In the Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943) Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in Southern Russia. Marked by fierce close-quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians in air raids, it is one of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare, with an estimated 2 million total casualties.
After their defeat at Stalingrad, the German High Command had to withdraw vast amounts of military forces from the Western Front to replace their losses. The German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, using the 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intense Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble. The fighting degenerated into house-to-house fighting, as both sides poured reinforcements into the city. At the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad, having exhausted their ammunition and food, surrendered after five months, one week and three days of fighting.
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