The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in World War II because it marked the final moment when Nazi Germany was on the offensive. After six months of fighting the Red Army prevailed over the invading Germans and forced their surrender. However, there was the matter of morale and how Germany handled the situation back home.
During the Battle of Stalingrad, Hitler usurped control of the military from his Generals and preemptively declared a victory over the Soviets. However, when news came forth that the German forces had surrendered to the Red Army they had a PR nightmare to deal with. Military leaders could no longer be blamed and Hitler would be considered the one responsible for the loss.
Nazi Germany was infamous for being one of the most propaganda fueled regimes in history. The man behind Nazi Germany’s propaganda monster was Joseph Goebbels who now had to deal with the censoring the loss in the Soviet Union. From that point on the battle of Stalingrad would not be mentioned in public as a Goebbels took painstaking efforts to censor the loss. Letters mailed home from troops about the desperate situation were screened and destroyed if they made mention of the struggle.
“This was part of a deliberate strategy on Goebbels’s part as he recognized connecting Hitler too intimately to Germany’s military fortunes made him, and by extension, the legitimacy of the entire regime, culpable when these operations did not bear fruit. Rather than present images of the Fuhrer, Hitler was invoked in late war propaganda as an abstract figure that stood for all Germans.”
Eventually, the powers that be acknowledged the defeat as Stalingrad likening it to the Spartans who sacrificed themselves in battle. The idea is to continue to maximize victories but losses, whenever they occurred, were for the greater good keep morale high. Military History Vlogs goes into much deeper detail on the downfall of Germany’s military propaganda in this video.