History, on this day : 80 years ago, operation Uranus

when the European Nazi armies lost WW2

(Soviet archives)

The battle for Stalingrad is the climax of WW2. After a failure in front of Moscow in January, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) targets southern Russia in June. The planned goals are the oil fields in the Caucasus. On the north flank of the offensive from Ukraine, the German 6. Armee reaches in July the western suburb of Stalingrad. Baku will remain too far, but on Volga river, the city which is bearing the name of the Soviet leader, becomes the main goal. The reasons are partly symbolic, partly strategic. The industrial center is also a hub for the Soviet supply from the south

(Richard Overy, 2019)

European Nazi armies ? They are, mainly German, commanded from Berlin, have come from whole Europe, in order to fight Bolshevism

French poster in 1941

But the garrison is withstanding four months the onslaught in the city and the Stavka (Soviet central command) sends there its reserves

Stalingrad in August 1942 (Emmanuil Yevzerikhin)

Uranus starts on November 19, 1942. The Soviet counteroffensive sweeps the Nazi forces, many Hungarians, Italians and Romanians, west and south of Stalingrad, where the German 6. Armee will be encircled on November 23

Generalfeldmarschall Friedrich Paulus will surrender on February 2, 1943. Germany, Italy, Romania and Hungary will have lost more than 750,000 men, killed, injured and prisoners. The Dritte Reich will never recover


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