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Battle of Stalingrad Timeline

Authored By Dan Alex | Last Updated: 5/12/2014

Hitler had to save face and commit thousands of lives to take Stalingrad while the German propaganda machine spewed an imminent victory for the invaders.

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It seemed that the Soviet Army, as desperate as they were, came up with victories when and where they needed them most. Stalingrad proved no exception to unfolding events along the East Front.


Besieged by the German 6th Army (and backed by elements of the Italian, Hungarian and Romanian armies), the strategic Soviet city held out with minimal supplies and a dwindling band of defenders of the 62nd Army. German propaganda, based on the grand thrusts into and around Stalingrad, were already proclaiming victory for the German Army. By now, Hitler was all but committed to taking the city - at whatever cost necessary to ensure the German Army did not fail in a big way. Soldiers and supplies were pouring to the 6th Army to make sure the assault went Germany's way. German General Paulus was the man in charge.


On the other side, Soviet Marshal Zhukov was planning his counteroffensive to help alleviate his beleaguered Stalingrad defenders. While a minimal number of supplies and replacements were sent into Stalingrad, Zhukov prepared his massive ground force a short distance away, committing whatever important elements came his way to the assault to come.


Defense of Stalingrad now fell to a smallish pocket numbering some 5 miles across and contained in an industrial sector of the city, their backs against the Volga River. The Soviet winter nights set in and the environment now played against bodies and spirits of the 62nd Army. Despite all this, the defenders had repulsed a half-dozen or so offensives launched by the German 6th already.


In the early morning hours of November 19th, 1942, Zhukov ordered his cannons and rocket systems to light up the sky. Thousands of artillery guns and Katyusha rocket projector vehicles brought down lethal rain onto the Romanians guarding the flanks. Later, another Soviet action opened up against the German 6th to the south of the city. Soviet ground forces, led by infantry and tanks, poured in. In only three days, the German 6th Army was cut off and surrounded from rescue or retreat. In effect, the besiegers were now the besieged. General Paulus made repeated overtures to Adolph Hitler for a retreat and was denied. Instead, Hitler ordered elements from elsewhere to reposition and come to the aid of the 6th Army.


The German 11th Army under von Manstein got the call and moved in. Operation Winter Storm was enacted on December 21st and failed to relieve the German 6th Army. Zhukov responded on Christmas Day and launched an attack and pushed the Germans so far back that resupply to Paulus' troops was all but impossible. Air drops were an option but weather generally curtailed any support for the 6th. The besieged Germans erected hasty defenses for the time being and regrouped.


In one final attempt to end the battle, Soviet General Rokossovsky delivered a formal request for surrender of the German Army on January 8th. This was hastily rejected and the final phase of the Battle of Stalingrad was put into effect by the Soviet Army. Artillery, ground and air elements of the Red Army pummeled the German 6th into oblivion. Deadly house-to-house fighting ensued..


General Paulus officially surrendered to the Soviet Army on February 2nd, 1943, formally ending the siege of Stalingrad and the battle as well.


Of the 300,000 German souls caught up in the Battle of Stalingrad, 160,000 died with some 80,000 lost to conditions brought about by weather and a lack of food. Only 35,000 German Army soldiers were successfully rescued by the Luftwaffe before the city fell back to Soviet control, leaving a further 90,000 to deal with the Soviet brand of justice. Only 5,000 of these men were ever seen again in the post-war years - the rest dying on the long march, executed in typical Soviet fashion or dying from exhaustion in the Siberian labor camps they were confined to.


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There are a total of 49 the Battle of Stalingrad Timeline Events. Entries are listed below by date of occurrence.

1942
Tuesday
July 28th

The macabre resolution of "not one step backwards" is issued by Stalin to his generals and troops.

1942
Tuesday
August 4th

Elements of the German Army cross the Aksay River towards Stalingrad.

1942
Thursday
August 6th

The German Army crosses the Kuban River near Armavir.

1942
Friday
August 7th

Elements of the German Army attack Soviet forces near Kalach.

1942
Sunday
August 9th

The German German Army captures the strategic port of Yeysk and Krasnador on the Sea of Azov.

1942
Friday
August 14th

German forces cross the Kuban river near Krasnador.

1942
Sunday
August 19th

German General Paulus and his 6th Army is ordered to attack the Soviet city of Stalingrad.

