time if we abandon this attack then we abandon the whole purpose of the campaign we can't replace what we've got there he says if we leave there we can never return in other words he was saying if we abandon Stalingrad we lose the Caucasus and with that I think you can say he lost the war more than 1.1 million Russian soldiers and civilians fell in the Stalingrad campaign but behind them stand tens of millions more and now of the Soviets of the guns the tanks the general is to turn the tide of the war before starting grad the was still a chance that the Germans have might have won in these after Stalingrad they might somehow be able to hang on and keep fighting the war but victory was gone no prospect of victory after Stalingrad for the judge they don't have the actual numbers with which to win the war Hitler's words will now come back to haunt him and on the other side of the world another mighty conflict is about to turn the tide in the Pacific December the 7th 1941 Admiral Yamamoto Scapa knees Imperial Navy destroys the u.s. battleship fleet based at Pearl Harbor even though he helped to plan and direct the Pearl Harbor attack Admiral Yamamoto actually didn't support it he felt it was probably the most dangerous thing that Japan could do in the famous film tora tora tora yamamoto is shown as saying i fear that all we have done is to have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with terrible resolve in fact he doesn't say quite those words but he does say something pretty similar unlike Japanese High Command Yamamoto has lived in the United States and has unrivaled insight into Uncle Sam's potential when asked how his Navy would fare if Japan attacked the u.s. Yamamoto said for the first six months I will have victory after victory but then if the war continues I have no expectation of success so Yamamoto was aware of America's potential and he was aware of the numbers involved in other words he exhibited the reticence to going to war with the United States for the long-term Yamamoto's prediction proves spookily accurate 179 days after the Pearl Harbor attack a battle unfolds that conclusively and decisively ends the Japanese campaign of expansion almost exactly to the date as Admiral Yamamoto had predicted very soon the u.s. built up from having about the 18th largest army in the world to the second after the Soviet Union and what's more it build up its Navy from a thousand ships to five and a half thousand how America achieves such a remarkable and speedy turnaround is a tale of ingenuity enterprise and unimaginably high war winning numbers December the 11th 1944 days after Japan's surprise air raid on the Americans in Hawaii Nazi Germany makes clear its intentions toward Uncle Sam the United States was not at war with either fascist Italy and Nazi Germany however in a long and rambling speech before the Reichstag Adolf Hitler concluded the speech by declaring war on the USA that was playing right into President Roosevelt's hands he had been having great difficulty in focusing the minds of the American people on the war in Europe well now he was given the perfect excuse to do so from here on American rearmament will follow a policy of Germany first it must confront not just the direct aggressor the Empire's pan but also the indirect aggressor Nazi Germany [Music] what America is going to do is to fight a containment war in the Pacific but what it wants to spend more of its resources on is feeding its allies Britain and Russia and then defeating Hitler and Germany in Europe and only then will it turn its full attention to Japan even a limited war of containment still requires troops and at the start of the war America has precious few but General George C Marshall the US Army's chief of staff took over in 1939 the American army was just a hundred and seventy four thousand strong now that is really small that was smaller than the size of Portugal's army by 1941 that had gone up to 1.8 million that sounds big but in comparison to other countries it's still really pathetically small by contrast the USA's Pacific Fleet almost matches Japan's 11 battleships vs 11 Japanese battleships 34 light and heavy cruisers versus 41 100 destroyers versus 129 but the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor shifts the numbers in Japan's favor putting 19 US vessels out of action still there are three crumbs of comfort America had three aircraft carriers in the Pacific in 1941 these were the Lexington the enterprise and the Saratoga and they were defending Midway Island when Pearl Harbor was attacked so after that they then retreat to the safety of the Californian coast to contain the Japanese the USA needs numbers in the Pacific what the United States needed to do and to do fast was to build up its military just weeks later President Roosevelt presents a budget to Congress which diverts enormous resources to war production four fifty nine billion dollars fifty two billion is devoted to rearmament he follows this up with one of the most punitive tax regimes in history the number of Americans who were required to pay tax in 1941 for seven million the number required to pay tax a year later in 1942 42 million and that money was plowed straight into rearmament Roosevelt then deploys his most powerful weapon capitalism while the Soviet command economy used patriotic coercion to build its weapons America paid private enterprise to turn out thousands of planes millions of rifles and billions of bombs and bullets once