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Battle of Stalingrad
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II
Фонтан «Детский хоровод».jpg
The Barmaley Fountain, one of the symbols of Stalingrad, in 1943, right after the battle
Date 23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943
(5 months, 1 week and 3 days)
Location 48°42′N 44°31′E / 48.700°N 44.517°E / 48.700; 44.517Coordinates: 48°42′N 44°31′E / 48.700°N 44.517°E / 48.700; 44.517
Result Soviet victory
Territorial
changes
Expulsion of the Axis from the Caucasus, reversing their gains from the 1942 Summer Campaign
Belligerents
 Soviet Union
Commanders and leaders
Strength
Initial:
  • 270,000 personnel
  • 3,000 artillery pieces
  • 500 tanks
  • 600 aircraft, 1,600 by mid-September (Luftflotte 4)
At the time of the Soviet counter-offensive:
  • c. 1,040,000 men
    400,000+ Germans
    220,000 Italians
    200,000 Hungarians
    143,296 Romanians
    40,000 Hiwi
  • 10,250 artillery pieces
  • 500 tanks (140 Romanian)
  • 732 (402 operational) aircraft
Initial:
  • 187,000 personnel
  • 2,200 artillery pieces
  • 400 tanks
  • 300 aircraft
At the time of the Soviet counteroffensive:
  • 1,143,000 men
  • 13,451 artillery pieces
  • 894 tanks
  • 1,115 aircraft
Casualties and losses
  • 647,300–868,374
  • Nazi Germany Germany
    300,000+–400,000
  • Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) Italy
    114,000–114,520
  • Kingdom of Romania Romania
    109,000–158,854
  • Kingdom of Hungary (1920–1946) Hungary
    105,000–143,000
  • Hiwi 19,300–52,000
  • 900 aircraft destroyed
  • 1,500 tanks destroyed (100 Romanian)
  • 6,000 guns destroyed
  • 744 aircraft; 1,666 tanks; 5,762 guns captured
  • 1,129,619 men
    478,741 killed or missing
    650,878 wounded or sick
  • 2,769 aircraft
  • 4,341 tanks (~150 by Romanians) (25-30% were total write-offs.)
  • 15,728 guns

The Battle of Stalingrad was fought during the Second World War between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. They were fighting for control of the city of Stalingrad. The battle was fought between 17 July 1942 and 2 February 1943.

It was one of the most important battles of the war because it marked the end of Germany's advances. Hitler even blamed his defeat partly on Stalingrad.

The Battle of Stalingrad has often been recorded as an example of how brutal a war can be. It is reported that, due to limited supplies, soldiers and civilians had to resort to eating rats and mice.

Stalingrad, now Volgograd, was a city on the Volga River. It was an important industrial city, and the Volga was an important transport route.

Hitler also wanted to capture Stalingrad because it was named after Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, thus it would embarrass him.

In June 1942, Adolf Hitler launched an attack in southern Russia. By the end of July the German army had reached Stalingrad. With bombs and fire the German Luftwaffe turned the city into ruins. However, the rubble made hiding places from which Russian snipers could attack the Germans. Hitler and Stalin sent in large numbers of soldiers. They both ordered that anyone who retreated would be shot on the spot for treason.

On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched an attack which surrounded the Stalingrad area. Hitler ordered the army to stay there. The German air force tried to supply them by air. By February 1943, the German forces in Stalingrad had no ammunition and food. Rather than freeze, they surrendered.

The battle lasted five months, one week, and three days. About 2 million people dead or wounded in battle were reported. There were more Russian deaths than German, but it was a victory for the Russians. They had killed so many Germans that Hitler's overall plan to conquer the Soviet Union, started with Operation Barbarossa, was seriously weakened. Also, the Germans failed to get control of Russian oil fields.

Part of the German army were Russian volunteers called HIWIs.

Interesting facts about the Battle of Stalingrad

Pavlov's House
This bomb-damaged apartment was called Pavlov's house. In this building, about two dozen Russian soldiers defended against the Germans for two months.
  • The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest and deadliest battle in the history of warfare with around 2,000,000 casualties.
  • It was a battle that took place in streets and buildings.
  • Most of the city was destroyed by the German air force
  • The events of the battle for Stalingrad have been shown in several films of German, Russian, British, and American origin.
  • In the novel The Book Thief, one character was presumed to have died or been captured in The Battle of Stalingrad.
  • Adolph Hitler was very angry at Friedrich Paulus for surrendering.
  • While Friedrich Paulus was in Soviet captivity during the war he made radio broadcasts to the German soldiers telling them not to fight for the Nazi regime and to renouce Hitler as their leader.
  • 40,000 civilians died in the battle.
  • The battle lasted just over 5 months.

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