Talk:Battle of Stalingrad/Casualties
hey hey there. what it the up? leave me some love! cuz oranges are purple and the skys orange! lyl!!
|This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.|
- 1 Casualties
- 2 Bloodiest Battle in Human History
Hey, something is messed up in the table: how come there are civilian casualties for Germans? Mikkalai
- That would be me. I f'ed up. →Raul654 07:41, Mar 16, 2004 (UTC)
The current numbers make no sense (Every single soldier died?) and contradict the main text. Are there better numbers? availabe? --Yooden 11:36, 2005 Jan 30 (UTC)
"The battle was marked by the brutality and disregard for civilian casualties on both sides." - Civilian casualties are only applicable to USSR. --No, The sentence works as stands. It means both sides disregarded civilian casualties, not that both sides suffered civilian casualties.
How come the number of casualties on the German side about 800,000, is more than the total number of Germans involved in the battle?
The number given by William Craig in his well-respected "Enemy at the Gates" is 850000 Axis military, 750000 Soviet military, and 40000 Soviet civilain casualties. Kazak 22:06, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
LOL, as i said below: DONT trust movies about historic facts!!! Again: the 6th army had 280.000 Soldiers and german allies were below 100.000 soldiers. SO ITS IMPOSSIBLE that the germans had 800.000 casultis in the battle of stalingrad. so someone please change that!!! thanx
A certain "Kurt Leyman" keeps changing the Red Army casualties into the millions. It would be nice if that person either (a) stopped or (b) showed some evidence. For the moment, Craig's numbers are the best we have. I wonder why so many Germans are so bothered by the fact that they lost World War II and at times suffered higher casualties than their enemies. Either way, I believe Mr. Leyman should be placated by the sentence in the text itself that says, "Soviet military losses were more than 750,000 (some statistics cite up to one million or more)." Kazak 01:22, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Note that is is possible for the total number of causualies to be higher than the maximum troop strength in two ways:
- The casualties may include civilians, which are not included in the troop strength.
- The troops could be rotated in and out of the area, so the max at any one time (the number listed) is far fewer than the overall total number of troops involved in the battle.
StuRat 00:46, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
Eeeeek wrong. there were NO "rotating" troops on germans or russian side. and the germans had NO reinforcement. if wikipedia is ever printed, there would be much facts in, that are simply wrong. thats not good. maybe wikipedia should leave historical things to PROFESSIONAL persons.....
No, but seriously. The number of German soldiers listed as taking part is 500,000, and the number of German casualites is 800,000. If there were reinforcements, why aren't they counted in the total? If the 500,000 means anything other than "total number of troops who took part" (like, for instance, "highest number of troops fielded at any given time") then that should be made explicitly clear, because right now it just looks like a stupid mistake.
- First of all, please sign your comments using four tildes, because anonymous comments like this just won't cut it. Second, of course German had reserves. They basically pulled troops from all around the area (Caucasus, Voronezh front and so on) to assault Stalingrad. And Russians had reinforcements during all the battle, even if this was accomplished through dangerous crossings of Volga. Third, a "strength" is defined as a number of troops commited to a given task at a given moment, and/or the maximum of it. I mean, just read Beevor's Stalingrad if you have trouble believing the figures (no offense meant). The Russian Wiki quotes the same figure. (even if personnaly I think Russian casualties are closer to 1,000,000). But for German ones, no doubt. Demographically speaking, the Wermacht and the Waffen-SS never recovered from Stalingrad, both from a qualitative and a quantitative point of view, because they lost their best troops there. grafikm_fr 22:26, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
ok ok... whats all this about german casualties being 850,000 but only 500,000 germans being there and fighting. well the answer is simple, they are AXIS casualties NOT just germans. a large number of italians, romanians, croatians and hungarians for example fought at stalingrad too. this is where the discrepancy comes in and someone should find out exactly how many italians and so on did fight.