the tap is turned on it's an extraordinary stream of entrepreneurial initiative as Roosevelt's war secretary Harry Stimpson said in a capitalist country if you are going to war you have to let business make money out of it or business will not work in this war American business not only works it underwrites one of the most incredible turns of fortune in all of military history [Music] January 1942 at war with Japan and Germany America must armed itself in Washington head of the federal government's production management office William Knudsen calls together many of the USA's most powerful industrialists before they arrived he had all of the different contracts spread out on a table so that when they walked in he simply told them have a look and take your pick quickly four-fifths of US government contracts have been distributed to the 100 biggest companies in the United States and America has the workforce to handle this one of the reasons why it's possible to get going so fast is that America has a lot of unemployed resources US unemployment quickly Falls by nine million wages rise in incredible 70 percent the Great Depression is finally over it's often said that the second world war was good for America Americans are better off quite a lot better off in 1945 than they were in working for you or which is not true of anywhere else the secret of their success can be found in the engine of America's car industry mass production one of the big advantages United States has is a long experience of mass production the car industry in America has began any other car industry each worker had one job it meant that the worker didn't need to be particularly skilled they just had to be able to do one thing which they perfected and did very quickly before it moved on to the next person who did their job manufacture of the American Jeep is so simplified that over the entire war more than 600,000 facsimile 's with interchangeable spare parts are built at several factories belonging to both the willies and Ford Motor Company's this is the willies G this one made by Ford under license from the Willy's company these vehicles produced in enormous numbers we're talking about building altogether six hundred and forty thousand of them during the war a third of them going to the Soviet Army and to Britain and this vehicle could carry 800 pounds of equipments or could pull an anti-tank gun and five crew members and go almost anywhere by the end of the war every American regiment has a hundred and forty nine of these vehicles some US companies have a surprising headstart on others automobile giants General Motors and Ford have been building armaments for years for Germany now it may come as a surprise but Adolf Hitler had a life-size portrait of Henry Ford that the father of mass production hanging in his office he idolized him for two reasons first his anti-semitism which forded outlined in a series of newspaper articles throughout the 1920s and secondly he admired Ford's vision of capitalism so it's no surprise that Ford wins an enormous amount of contracts in Germany to help Germany rearm in July 1938 Hitler awarded Ford the Grand Cross of the German eagle which was the highest honor that he could bestow on a foreign national the following month you see a executive at General Motors Michael James Mooney also receiving this self-same medal so you know again you could see this reward going across the Atlantic for helping Hitler Rio both companies will now cash in on American demand for their mass production know-how Henry Ford's son Edsel prefers a plan to mass-produce The Liberator heavy bomber for the US Army Air Force it is an enormous challenge a car had 15,000 parts that had to be put together on an assembly line well a b24 four-engine bomber had precisely 480 8190 three parts so this was something else altogether could it actually be done the Ford Motor Company is awarded the contract to produce the b-24 Liberator bomber Edsel creates a gigantic plant construct the plains at Willow Run south of Detroit Willow Run is awe-inspiring to run the mile long by quarter of mile wide it was called the largest room in the history of mankind who started with these four parallel conveyors production lines and there's a certain point it becomes two and then just one the whole thing really is quite incredible but it almost didn't happen the building was so long that it actually poked out from the republican-controlled County that most of it was in into a Democratic County that was bordering now that Democratic County charged higher taxes Henry Ford wasn't going to have any of that so what he did was to have the building rebuilt at a right angle so it actually obeyed the border of the Republican County and had a turntable inside the building so that the aircraft would come along the production line and then be turned at right angles and carry on being built inside the Republican County the number of aircraft built at Willow Run is extraordinary they were rolling them off at about one every 63 minutes so almost one b-24 an hour at peak production that's a staggering 650 planes a month [Music] a total of 1/5 of America's military equipment will roll off assembly lines operated by car manufacturers but to keep those lines moving requires workers the only problem is able-bodied men are signing up for military service there's a famous recruiting station right in Times Square in New York City and there were apparently 5,000 people waiting in line in front