Stand at Stalingrad (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The stand at Stalingrad marks one of the most significant turning points in World War II when Soviet forces successfully defeat the German Sixth Army after a hard-fought campaign lasting five months.
Summary of Event
When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June of 1941, Adolf Hitler was determined to conquer that nation and force a surrender within six months. German armies using Blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) tactics were victorious in the south, with the capture of Kiev, and their soldiers reached the outskirts of Leningrad in the north. Hitler’s goal of a rapid and total victory was not realized, however, because of delays in beginning the invasion, bad weather, logistical problems, Soviet resistance, and the German strategic plan calling for a broad frontal attack instead of a decisive single thrust to Moscow. German forces were halted before Moscow in December, 1941, and Joseph Stalin ordered a successful counteroffensive that forced a partial German withdrawal in that sector. Hitler ordered the German troops to stand fast, however, and they dug in for the winter. By the spring of 1942, when major military operations resumed, the Germans were still deep within the Soviet Union and Hitler could plan a renewed assault aimed at forcing Russia to surrender.
Hitler increasingly took personal command of the German troops on the eastern front, issuing orders to his commanders and...
(The entire section is 1199 words.)
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