Why didn't the Germans cross to the east bank of the Volga either north or south of Stalingrad to cut off Soviet Reinforcements?

It would seem that if the Germans had crossed to the East Bank of the Volga they could have cut off all Soviet reinforcements to Stalingrad. They could have dropped paratroopers on the East Bank and made sure after this was done to bring in air support to drive away any attempts by the Soviets to destroy that force. I’m not familiar if the area on the East Bank is the swampy or muddy so this could have been one of the reasons this wasn’t done but it seemed okay for the Soviets to be on that side of the river and bring their troops across to Stalingrad so I don’t know about that.


What comes to using the paratroopers, the Germans had transformed fallschirmjäger-units to light infantry after the disastrous (but victorious) capture of Crete in -41 and therefore any large-scale paradrops were not undertaken anymore.

About the crossing to the east bank of the Volga, the Germans were still some distance from the river on the north and south of Stalingrad. And between the German lines and the Volga were a lot of soviet resistance. It would have required great effort to reach the Volga in the north and/or south and the supply lines were already stretched. And then there would have been the crossing, and the Volga is quite wide in that regard and without proper bridges or transport ships the crossing would have been a major undertaking even in best of situations, let alone under heavy fire. The soviets would have probably inflicted heavy casualties to the crossing German units, let alone tried to dislodge any german bridgeheads if able.

Also overall hubris in the leadership of the OKH was that the Stalingrad could be taken quite quickly.


From the youtube-channel “Military History not Visualized” comes fresh video about the same question:
Why didn’t the Germans encircle Stalingrad?


You have to consider the ability to supply paratroopers once they have been dropped.


They could barely supply the 6th Army west of the Volga as it was (it basically never got 100% of its daily needs even before operation Uranus). There was just no chance of being able to supply a crossing of the Volga, and mind you this is where the Soviets were building up for the eventual encirclement (operation Uranus).

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