Everything you need to know about the Battle of Stalingrad

Jessica Evans
Nov 29, 2022 3:18 AM PST
3 minute read
battle of stalingrad

German soldiers clearing the streets in Stalingrad.


It’s one of the most critical battles of World War II. The Battle of Stalingrad was a brutal conflict that lasted for over five months.

If you're a history buff, chances are you've heard of the Battle of Stalingrad. It's one of the most critical battles of the Second World War. In fact, the Battle of Stalingrad was a brutal conflict that lasted for over five months. It resulted in the death of over two million people. But what exactly happened during this battle, and why was it so important? Let's take a closer look.

The battle begins

The Battle of Stalingrad began on August 23, 1942. That's when Hitler ordered German forces to launch an offensive against the city of Stalingrad (now known as Volgograd). The goal was to capture the city, which was located in southwestern Russia and named after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Doing so would allow Germany to gain control of vital oilfields in the region. The second goal of the mission was to cut off essential supplies to the Soviet Union's forces.

For the first few weeks, the Battle of Stalingrad went relatively well for Germany. Despite stout resistance from Soviet forces, German troops made significant progress toward their goal. However, by early September, Soviet forces had begun to turn the tide. They launched a counteroffensive that pushed German troops back, inflicting heavy losses.

Colorized footage shows why the battle for Stalingrad was such hell.

German soldiers positioning themselves for urban warfare (colourised).

The turning point of the Battle of Stalingrad

By late September, both sides had reached a stalemate in the Battle of Stalingrad. However, that all changed on November 19. That's when Soviet forces launched a massive offensive against German troops. This offensive caught German troops completely off-guard and forced them to retreat. Over the next few months, Soviet forces pushed back against German soldiers. Eventually, they finally ousted them from the city altogether.

The aftermath

The defeat at Battle of Stalingrad was a central turning point in WWII. Not only did it signal the end of Germany's advances into Eastern Europe, but it also resulted in Hitler losing control of his troops. As word spread of Nazi defeat and atrocities committed by German soldiers, many soldiers began deserting or surrendering en masse. This decline in morale contributed heavily to Germany's eventual defeat just three years later.

Soviets defend a position.

Russia's involvement in the Battle of Stalingrad and the war

Russia was a crucial player in WWII. Its involvement had a significant impact on the outcome of the war. It's important to understand both the good and the bad of Russia's role in the conflict to appreciate the country's contribution's importance truly.

One of the primary reasons that Russia was able to defeat Germany was because of its geography. It was difficult for Germany to maintain control and sustain an effective occupation. Additionally, the harsh winters proved a major obstacle for German troops.

While Russia's geography may have ultimately been an asset, it also led to some significant problems early in the war. Russian territory is so vast that it took months for news of Germany's invasion to reach Moscow. By then, it was too late. The Russian people were entirely unprepared for what was about to come. As a result, millions died needlessly.

Although many terrible things were associated with WWII, it's important to remember that the outcome may have been very different without Russia's involvement. While their role certainly had its fair share of problems, Russia's contribution was ultimately crucial in defeating Germany and helping to end the war.

Find out more about the Battle of Stalingrad here.


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