Weren't Soviet casualities more than german? somehow i don't believe the table Dracus
OK, someone needs to change the casualties listed in the article. As they are now they're complete BS. First of all, the German army stationed in Stalingrad was considerably smaller. In fact, all the axis forces in Stalingrad consisted of roughly 500.000 soldiers. Furthermore, at this point in the war, the Germans still had vastly superior soldiers and equipment, while the Russians' main tactic involved using their superior numbers to attack, with little regard for their own safety. Basically, the russians had much higher casualties than the Germans, though the numbers seem to vary greatly depending on the source. Either way, the current numbers used in this article are a bad joke, and should either be replaced by accurate numbers, or removed entirely in lack of accurate sources.
Axis Casualties and German Victimisation
The number of Axis casualties in the Battle of Stalingrad gets revised disturbingly often. The latest revision down to 500,000 obviously tries to make the total losses fit the initial Axis strength, at the beginning of the battle, indicated in the table. It thereby ignores, however, Axis reinforcements during the battle, it ignores Romanian, Italian and Hungarian losses when the Soviets shattered their armies, and it ignores Axis losses sustained in the first phase of the battle, from July to November 1942. The latter point deserves particular attention.
- Maybe, but not every Axis soldier that participated in the battle became a casualty.--itpastorn 13:26, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
The figure of 300,000 German casualties in Stalingrad has become a quasi-axiomatic fact in many Western sources; this is however only the number of troops eventually trapped in the pocket of Stalingrad in November 1942. That biased miscalculation is in line with the post-war German attempt to focus only on the sufferings of the 6th Army during its encirclement, thus trying to actually attribute Germans the role of victims in the War. By the way, this is also why references to the few German survivors of Soviet captivity pop up every time, while such references are almost never provided with respect to Soviet prisoners-of-war, who had a much lower life expectancy in German extermination camps.
- It seems that people are using the terms "German" and "Axis" interchangeably. That isn't accurate though; those two are completely different. Germans are Germans but Axis includes Germany's allies too. So it is true if one says 300,000 "German" died at Stalingrad but it is ALSO true if one says 500,000 "Axis" died at the battle too.--Secret Agent Man 20:12, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
- edit* no secret agent man. the german 6th army was the army in stalingrad and area. it had 280.000 soldiers. the german allies in the region were below 100.000 in numbers. so its quite impossible that so much soldiers died in stalingrad.....
Turning back to the war casualties, the focus on the Germans' defensive phase of the battle in the winter means that German losses suffered in the very much aggressive phase of the battle during the summer and autumn are tacitly excluded. This is the reason why the German mantra of 300,000 does not correspond to Soviet estimates of Axis losses in the Battle of Stalingrad, amounting to 1,000,000. The latter figure simply includes all Axis losses: both Germans and their allies, both during the rat-war in the summer and autumn and after the Soviet winter offensive, both Axis losses inside the pocket and losses on the front just outside Stalingrad, including the failed German attempt to relieve the 6th Army in December 1942.
I invite you to comment before re-editing.
--Kolt 12:13, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- I don't think you need to attribute sinister motives everywhere; professional historians can have honest differences of opinion in cases where documentary evidence is weak or lacking. Instead of trying to pick a single number, this article should report the varying estimates, qualify them with the method of estimation, and attribute them to the specific sources making the estimates - after all, as a secondary source, we're not in the business of making our own judgments on the facts, we're just reporting what the scholarly publications say. Stan 16:02, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
- In any case, the numbers in the table should match the ones in the article. I suggest to put a range in the table for allies, rather than a single number. Mikkalai 17:58, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
- I agree with Mikkalai that a range is a good idea. However one shall not trust pre-1991 Soviet numbers as they regularly inflate German losses. Somwhat simplified: A soldier tells his commander that he fired his gun, the commander tells his superior officer that a tank was hit, who tells his superior that a tank was destroyed, etc. Niklas Zetterling and Anders Frankson have proven that the Red Army had a reporting system that was flawed and to a large extent driven by fear of repression if one did not produce "results". And on top of that we have propaganda. Later on in the war the Nazi propaganda claimed ridicolous numbers as well. Large portions of the german people seemed to believe they actually could win the war even in 1944! The best numbers are produced by citing German sources for German numbers and Soviet, post-1991-de-classified numbers for Soviet losses. Italian, Hungarian, Romanian, etc losses should be the hardest of all to estimate.--itpastorn 13:26, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
