The Battle of Stalingrad July 17, 1942- February 2, 1943

What started as one of Hitler's many plans to take control over Europe, soon turned into one of the most bloody and infamous battles of World War II.

The Combatants

The battle was between Nazi Germany and its allies, lead by Adolf Hitler, and the Soviet Union, lead by Joseph Stalin.

Romanian prisoners of war marching from the Battle of Stalingrad

The Goal

Hitler wanted control over the city of Stalingrad (now called Volgograd) in Southern Russia. He thought that if he could take over Stalingrad, cut off the Soviet's resources, and destroy the Soviet economy, he would be able to defeat the USSR.

Type of Battle

The Battle of Stalingrad took place on land and included the use of tanks.

A Soviet Sniper shooting from a window
Women from the 1077th Anti-Aircraft Regiment

The Battleground

The Battle of Stalingrad took place in the city of Stalingrad of the USSR. It was an important location to the USSR because it was industrial city, which is why it was targeted by Hitler.

A map of the battle

The Outcome

Despite the odds, the Soviets successfully defended their city. There were nearly 2 million casualties, making it one of the bloodiest battles ever fought.

Soviet children peeking out from their shelter

Significance of the Battle

The battle of Stalingrad is considered to be one of the most important battles of World War ll. When the Soviet army successfully defended the city from the Germans, it changed the game of the war in the Allies’ favor. The battle of Stalingrad also put the Germans on the defensive.

Facts

  • The Soviets were outnumbered by the Germans during the Battle of Stalingrad. An example of this is when T-34 tanks were driven right off the assembly line and into battle, driven by experienced tank factory workers who volunteered to fight.
  • Despite the horrible conditions, both armies were determined to fight for their homelands. The life expectancy of a newly arrived Soviet soldier to the battle was less than a day. The life expectancy for a Soviet officer was three days
  • The Germans called it a Rattenkrieg or “Rat War” because many soldiers had to scurry from hole to hole like rats.

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