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Furthermore, Hitler in his obsession to seize the city meant that he was not fully aware of the situation around the city. For example, German forces had been unable to push back Soviet forces during the series of battles known as the Kolton Operations. This left the Germans exposed on their flanks as they pressed further into the city. Because Hitler divided the German forces, the flank of the 6th army was insufficiently protected.<ref>Beevor, p. 156</ref> Poorly trained Romanian and Italian forces guarded the flanks and many German commanders privately believed that they could not protect their rear from Soviet attack.
Hitler’s determination to capture Stalingrad meant that he dispatched the 6th army on a mission that was unlikely to achieve its objectives and placed it at great risk. Hitler's interference hampered the 6th Army's throughout the siege of Stalingrad. Hitler's style of leadership was the complete opposite of Stalin's. The Soviet leader, had reformed the Soviet High Command, the ''Stavka'', and granted ‘more autonomy and independence’ to capable generals such as Zhukhov.<ref> Zhukov, Georgiĭ Konstantinovich & Harrison E., Salisbury, ''[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0815410980/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0815410980&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=557435d4a5b0f047e76ecac237f82afd Marshal Zhukov's Greatest Battles]'' (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), p. 116</ref> The leader of the Soviet Union had learned lessons from the early days of Operation Barbarossa. He let his generals do the fighting and draw up the strategies needed to beat the Germans. <ref>Beevor, p. 178</ref>
====Battle for the City====