The motor stall current is about 6.5A.
I have 2 L298A together to sink the max A.
are you using both l298's to run one motor? like using all four output pins from each chip in parallel?
the datasheet says an l298 can handle 3A non-repetitive, 2.5A repetitive (80% on-20% off) and 2A continuous.
if you were only using one channel from each l298 then it could only supply 6A and its possible you drew too much current. if you were using both channels on each l298 then you would have 12A peak, so it would be fine.
simple physics the motos HAS to stop to change directions rather you tell it too or not... woops lol
did you mean whether? the current would be less if you stopped it first before switching directions...
if your motor is going full ball one direction, the power to stop it and start it going in the other direction will be massive and maybe give some back emf.