Every German soldier must be made to feel that he is living under the muzzle of a Russian gun.
The battle of Kursk... the forcing of the Dnieper... and the liberation of Kiev, left Hitlerite Germany facing catastrophe.
The heavy casualties, the constant retreat, the shortage of food and munitions, the difficulty of receiving reinforcements... all this had a very bad effect on morale. Many longed to get across the Volga, to escape the hell of Stalingrad.
When a decision is taken belatedly, its execution inevitably leads to haste.