Hitler was low on resources, and his army was no longer strong enough to perform a big invasion like operation Barbarossa. Hitler decides to attack Russia, he thought that he could use surprise and make up for his lack of resources.Hitler attacked Stalingrad because it supplied a lot of oil to Russia. Stalingrad was important to Stalin because he was trying to enhance Russia's economy.
July 17, 1942The battle of Stalingrad begins when the Luftwaffe bomb Stalingrad, and shipping vessels on the Volga river. The bombing in the twon destroys the majority of the city. At the end of the war the city of Stalingrad is reduced to rubble. But the Russians were able to stop the German advances. The Russian victory is very important to the rest of the war.
German tanks reach the Volga river, just North of Stalingrad. The Germans are continuing to advance on the city, and the Russian army has yet to regroup and decide on a plan to stop the German army.
September 13, 1942German ground forces start to fire on the city. At this point in the battle the German infantry has reached the city. The Russian defense lines were broken many times. The Russians tried to set up lines to stop the German invasion, but the German army always proved to flank their defenses and the Russians would need to regroup.
September 23, 1942After the Russians regroup from the surprise German attack, they are able to stop the Germans from advancing into the city. But unfortunately by the time they stop the German advances most of the damage is already done. Of course there will still be damage, and deaths in the fighting aftwerwards, but the majority of the damage has already happened in the bombings. German advancment in Stalingrad is halted.
After German advances are stopped, the Russian army regroups and developes a plan to trap the Germans in the city. The Russians plan to trap the Germans until they surrender. They have an advantage because the cold Russian winter is arriving. The Russian Red Army begins Operation Uranus to encircle the German army.
November 23, 1942The plan is complete, trapping about 290,000 German soldiers. After many failed attempts at stopping the German army one of their plans succeeds. The Russian soldiers surrounded the Germans and cut off all of their attempts at resupplying or for other connections.
December 12, 1942Field Marshal Zhukov launches an attack on the German forces to relieve Russia's previous army. German forces are pushed back by soviet attacks. Marshal Zhukov's full name is Georgy Zhukov. He became minister of defense in 1955.
January 8, 1943Soviets make an offer for the Germans to surrender, which they outright refuse. Until later in the winter the frostbitten and starved German troops surrender. The Germans were not prepared to be fighting in cold conditions like the Russian winter. They also burned everything down preventing the Germans from salvaging anything from the city.
The trapped German troops surrender. The German army starved, and endured for another month until finally they surrender in February. This battle is very important. It marks the end of Germany's campaign on Russia. After their loss the Russians began pushing German forces out of the country.