Leonidas in Stalingrad

Gebrauch, Wirkung und Wahrnehmung antiker Motive und Mythen in der 6. Armee

  • Loretana de Libero Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr / Universität Potsdam
Keywords: Stalingrad, Sixth Army, Classical education, Heroism, Cannae, Antemurale Myth, Furor Teutonicus, Resilience, Morale, Feldpost, Homer, Thermopylai, Leonidas, Marcus Aurelius, Paulus, Seydlitz, Strecker, Göring


Enduring Stalingrad: The Sixth Army consisting of about 250,000 men was trapped in the pocket of Stalingrad for more than 70 days in 1942/43. Based on conclusive source material this paper will discuss how German soldiers of different age and rank tried to cope with this extreme battle experience. Specific mental strategies employed are being analyzed, i.e. classical references to Greco-Roman literature, language, and history. For some (educated) soldiers, antiquity played a vital role in keeping up morale, in enduring, if not surviving Stalingrad.