- Forgot. The Axis had substantial numbers of Russian and Ukrainian people within their ranks, according to Beevor so many that it really surprised the Stavka when they found out. Since they were all shot upon capture and their existence denied for propaganda reasons, that casualty figure is probably the hardest of all to estimate.--itpastorn 13:34, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
- In any case, the numbers in the table should match the ones in the article. I suggest to put a range in the table for allies, rather than a single number. Mikkalai 17:58, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Why was the sentence removed that Hitler's popularity diminished as a consequence of the defeat? Andries 17:23, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Critic9328 02:20, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't agree that the German focus on German casualties at Stalingrad represent an attempt to portray Germans as victims of the war, apart from their feeling of having been misled by Hitler and the Nazi leadership in general (I think it's just sloppy ethnocentric history-writing). Also, one-sided comments on the numbers of German prisoners who died is not limited to German sources; it's common in Western (or at least American) accounts, probably as a result of Cold War partisanship (not wanting to highlight injustices against Russian soldiers). Also, technically speaking, I don't think Soviet POWs were sent to extermination or "death" camps per se, at least not systemically (although in practice most of them did die in German captivity).
Many things here are absolutley NOT true. Fact is the 6th Army hat a strengh of ca. 280.000 Soldiers. It NEVER recieved reinfocement. The Casulties of 800.000 are fansasy. 110.000 Germans of the 6th army were POWs after the battle. 80.000 died in Stalingrad and area. And: DONT BELIEVE MOVIES ABOUT HISTORIC FACTS. THANK YOU
- You wrote "Fact is the 6th Army hat a strengh of ca. 280.000 Soldiers. It NEVER recieved reinfocement." There are a couple of issues with this statement. First, the battle of Stalingrad involved many axis forces in addition to the German 6th Army (as noted above, there is at least the German 4th Panzer Army, the Italian 8th Army, Romanian forces, and Hungarian forces). Second, of course the 6th Army received reinforcements during the battle. Do you think they fought the entire campaign from June to Nov without getting any troop replacements ? *After they were encircled* they stopped getting reinforcements, but we should not confuse the last stages of the battle for the entire battle. Third, the editors above are citing written sources, not movies, even though one movie happens to have the same title as one of the books. DMorpheus 18:40, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
There were way more than 110,000 Axis prisoners taken at the battle of Stalingrad. The 110,000 was from the Germans alone, and this article fails to count the thousands of Italian, Romanian, and Hungarian prisoners captured during the battle. TheCheeseManCan 22:52, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
casualty number more than strength number
I see that the Germans sustained losses of 750,000-850,000, yet I see the troop strength is listed at 500,000. Any explanation for this? -- Natalinasmpf 18:21, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Possibly Romanian troops? I have a copy of Stalingrad by Beevor .. will consult and come back with figures. -max rspct 14:48, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
The number given by William Craig in his well-respected "Enemy at the Gates" is 850000 Axis military, 750000 Soviet military, and 40000 Soviet civilain casualties. A certain "Kurt Leyman" keeps changing the Red Army casualties into the millions. It would be nice if that person either (a) stopped or (b) showed some evidence. For the moment, Craig's numbers are the best we have. I wonder why so many Germans are so bothered by the fact that they lost World War II and at times suffered higher casualties than their enemies. Either way, I believe Mr. Leyman should be placated by the sentence in the text itself that says, "Soviet military losses were more than 750,000 (some statistics cite up to one million or more)." Also, Kurt Leymann has been deleting the passage of the losses of the German sattelites for no apparent reason - I am forced to correct him far too often. Kazak 01:44, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
I have made changes, which clarify axis casualties and revise Soviet casualties higher. I have based these revisions on numerous scholarly sources...I am providing a link to a page which has already done an excellent job of quantifying various estimates as well as sources. The figure for Soviet casualties is ridiculously low, 750,000 for the 6 month period is far too low an estimate. By their own statistics they suffered 500,000 killed outright before Jan 1, 1943. I would be pleased to engage in a discussion with anyone who would challenge my figures. http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/battles.htm
Well here's one. In that page you listed " http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/battles.htm". It indictates 2/5 of the germans killed in 'The Battle Of Berlin' was of Cardiac Arrest.
