Battle of Stalingrad Facts

Battle of Stalingrad Facts
The Battle of Stalingrad, which took place in the Soviet city of Stalingrad, was one of the longest and most important battles in World War II. From August 23, 1942 to February 2, 1943, the Germans and their allies laid siege to the strategically important industrial city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd), in what became the most destructive battle in human history. Both sides sent over a million men into the field and almost as many died when the smoke cleared. Great destruction was done to the city and it was almost entirely depopulated, but the Red Army enacted a crushing defeat on the Axis powers. The Soviets were on the offensive from that point on in the Eastern Front and Germany's allies were all but knocked out of the war.
Interesting Battle of Stalingrad Facts:
The tide started to turn for the Soviets when they initiated Operation Uranus on November 19, 1942, which was a massive assault on the Romanian and Hungarian flanks.
Operation Uranus led to the Red Army surrounding the German 6th Army, leading to the capture of more than a quarter million German, Romanian, Hungarian, Italian, and Croatian troops.
Although the Battle of Stalingrad was the longest and costliest battle in human history; both sides often employed pre-modern battle tactics: the use of investments and sieges of fortified areas was common.
As the Red Army was laying siege to the trapped Axis forces in Stalingrad, it launched a major counteroffensive, Operation Little Saturn, to capture the city of Rostov from Italian and Hungarian forces. The Italians and Hungarians fought well, but ultimately lost the battle of attrition.
The general of the Romanian forces was Petre Dumitrescu.
The Red Army general who planned much of the defense of the city and the counter offensives that captured so many Axis forces and sent them on their heels was Georgy Zhukov.
Italo Gariboldi was the commander of the Italian forces at Stalingrad. He had fought in campaigns in North Africa and on the Eastern Front before Stalingrad and returned to Italy to fight the western Allies after Stalingrad.
Unlike many of the other non-German Axis generals, Gariboldi stood by the Germans until he was captured by the Allies in 1944.
Two German generals, Friedrich Paulus and Walter Heitz, surrendered to the Red Army at Stalingrad and were arrested. Paulus collaborated with the Soviets and died in East Germany. Heitz refused to cooperated with the Soviets and died in custody in 1944.
The Nazi government admitted defeat on public radio on January 31, 1943.
Axis resistance in the city lasted until March. German, Italian, Romanian, Croatian, and Hungarian soldiers hide out in houses and collapsed structures as long as they could with whatever weapons they could find. Most Axis soldiers found in the city after the Axis armies retreated were killed by the Red Army soldiers.
It was not until 1955 that the surviving 6,000 German prisoners of war taken at Stalingrad were repatriated to West Germany.

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