If the ruins of Stalingrad were taken what would the next step be?
The Russian armies were massing across the Volga and the same lukewarm Romanian and Hungary armies were guarding the flanks ready to bolt at seeing the first T-34 tank,no reason to die for Hitlers dream of empire when they lived in lice infested foxholes.The best a Romanian could hope for would be sent home to make room for the Lebensraum after the conquest of Russia.
How could the Germans put such faith in soldiers that did not want to die for a dogma they did not believe?
It would seem the Stalingrad victory ruins would have been a worthless pile of rubble,the Russians would have attacked anyway as not to give the German soldier breathing space for the next spring offensive.
The German army was reduced to a static defense in winter months with the tanks frozen in place.
Stalingrad would have been like the gates of Moscow in 1941,the Russians ready and willing to attack during the snow storm and the Germans curling up into bunkers and snow drifts praying for the warmth of spring to relieve them of such misery.Maybe the Russians would have cut across the path of the German armies bogged down in the Caucasus or would have Stalins ego matched Hitlers in retaking the ruins that the 6th army now occupied?
Effectively the 6th Army had taken Stalingrad, but it was then surrounded and destroyed. If this hadn't happened, the German troops to the south would have been in a much stronger position, and could have closed in on the Baku oilfields without fear of being outflanked. At the same time, the Germans holding Stalingrad would have blocked the Volga, stopping oil and Lend Lease supplies from reaching Moscow and the rest of northern Russia. Arguably Hitler would have won.