Now STOP with your personal vendetta.
Not to mention those who actually fled Stalingrad. While Stalin ordered no one to leave Stalingrad; Trust me, quite a few left throughout the year.
Also, Erickson is the authority of the Russian Frong, not Craig.
I would also like to point out that Kazak is a Russian himself, living in the United States. I think his patriotism has blinded him to the reality that was Stalingrad. The fact is, the Russians suffered enormous casualties during the entire battle, certainly far higher than the combined axis forces, and when compared to the good German units, the losses were 3:1 and probably higher.
Well, let's bar everyone from writing about their own country.
I deleted all the nonsense about the soldiers shooting starving children. You know, Russians are human, too. Is it that hard to believe? Kazak 22:27, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
You keep changing to that ridiculous 750,000 figure and you are basing it on nothing. Please provide a source or a compendium of sources which put the figure at 750,000....and from when to when? The Battle does not include only the battle for the city itself. It also includes the battle at the approaches as the 6th army crossed the bend of the Don. Listen, Russian, you are obviously a biased poster. You are only concerned with that one figure, and you refuse apparently to engage in a discussion about the figures. STOP imposing your ridiculous fantasies on this thread...if you continue to do so, I will have to get a moderator involved in this thread. Back up your statistics from more than one source and then we can talk. Until then, I am change your silly edit back to the historically accepted numbers.
Craig was writing in the 70's before documents were available from Soviet archives. His number 750,000 is such a disgusting approximation and such an obvious one. I just wonder how on Earth you could act as if Craig is the authority on these statistics when it is well known that Erickson is considered the expert. I am changing the numbers back to 1.2 million. You should just accept the fact that your country suffered more casualties than the axis during Stalingrad. This has been well known fact for years and years. The fact that you are Russian and keep referring to Craig, who wrote in 1970's without access to information the Soviets would not release stinks to high heaven. Craig made an estimate, nothing more. Now get a life and figure it out, you are wrong. Dtraywi
- I added Krivosheev's (archival) numbers to the article, but let the battle box say "750,000+" for now. Before we change anything someone needs to bring in the German archival numbers, because the figures given for the Axis by the article are also Craig's. Personally, I dislike Western sources which cite through-the-roof Russian/Soviet casualties simply because Russians are supposedly inferior fighters, deriving entirely from the whole 'Slavic human wave' stereotype. Remember, any histories completed before 1991 anywhere will have inexact numbers for the USSR. We can't have the German losses be given by Craig and the Soviet ones by Krivosheev - it doesn't match up. And please, no insults. Kazak 23:51, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
The start number is lower then the casulties number is because none has added reinforcments numbers or none german axis numbers, if someone could add how many the total of axis there were at the start of the battle and how many reinforcments were sent into the battle that would be great. Also people should remeber that the battle of Stalingrad was not only inside the city but around it as well. (Deng 14:02, 20 March 2006 (UTC))
Jempy 14:21, 24 June 2006 (UTC) Erickson is considered by some historians as painted. His writings voice the official Sowjet propaganda about the second world war without any criticism. Erickson's wife is russian. And Victor Suvorov calls him "the official historian of the Kremlin".
I wonder why so many Germans.
I am not German, I am Finnish. I suggest that you drop the (what seems like) hostile attitude.
A certain "Kurt Leyman" keeps changing the Red Army casualties..
I have never claimed that the 1,500,00 would be exact, certain figure. I have always included 750,000 and after that this - little symbol in the casualties box. I have also included the word "estimates".
I believe Mr. Leyman should be placated by the sentence in the text itself that says, "Soviet military losses were more than 750,000 (some statistics cite up to one million or more)
And I belive you should do the same.