of it on the morning of Monday December 8 1941 by war's end more than 16 million Americans will serve the subsequent gap in the labor market needs to be filled as the size of the American military begins to expand it leaves a void in the industrial workplace and it's probably best known the way that we fill that void with women even as early as January 1942 something like 2.8 million women were involved in war work that figure will rise to fully 19 million in 1945 the most iconic woman war worker is a propaganda poster girl named Rosie the Riveter rosie the riveter was a striking character embodied strength and self-sufficiency but she was also feminine she was alluring the idea was to make her attractive to make her into an icon to encourage women to work in war production Rosie the Riveter was a fictional character but she does seem to have been based on a woman called rose Munro who was actually a Riveter and who was working at Willow Run by 1943 axis factories are also working at Full Tilt the most crucial shortage is not labor but something which has spurred the Japanese to conquer half of Southeast Asia and forced Hitler to lose an entire army at Stalingrad oil the lifeblood of world war ii z' killing machines that or you can't fight modern war oil was at the heart of the national strategies of every country involved in the conflict in the early stages of the war nearly every major offensive carried out by the Axis powers is because of oil the reason for this is simple a tiny number of countries control almost all the world's oil over 90 percent of it is in the hands of the Allies Germany and Japan controlled just 3% for the Japanese it was a big problem before so important was although oil for the Germans - the situation is so bad that Hitler even signed a four-year deal with the petrochemical giant he gave Farben to produce synthetic oil from coal at six times the cost of normal oil german petrochemical giant ego Farben agrees to expand synthetic oil production at its plant at laiona east germany to 350,000 tons per annum but that's only a fraction of what's required so this is why the Russian caucuses are so vital to Hitler the oil fields at Baku alone produce more than three times what Germany consumes in oil every year but the only key oilfield Hitler's Panzers capture is called my cop which produces a useful two million barrels of oil per year but the Germans fail to exploit their bounty when the Germans arrive at my cock they find that the Russians have destroyed all the drilling equipment the Germans haven't brought along any of their own the most the Germans ever got out of my cop was 70 barrels a day in the Pacific the Japanese fare better by April 1942 the Japanese have captured Philippines Burma and the Dutch East Indies it has seventy percent of the world's ten it has vast rubble resources at its disposal level and then most importantly it has all [Music] the Japanese recognized that there would be sabotaging of equipment that would delay or keep production levels low and so the Japanese compensated for that the Japanese came fully tooled to repair their captured oil fields some people thought that it was gonna take about two years and in fact it only took the Japanese a few days getting the oil out of the ground is simple but Japan's Navy lacks the numbers to protect its tankers for the most part Japanese merchant vessels are sailing unarmed and uh nests courted in their return voyages to the Japanese home islands now what can the Americans do they can attack these ships with submarines and planes in fact despite gaining the means to produce more oil than Iran and California combined Japan's oil imports actually sink to barely fifteen percent of their pre-war level the situation got so dire by the end of the war that Japan was having to convert its ships to run on coal and the small boats and planes that ran on oil only had enough for one way tickets suicide missions by contrast America which produces its own oil has massive reserves America supplied 90% of the high-octane aviation fuel used to keep Allied aircraft in the skies but for the Axis powers fuel was so scarce that often the first time a German pilot flew would be in combat that's a real handicap and as a result the Allies ruled the air but in summer 1942 nothing seems predictable if Japan wants to complete its stranglehold on the Pacific it needs to sever Australia's lifeline to the USA and to do that it must first destroy the u.s. Navy April 1942 in just four months Japan has conquered much of Southeast Asia and they're not done yet they also want to get hold of India but they can't because of the monsoon rains so Yamamoto gets approval for a plan that sees him looking South directly towards Australia to cement Japan's dominance in the Pacific Yamamoto wants to cut Australia off as the last springboard for an allied strike back Australia takes the threat seriously and readies itself for a full invasion 61 heavy gun emplacements are placed around her coast and 34,000 troops are brought back from North Africa but before it can threaten Australia Yamamoto's fleet must first clear the US Navy from the Pacific part of this thrust word Australia would include a decisive naval engagement on the high seas that would sweep the US Navy once and for all from the field of battle so that it would no longer represent a threat to continuing Japanese expansion to put this plan into action Japan aims to capture the strategic strong point of Port Moresby