Stalingrad: Deadly Battle of WWII - OPERATION URANUS

This image depicts a photo from the Ukrainian Central State Archive. It shows Soviet troops advancing at Kalac during November of 1942. This action was part of the effort to push the German army out of the Soviet Union. The photo was taken by an unnamed Soviet photojournalist.


Thinking his conquest of Stalingrad was assured—or—perhaps pondering what to do if the Sixth Army failed him, Hitler spent the first part of November (1942) at Berghof, his now-destroyed home on the Obersalzberg Mountain. (Nearby Eagle's Nest, Eva Braun's favorite spot, is still a popular Berchtesgaden tourist destination.)

The serenity of the mountain location, however, would provide little solace for the Nazi leader in the months to come.

While Hitler rested amidst the stunning beauty of Bavaria, Stalin listened to his commanders finalize their brilliant plan ("Operation Uranus") to take back Stalingrad.  For seven centuries, Russia had succesfully defended herself against invaders—why should this time be different?

Initially unsure the Red Army could effectively mount a surprise counter offensive, Stalin was ultimately persuaded by Marshal Zhukov. The plan could work, but only a few men would know about it. Even field commanders were kept in the dark.

Plans to launch the attack on November 9 were changed to November 19th, due to weather. As the Red Army began to move, some of the German commanders wondered: Were the Russians commencing a counter attack?

Hitler, wrongly convinced the Soviets did not have enough reserves to mount a significant assault, was also mistaken about something else.

At a time when German women were not permitted to work in factories, Soviet women were out-producing Nazi factories four-fold. For every 500 tanks made in Germany, 2200 tanks were turned out in Russia. Many of those tanks were about to bear down upon the 6th Army and the 4th Panzer Army.

Within days after the counter-offensive began, General Paulus and his men would be trapped with no reasonable method of escape.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: Jul 07, 2019

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"OPERATION URANUS" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2007. Nov 20, 2019.
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