Well, thank you for responding. The hostile attitude was caused by your apparently never answering comments and complaints about your posts. However, I still believe that my (and Craig's) numbers should stay as they are the more exact ones, and make reference to Germany's allies. Kazak
Inconsistency in strength/casualties
There seems to be a lot of inconsistency in strength and casualties. The number keep on not only changing, but also seemed to be remote from many other sources.
- The book I'm currently reading ('Stalingrad', by Antony Beevor) says that there were around 50.000 Soviet civilians in German uniform during the Battle of Stalingrad. This book isn't ment to 'shock the current vision' about Stalingrad, but to inform; it's sources are many, and the book also reports that it (50.00 soviet civilians) was, and still is it's a taboo. (note that these are not all anti-communist Russians, some (don't know the proportions) were forced) Should I update 'Strength'? User:superknijn
- It is already in the article under the topic "Soviet Victory" in the 2nd paragraph from the bottom (Deng 17:17, 6 May 2006 (UTC))
Serious Problem of casualties
There where 500,000 German soldiers in the Battle and they tok 800,000 casualties, can someone explain me that???? This editions lack the credibility of the wikipedia, there is no need to be a History Analizer to note that is just common sense. Please i have navigated thruoght the web and read many books about it and german casualties are a little bit exagerated, and the russian casualties cut to the half, can someone explain me this???
The 500k are German soldiers at the start of the battle, there should ofcurse also be included how many other axis members there were there. Also reinforcments were sent in. Germany hade allies there that all lost alot, Italy lost some 130k Hungary some 130k and Romania some 200k.
If you read the whole article you will get it all explained and if you read the whole talk page you will se that this specific question has been answered many times. (Deng 03:21, 30 March 2006 (UTC))
Mny times, look right now another usser have changed the casualties agaibn with no source !!! and also changed the casualties information of the same article. This talk page if for nothing. People continue changing the information with no souerces.
Hehe well that is wiki,people change without any sources. So if you want to get into wiki you need sources and real ones and many ones so that you can prove that what ever you say about what ever is correct. And since this is wiki then people will allways make changes without sources. You shouldnt look at wiki as absolut fact but as a medium where things may not allways be correct and where things are in constant movement. And if there is something to be gained or lost in any specific article then ofcurse you should take all information in that article with a bucket of salt. (Deng 05:30, 31 March 2006 (UTC))
- This problem will never end, thats true. This article will be changed again and again. But the casualties in the battlebox are different with the casualties of the section of the aftermath. Check it!
Now if you said that people change info without sources and thats common. How you can know an edition is a vandalism or a correct edition from a source.
- I recomend to split the casualties part of the battlebox with two sources , like it was done in the Battle for Manchuria 1945 battlebox (Check it).
- I seriously think the casulaties should be reduced. First of all, it doesn't seem plausible that the Axis committed nearly 1,000,000 troops (1/4 of their total strength in Russia) just to capture Stalingrad. Also, the DK Encyclopaedia states that the Germans lost as few as 300,000 troops in the battle (including 100,000 captured), and the combined Romanian, Hungarian and Italian losses were just below that number. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs)
- Yes, they did commit one quarter of their troops to Stalingrad. And lost them by the way. Both from a quantitative or qualitative point of view, the Wehrmacht never properly recovered from Stalingrad. 100,000 captured, yes, but captured eventually. But the cauldron alone contained 300,000 when it was created, so 300,000 total casualties is obviously a no-brainer. -- Grafikm (AutoGRAF) 09:02, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
To many people monkey with the numbers so I will add the word starter
People dont understand the concept of reinforcements (Deng 10:35, 4 April 2006 (UTC))
The numbers are from Great Battles on the Eastern Front by Dupuy (Deng 03:31, 5 April 2006 (UTC))
Some people uses sockpuppets and likes to insult Kurt Lyman, being blocked for being annoying(or better said being assholes)
Some people trust only in a book they have(Great Battles on the Eastern Front by Dupuy) and like to spam DPMorpheus talkpage with stupid comments.
Some people are soo coward that cant talk dirrectly, but i can.... SUperdeng you are not helping in this article!!!!
