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Battle of Stalingrad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the 1949 Russian film, see The Battle of Stalingrad (film). For the Russian Civil War battle at the same city, see Battle for Tsaritsyn.

Battle of Stalingrad
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II
Soviet soldier waving the Red Banner over the central plaza of Stalingrad in 1943.
Date 23 August 1942 2 February 1943a (5 months, 1 week and 3 days)
Location Stalingrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union 4842′N 4431′E Coordinates: 4842′N 4431′E
Result Decisive[1] Soviet victory
  • Destruction of the German 6th Army
  • Axis superiority on the Eastern Front rapidly begins to decline[2]
Belligerents
Germany Romania Italy Hungary Croatia Soviet Union
Commanders and leaders
Adolf Hitler Erich von Manstein Friedrich Paulus W.F. von Richthofen Petre Dumitrescu C. Constantinescu Italo Gariboldi Gusztáv Jány Viktor Pavičić Joseph Stalin Georgy Zhukov Nikolay Voronov A.M. Vasilevsky Andrey Yeryomenko Nikita Khrushchev Hazi Aslanov K.K. Rokossovsky Nikolai Vatutin Vasily Chuikov
Units involved
Army Group B:
  • 6th Army
  • 4th Panzer Army
  • Third Army
  • Fourth Army
  • Eighth Army
  • Second Army
  • Croatian Legion
Stalingrad Front
  • 28th Army
  • 51st Army
  • 57th Army
  • 62nd Army
  • 64th Army
Don Front[Note 1] South West Front[Note 2]
Strength
Initial: 270,000 personnel 3,000 artillery pieces 500 tanks 600 aircraft, 1,600 by mid-September (Luftflotte 4)[Note 3][3] At the time of the Soviet counter-offensive: ~1,040,000 men (400,000+ Germans, 143,296 Romanians, 220,000 Italians, 200,000 Hungarian, 40,000 Hiwi)[4][5] 10,250 artillery pieces 500 tanks 732 (402 operational) aircraft[6]:p.225[7]:87 Initial: 187,000 personnel 2,200 artillery pieces 400 tanks 300 aircraft[3]:p.72 At the time of the Soviet counter-offensive: 1,143,000[8] 13,451 artillery pieces 894 tanks[8] 1,115[6]:p.224 aircraft
Casualties and losses
See casualties section See casualties section
aOver 10,000 Axis soldiers continued to fight until early March 1943.
Location of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) within modern Russia

 

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Eastern Front

 

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Case Blue to 3rd Kharkov

 

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Battle of Stalingrad

Operation Blau: German advances from 7 May 1942 to 18 November 1942

to 7 July 1942

to 22 July 1942

to 1 August 1942

to 18 November 1942

The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 2 February 1943)[9][10][11][12] was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in Southern Russia, on the eastern boundary of Europe.

Marked by constant close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians by air raids, it is often regarded as the single largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare.[13] The heavy losses inflicted on the German Wehrmacht make it arguably the most strategically decisive battle of the whole war.[14] It was a turning point in the European theatre of World War II; German forces never regained the initiative in the East and withdrew a vast military force from the West to replace their losses.[1]



The German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in late summer 1942, using the 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble. The fighting degenerated into building-to-building fighting, and both sides poured reinforcements into the city. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones generally along the west bank of the Volga River.

On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanian and Hungarian forces protecting the German 6th Army's flanks.[15] The Axis forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Adolf Hitler ordered that the army stay in Stalingrad and make no attempt to break out; instead, attempts were made to supply the army by air and to break the encirclement from the outside. Heavy fighting continued for another two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition and food. The remaining elements of the 6th Army surrendered.[16]:p.932 The battle lasted five months, one week, and three days.

Contents

  • 1 Historical background
  • 2 Prelude
  • 3 Attack on Stalingrad
    • 3.1 Fighting in the city
    • 3.2 Air attacks
    • 3.3 Germany reaches the Volga
  • 4 Soviet counter-offensives
    • 4.1 Weakness on the German flanks
    • 4.2 Operation Uranus: the Soviet offensive
  • 5 Sixth Army surrounded
  • 6 The end of the battle
    • 6.1 Operation Winter Storm
    • 6.2 Operation Little Saturn
    • 6.3 Soviet victory
  • 7 Aftermath
  • 8 Significance
  • 9 Other information
    • 9.1 Orders of battle
    • 9.2 Casualties
    • 9.3 In popular culture
  • 10 See also
  • 11 References
  • 12 Further reading
  • 13 External links

Date: 2016-03-03; view: 79


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