New Guinea the American fleet steams into the Coral Sea to defend it what follows will be a new kind of sea battle it was the first naval battle in history where the opposing ships never came within sight of one another naval warfare is now being projected by airpower not being projected by the big tongue the gathered forces look fairly evenly matched both sides of two heavy aircraft carriers containing just under 130 battle ready aircraft both of nine battle cruisers protecting their carriers the US has 13 destroyers Japan 15 but Japan does have the advantage of an extra light carrier Japan's fleet heads to a chain of islands north of the Coral Sea but before hostilities even begin America has an ace up its sleeve a crack team of code breakers named hypo stationed the somewhat aptly named hypo station was a team of code breakers run out of Hawaii by somewhat eccentric figure called joseph roche for now he was a very celebrated Crypt analyst who would famously work day and night just ran on coffee and he actually wore a dressing-gown and slippers over his uniform hypose attempting to decipher japanese naval code jn-25 this is a seriously difficult task because that is ciphered using a hundred thousand five digit numbers in order to scramble any messages it's really hard to break but Raj Shah and his team were able to crack about 1/3 of the code and that was just enough for them to learn that the Japanese were preparing something very big in the Coral Sea [Music] thanks to hypo US Admiral Nimitz knows the Japanese are coming and dispatches a force including the two aircraft carriers Lexington and Yorktown on May the 7th 1942 it blunders into the Japanese task force the Battle of the Coral Sea was a complete mess for starters both sides misidentified their advance ships for the main force and therefore launched their carrier planes against them [Music] they only found their opponents carriers on the second day of the battle [Music] neither side had adequate fighter screens to protect their ships the battle takes its toll on both sides japanese light aircraft carrier show home and US carrier Lexington are both lost aircraft losses are almost even - but Japanese personnel losses are practically twice that of America so the overall result is an allied victory the United States comes out of the battle and it can declare itself the winner because it prevented the invasion of Port Moresby Japan puts its plans for Australia on hold but the Imperial Navy has not finished taking on the Americans Yamamoto decides to once and for all seek that final decisive battle and that it will be done at Midway Atoll the island of Midway is a tiny archipelago and us staging post it's about 1,500 miles west of Hawaii and it's just basically three lumps of rock each of which is about two miles across and one of which has got an airstrip by sending a diversionary flotilla toward the Aleutian Islands Yamamoto plans to trick the American fleet into exposing itself north of Midway and in range of Japanese battleships the Japanese imagined that this battle would be a trap for what was left of the United States Navy and that they would quickly sort that out but that's not going to happen and that's because the United States knows that mid-waist the target Nimitz even knows the very date they want to attack the 4th of June 1942 Yamamoto sluff is about to be called in fact he is the one being duped the u.s. also seeds disinformation the two of its pacific aircraft carriers are absent patrolling the Australian coast while another USS Yorktown was lost at Coral Sea none of which is true Japanese believe that the American aircraft carrier USS Yorktown has been sunk in the Coral Sea but it has not Yorktown was damaged and limped back to Hawaii for repairs the initial estimate says that ninety days will be needed to get the ship back in fighting shape but 1400 Dockyard engineers pull off a minor miracle in just 48 hours the Yorktown is back up and running and it's steaming into the fight Admiral Yamamoto doesn't know it but at Midway u.s. Admiral Nimitz will have three aircraft carriers at his disposal and the American senses an opportunity I'm a huge admirer of album limits the American commander in chief but calls Nimitz again and again made brilliant judgments and his brilliant judgment before Midway of course was when the codebreakers telling him it's that the Japanese are going for Midway he decides to bet the ranch and to send his carriers to take them all and to launch a decisive counter thrust against Midway are they required huge cash to do this when Admiral Nagumo launches 108 planes against the US air base at Midway he is completely surprised when one of his spotter planes sights an American carrier for steaming in his direction just as his returning aircraft are being refitted on deck the American carrier force timed its attack perfectly it came in three waves forty-one Devastator torpedo bombers go in but only six come out [Music] they were shot to pieces by the Japanese fighter cover but the devastators had done their job because coming out the Sun with 37 Dauntless dive bombers and they're able to drop their loads on three aircraft carriers aircraft carriers a car key carga and saw you take ten direct hits the flight decks of every single one of those aircraft carriers was covered with petrol tankers bombs aircraft being refueled I mean this is gonna go up like a barbecue with the gas left on you drop a match a month and that's exactly what