Just inquisitive, but how on earth did the Germans enter the battle with only 500 000 military men, and come out with 850 000 losses? Hmm... Did they somehow gain 350 000 men through their airdrops? If it was mentioned that the airdrops were insufficient to resupply the trapped German 6th army, how could they be sufficient to drop 350 000 more men? --Terrancommander 14:47, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
- As noted above, the Germans were reinforced during the campaign and their allies also suffered severe losses. See above for details. DMorpheus 18:50, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Dmorpheus is 100% right, to solve this problem someone should look into the start numbers of axis at the battle and how many reinforcments were sent (Deng 14:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC))
Bloodiest Battle in Human History
Is it? I thought first Battle of the Somme was?
- The current figures for that battle (the Somme) put casualties in the 1,000,000 - 1,200,000 range. Stalingrad is quoted at being far more than this, in the 1,500,000+ range. The Somme was probably more horrific due to the small area (a few square miles) that it took place in compared to the entire Stalingrad combat zone --Pluke 19:51, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
Clarification on what is NPOV
I've been watching the edits on people intending to say "biggest" or "largest" battle is POV when they are wrong. A comment recently "NPOV because Okinawa and Normandy can be called just as bloody or biggest" Bloody is a purely subjective. But biggest, in terms of what? In terms of manpower, armor, aircraft, artillery? Let's draw the tables from wiki's very own pages on the stats: Okinawa:"150,000 initially, 300,000 by the end of the battle /76,000 Army soldiers, 24,000 armed militias "
Normandy:"326,000 (by June 11) / ? " Casualties were:"53,700 dead, 18,000 missing, 155,000 wounded /about 200,000 dead, wounded and missing, 200,000 captured " So draw your conclusions on German total.
Now Stalingrad:"500,000 (6th Army)/ 1,700,000"
- edit* Sorry, but the 6th Army couldnt lose 500.000 soldiers... it had only 280.000........
again i have to say: dont quote Movies about Hisorical Facts!
- Did you even read what the guy posted? Those numbers are from the battlebox on this very article.--22.214.171.124 21:25, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
These objective results earn Stalingrad the right to be called bigger in terms of manpower than the previous 2 mentioned battles/campaigns. Now comparing Stalingrd to Kursk or Berlin is a more complicated matter.
--Mole Man 08:37, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
- I think it's important to clarify terms at least. Stalingrad is probably the bloodiest battle in terms of total military casualties suffered by both sides combined.
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major turning point in World War II and is considered the bloodiest battle in recorded human history.
Shouldn't it be just "in human history", leaving out recorded? It is impossible for a battle to have been deadlier than Stalingrad in pre-historical times.--Gяaρнic 03:25, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Theoretically yes. However this sentence/issue has been the subject of repeated edit wars so for the sake of peace and progress I suggest it be left as it is. --Sf 09:44, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
That's fine, I'm not worried about it.--Gяaρнic 00:04, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
However, on the point of what is possible our ancestors millenia ago have been known to inflict serious casualties on each other. See Battle of cannae which is still up there as one of the bloodiest of all (recorded) time. --Sf 09:55, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
"A major turning point" . . . certainly this is a true statement. but is it strong enough? William Jockusch 17:50, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the above. "one of" or "a" is simply not enough. The battles that took place prior to Stalingrad were either "small victories" (One of the most obvious examples is the Battle of Moscow) or stalemates (One of the less obvious examples is the Battle of Britain). It could also be argued that the Battle of Stalingrad was the first part of the turning point (Kursk being the second).
This is defacto turning point (not just major, but main) in WWII, when Soviets broke Nazi's faith to victory and started the backstroke. Elk Salmon 11:00, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Then why did you edit the article back to the original version?
The Russian language Wikipedia starts off its article on the battle with the following sentence: "The Battle of Stalingrade was the greatest turning point in the Second World War and the bloodiest battle in all of Human History." I believe this is correct. I understand the value of NPOV, but there is also value in calling a spade a spade. William Jockusch 20:12, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
[text in wrong section moved to correct one.] 126.96.36.199 07:13, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
With the apparent general agreement with my earlier comments, I have gone ahead and changed the opening sentence to read "the most important turning point". William Jockusch 15:41, 16 October 2006 (UTC)