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Battle of Stalingrad By David Rorex Daniel Robbins Anthony Yarbrough and Ian Gelig In the early month of 1942 Germany broke its non-aggression pact with Russia and Hitler ordered his army to sweep east to Stalingrad and south to Astrakan Grozny and to the Caspian Sea The large military offensive was called Operation Blue Hitlers main purpose in the attack on Stalingrad was that it would be hard for the Soviets to resist if Stalingrad was captured because they would be cut off from their own oil supply The city was also a major industrial center and was important in itself In July 1942 the odds were heavily on the side of the Axis powers Stalin was refusing to send troops away from Moscow keeping most his forces near Moscow to prevent attack Because there was not a large army in Stalingrad 250 thousand troops from Germany Italy and Hungry moved into the outskirts of Stalingrad During the end of the summer of 1942 the Germans advanced to edges of Stalingrad but failed to capture the city itself because of a determined defense by the Soviets even though the 6th Army commanded by Friedrich Paulus and part of the 4th Panzer Army commanded by Ewald von Kleist attacked repeatedly The Soviets fought ferociously throughout September and October giving up Stalingrad house by house street by street By mid-October the defenders had been driven back almost to the Volga a river running through the eastern side of Stalingrad by the Germans supplies were running out their tanks didnt help much in the city fighting and winter was coming During this time Marshall Zhukov and General Vasilevsky came up with a brilliant plan called Operation Uranus They saw the sides of the German army were weakly protected and the Red Army the Russians could overpower The Red Army secretly began to move 1 million troops and much artillery to attack German flanks On November 19
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