happens and in a matter of minutes a cocky kaga and soar you are reduced to funeral pyres here you narrowly escapes but not for long because we come back and get here you later and in addition to losing four aircraft carriers 600 of Japan's best pilots are knocked out of the war but at Midway alone Japan lost 70% of its most experienced pilots either killed or injured she would never be able to recover [Music] it really boils down to this this one magic moment where ten bombs in ten minutes decide the outcome of the war in the Pacific [Applause] japanese losses at Midway vastly outnumber Americas and Nippon cannot keep up with a pace of America's industrial output in the next two years Japan will build just seven new aircraft carriers in the same time period America builds 90 Midway puts Japan on the defensive for the rest of the wall Midway was a genuine turning point in the Second World War and certainly the turning point of the war in the Pacific it was assuredly the last moment there with any realistic possibility of the Japanese winning the war in the Pacific was ended that those Japanese hopes were at the bottom of the sea and every Japanese apple with half a brain understood that [Music] but in this global war before they can finally push Nippon out of Southeast Asia the Americans must first push the Nazis out of Africa North Africa summer 1942 the sending home of 34,000 Australian troops to defend their country against a possible Japanese invasion weakens British general Auchinleck desert army Germany's Field Marshal Irvin Rommels Afrika Corps will take full advantage Rommel launches this absolutely ferocious counter-attack in the desert he's got the Italians he's got a full way to the Africa Corps he's got nearly a hundred thousand men five hundred tanks five hundred aircraft this is a seriously big force one of Rommels victories will be particularly damaging to the British a year and a half earlier the British Eighth Army captured the Libyan port of Tobruk now Rommel retakes it in a war in which the British have already taken a seriously heavy pounding the fall of Tobruk has a really bad effect on Britain's morale [Music] fifteen thousand Allied troops are killed or wounded 33 thousand more are taken prisoner eight hundred thousand artillery rounds 13 million bullets and almost 1200 Allied tanks are left behind Churchill actually speaking about it said that defeat is one thing disgrace is another he talked about this as the lowest point he experienced during the war [Music] Rommels counter-attack was so effective it not only captured Tobruk but also pushed Auchinleck back to a small town on a north african coast called El Alamein the British force positions itself on the edge of the infamous Katara depression the Katara depression is a huge sunken wilderness right in the middle of the desert it's got marshes and salt lakes and quicksands this is not a place you can just drive your tanks through blitzkrieg style and that's why this was a good spot for the British to retreat you unable to break through Rommel digs in and waits it will prove to be a bad decision the defeat of the Japanese at Midway has freed American troops for use on the Western Front but no one can agree where they should strike general Marshall who's the u.s. army chief of staff wants to mount an immediate invasion of Europe Churchill does not like this idea Churchill's plan is to fight Rommel hopefully win and then use North Africa as a springboard to attack Italy Churchill prevails but has to concede overall military command to American General Dwight D Eisenhower because the Americans have no faith in Britain's failed generals Operation Torch the american-led invasion of North Africa is scheduled for November 1942 now this gives Churchill just five months to succeed before the Americans join in and Churchill's really desperate to prove a point that the British and her empire can fight this on their own the man charged with delivering Churchill a victory as the new commander of the British Eighth Army Bernard Montgomery Bernard Montgomery or Monty as he became known to his troops was a very interesting character he was very confident to the point of arrogance some people couldn't abide him yet at the same time he was deeply loved by his own men it served well in the First World War and he had also acquitted himself well at Dunkirk those are the pluses the big minus was the fact that he had taken part in the planning of the disastrous raid on Dieppe which had cost 4000 Canadians and British commandos despite intense pressure for quick results Montgomery refuses to be hurried Monte's got a plan and it's a plan that requires a lot of meticulous buildup of forces which is slow and takes time [Music] America sends Montgomery 300 Sherman tanks mass produced at pre-war locomotive and car factories this is the Sherman m4 tank manufactured by the American car industry it's reliable it's fast at 30 miles an hour if there's a problem with the Sherman it's the armor it's very thin on with its slabsides almost any German anti-tank gun can penetrate it and with a hull and turret full of ammunition it's almost inevitable it'll burst into flame it'll brew up rather horrific Lee they are known as Tommy cookers but in terms of numbers if the Germans can produce 2,600 tigers the Allies by 1946 have produced 49 thousand of these Sherman's it's simply a numbers game and the Allies can out manufacture the Germans [Music] [Applause] October 1942 at El Alamein 94,000 