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Had the Battle of Stalingrad been hampered
by unusual low temperatures in December 1942?

Posted: 23. December 2012
(Update 17 Jan.2013; Stalingrad January 1943) -graphics enlargeable- 

by Arnd Bernaerts
(OCL 12-8)

The final stage of the Battle of Stalingrad commenced on 23rd November 1942. From the roughly 200’000 Axis troops in the city only about 100’000 survived the siege, and were taken as prisoners after surrendering on 31.Jan./2. Feb. 1943. The monstrousness of the Battle is well known that is partly blamed for very wintry conditions. But had the temperatures been very unusual in December 1942? Many historical investigations assert this!

Fig.1, East-Front at the end of December 1942

In December 1942 the frost came late to Stalingrad , but on the 18th the sky cleared and the mercury dropped to minus 25C (New York Times, 27/Dec.42, pp. E1 & E4). Today the daily average accounts for -4,7C, the average low is -7,6C (wikipedia). Whether a reliable temperature record exists for this time period could not be verified.


Available are records from two cities about 600 km in the West of Stalingrad (Kharkov & Stalino; Fig.2) showing a minimum of 19,7/10,5 TC on the 17/18.Dec.. A second cold period from the 26-29th December indicates a minimum low -21C. Compared with today the “average low” during December in Kharkov and Stalino  had been about 4,5C respectively 3,1C lower only during the last two weeks in 1942.  This deviation for merely two weeks can hardly be regarded as extreme, and it is likely that the situation in Stalingrad , due to its further east-ward location, the temperature may have deviated even less from average.



The overall TC conditions in the Stalingrad region during December 1942 is indicted in Fig. 3, and the anomaly in Fig. 4. With some generalisations it can be said that the December 1942 had been normal, if not even slightly warmer than normal. Historians should show more constrain on talking about ‘unusual temperature’ conditions during the Battle of Stalingrad in December 1942, or do more research in the first place. 




Stalingrad January 1943

UPDATE 17. Jan 2013  

After the moderate TC means during December 1942, Stalingrad experienced a very cold January 1943 (next two Fig. 5 + 6), which was nevertheless much less severe as the previous three years, as indicated in the second row below, showing January 1940, January 1941 & January 1942 (Fig. 7-9). . 

Fig. 5, January 1943

Fig. 6, January 1943 

Fig. 7, January 1940

Fig. 8, January 1941

Fig. 9, January 1942  

Related ISSUES  __“Barbarossa” – June-Dec.1941:

                                                  __“Barbarossa” – Winter 1941/42: 

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PPT-Presentation in 24 Slides

Worst weather forecast ever finished Blitzkrieg on 5th December 1941!
How Hitler shot himself in the foot! Failure of meteorology;
 a boon to mankind!

See also: HERE and HERE (without sub-text)  

In PDF Format
all 24 slides


See also Part 2 of Winter 1941/42 
3rd Extreme War Winter 1941/42 was predictable!

Naval war caused weather that stopped Wehrmacht to reach Moscow !


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Did off-shore wind farms contribute to 
warm December 2013 ?


 NASA comments (extract):  
   “This photo fascinates NOAA wind researcher Bob Banta, a scientist at the Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder , Colorado . He and other colleagues who study winds in the lower atmosphere use the picture in PowerPoint talks, scribbling colored lines and squiggles on it to speculate about what is happening where, and why. “
                      Full NASA comment:

Click to enlarge image; More at :


Further reading 

Post 5/16 Dec - CLICK -
NYT- 17 Dec.1939

3rd Extreme War Winter 1941/42 was predictable!

Naval war caused weather that stopped Wehrmacht to reach Moscow !


All 8 PPT-Presenations

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