1942
Saturday
August 22nd

German land forces advancing into the Caucasus are stopped.

1942
Tuesday
August 25th

Stalingard is officially under siege by the Germans Army.

1942
Tuesday
September 1st

Germany Army elements, backed by Romanians cross the Kerch Straits.

1942
Tuesday
September 1st

The Germans establish a bridgehead over the Terek River.

1942
Thursday
September 3rd

The Germans enact an offensive aimed at the heart of Stalingrad.

1942
Sunday
September 6th

The strategic Black Sea port city Novorossiysk falls to the Germans.

1942
Tuesday
September 15th

The Soviet Army is unleashed on Voronezh.

1942
Thursday
September 24th

The German Army makes headway toward Tuapse.

1942
Tuesday
October 6th

Malgobek falls to the German Army.

1942
Friday
October 9th

The Soviet government hands all military powers to the Soviet Army.

1942
Wednesday
October 14th

Adolph Hitler stops all further offensives against Soviet targets in the region for the year and orders his commanders to hold their positions until 1943.

1942
Sunday
October 18th

The German drive against Tuapse is stopped by the Soviets.

1942
Sunday
October 25th

The Germans enact a new offensive in the Caucasus.

1942
Sunday
November 1st

The Caucasus town of Alagir is captured by the Germans.

1942
Monday
November 2nd

The Caucasus town of Ordzhonikidse is captured by the Germans.

1942
Thursday
November 19th

The Soviets push forward a new two-part offensive - Operation Uranus - north of Stalingrad and break through the Romanian-held defenses.

1942
Friday
November 20th

Part 2 of Operation Uranus is enacted at the southern end of Stalingrad.

1942
Friday
November 20th

German General Manstein is appointed the commander of Army Group Don.

1942
Sunday
November 22nd

Two elements of the Soviet Army meets at Kalach, effectively encircling the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.

1942
Wednesday
November 25th

In an effort to resupply their troops, the German Luftwaffe is called upon to exercise airdrops of vital supplies to the German 6th Army.

1942
Saturday
December 12th

While Hitler rejects any plea from the German 6th Army to retreat from their position, the 4th Panzer Army is used through Operation Winter Storm in an attempt to relieve the beleaguered German troops at Stalingrad.

1942
Wednesday
December 16th

The Soviet Army puts Operation Little Saturn into effect and attacks Rostov.

1942
Wednesday
December 16th

The Italian Army goes into full retreat from the Soviet advance.

1942
Wednesday
December 16th

German Army forces are called off from further offensives at Tuapse.

1942
Monday
December 21st

Soviet relief forces and supplies headed for Stalingrad are stopped at Myshkova.

1942
Wednesday
December 23rd

All further attempts to relieve Stalingrad are put on hold, indefinitely.

1942
Thursday
December 24th

The Soviet Army launches a fresh attack at Kotelnikovo, routing its Romanian defenders and putting them into full retreat.

1942
Monday
December 28th

German Army Group A is given the official order to retreat from the Caucasus region.

1943
Friday
January 1st

German forces at Terek retreat.

1943
Friday
January 8th

Soviet generals send in the formal request for surrender of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, a request which is formally rejected.

1943
Sunday
January 10th

Soviet General Rokossovsky unleashes hell on the German 6th Army through thousands of artillery cannons and Katyusha rockets.

1943
Tuesday
January 12th

Soviet troops make headway against the defensive lines at the Don River held by Hungarian and Italian troops.

1943
Tuesday
January 12th

German Caucasus elements make it to their bridgehead over the Kuban River.

1943
Wednesday
January 13th

German Army elements at Terek retreat to the Nagutskoye-Alexsandrovskoye position.

1943
Thursday
January 14th

In an effort to replenish and build up their army ranks along the East Front, German Generals proposed conscription service of the Baltic people for service .

1943
Sunday
January 17th

The German Panzer Corps at the Don are officially surrounded.

1943
Monday
January 25th

A Soviet offensive splits the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.

1943
Monday
January 25th

German forces at Armavir retreat.

1943
Monday
January 25th

German forces at Voronezh retreat.

1943
Sunday
January 31st

German General Paulus formally surrenders his southern Stalingrad army to the Soviets.

1943
Tuesday
February 2nd

The German Army north pocket at Stalingrad formally surrenders to the Soviet Army.

1943
Tuesday
February 2nd

The liberation of Stalingrad is officially over.