German and Italian troops will face 195,000 Commonwealth it sounds like a sizeable advantage but it's not conventional wisdom says that you need three to one advantage against entrenched enemy Monte's only got a two-to-one advantage that's not great but Montgomery also has four times as many tanks as Rommel and a crucial tactical advantage what Monty has access to is all the German radio traffic because the British have managed to decrypt the famous German Enigma machine this is dynamite for Monty in secure communication is one thing tanks running on empty quite another one of Rommels big problems is that he's running short on fuel and his supply lines at that point stretched almost 2,000 miles to keep his tanks running he has to bring five thousand seven hundred and seventy six tons of fuel along that narrow roadway every single month but accommodation of that distance Allied air superiority in the Mediterranean naval superiority in the Mediterranean means that that much fuel simply isn't getting through Rommel a sufficient amount of fuel on hand to reposition his armor two times but if he tried to do it a third time he'd run out of gas the battle for El Alamein begins like something out of the Great War a 21:40 on the 23rd of October 1942 eight hundred and eighty two guns manned by six thousand artillery men bombard the enemy lines for more than five hours the Allies will fire an estimated 1 million shells during the battle then Montgomery sends in his first wave this was known as operation light fruit the infantry had to be light of foot not to set off the large tank mines that were in their path this actually took longer than was hopeful and what Montgomery called the dogfight the war of attrition then started to take place back in London Churchill is absolutely incandescent how can I find a general who's gonna win a battle he rages at the General Staff luckily Montgomery superior stood by him they trusted that he knew what he was doing under pressure to advance Montgomery launches Operation supercharged operation supercharged is the suicide mission for his leading troops so when the commander of this spearhead tells Monty of the dangers Monty says yes I know but I'm willing to accept a 100% casualty rate [Music] thirteen and a half thousand British and Commonwealth troops perish at el-alamein but they enable Monte's Armour to break through Rommels defensive line despite Hitler's usual stand or die orders Rommel is running low on fuel he cannot mount a Panzer counter-attack so he retreats abandoning 450 tanks and a thousand guns Rommel also leaves behind 20,000 axis troops killed or wounded and a further 30,000 taken prisoner by the end of the day Rommel lost almost 1/3 of his army at Alamein he lost huge numbers of Tanks by the end he only actually had 35 working tanks left [Music] Churchill has his victory it's almost impossible to overstate the moral importance of El Alamein to Britain which remained the only major victory of the war that was won by Britain alone without any allies it led Winston Churchill ultimately to say that before El Alamein we had nothing but defeats after El Alamein we had nothing but victories [Music] just four days later a great anglo-american fleet consisting of 350 warships carrying over 100,000 troops assembles off the coast of North Africa when a joint American and British force launched Operation Torch that was the invasion of North Africa on the 8th of November well by that time Rommel situation seemed hopeless but in February in 1943 at alyssia's Kasserine pass the Americans discover that Rommel has a painful sting in his tail the Americans had arrived into North Africa pretty firm in the belief they were going to turn things around they were going to show the British how it was done but actually Rommel who bear in mind was on the run from Montgomery was still able to teach the Americans a lesson at Kasserine pass Rommel shock counter-attack at Kasserine pass inflicts 10,000 casualties it vindicates Churchill's call to delay a liberation of France until the Allies have sufficient numbers and experience to take on and beat battle-hardened German troops [Music] to this day some American historians argue that the Mediterranean was a great snare and delusion which Churchill set for Roosevelt Roosevelt was foolish enough to fall into but I think the American participation in North Africa and later Italy was absolutely vital to teach the Americans what it was really like making war against the German North Africa is where the Americans grew up it was where the British were able to consolidate their power and it was very much a springboard for the Allies to win the war [Music] in March 1943 Rommel leaves Africa two months later a quarter of a million axis troops have surrendered most of them are Italians but that also includes the better part of the Africa Corps thanks to Hitler's uncompromising orders Hitler's desire always to fight on the Germans lost close to half a million men for absolutely no gain which of course was a total disaster Eisenhower Bradley Patton Montgomery each of these generals cuts their teeth in the deserts of North Africa in the years to come that experience will help them turn the tide of the war in the Allies favor our commemoration of 80 years since the start of World War 2 continues as we go inside the Nazi mega bunker bring you tomorrow at 8:00 and tonight uncovering more deadly plans we're hunting out Hitler's secret underground Factory brand next [Music]