Chapter I - Wehrmacht: "Advance to Stalingrad!" (July 1942)

The story of the Battle of Stalingrad begins after the defeat of the Germany forces at Moscow Moscow in the end of 1941, where they were repelled and driven back. Another direct attack on the Soviet capital would not succeed. Thus, the German "Barbarossa" plan aimed at a rapid assault and seizure of Moscow in the autumn of 1941, failed.

According to the plan devised by the Hitler Supreme Command, throughout the summer of 1942 the Germans were to defeat the Soviet troops in the south of the country, capture the oil regions of the Caucasus, rich agricultural areas of Kuban - and Don, disrupt the communication lines that connected Moscow with the Caucasus and turn the tides of war in their favor. It should also have been a revenge for their defeat in the Battle of Moscow. The mission was entrusted to the "A" group of armies commanded by Field-Marshal List, which included the 1st tank Army, 17th and 11th field Armies and the 8th Italian Army; and the "B" group of armies (direct assault on Stalingrad) under command of Field-Marshal von Bock, which included the 4th tank Army, the 2nd and 6th field armies and the 2nd Hungarian army.

On the 23rd of July, Hitler, inspired by the success of the German forces, signed directive N45 on continuation of operation called Braunschweig. According to it, the "A" group of armies received the entire 4th tank army and advanced to the Caucasus. The "B" group of armies, which only included the 6th army under command of colonel-general Paulus, was to capture Stalingrad. The Germans were sure they would seize this strategically important center fast.

To do them justice, it has to be said that they had every reason to believe that. The Soviet offense at the cities Izium and Barvenkovo during summer 1942 ended in a complete failure. Soon, the cities of Kharkov and Rostov fell into the enemy's hands. The Germans swiftly advanced through the Caucasus.

The troops of the 6th Army were opposed by the divisions of the Stalingrad front, which was formed at a respective order of the General Staff on July 12th, 1942. It included three reserve armies (63rd, 62nd and 64th) and two armies of the former South-Western front (21st and 8th aviation). Later, the 28th, 38th and 57th armies were also added to the Stalingrad front. By mid-July, the Stalingrad front vanguards engaged the motorized spearhead of the 6th Army under the command of Gen. Paulus, marking the beginning of the Stalingrad battle...

Forces engaged in combat during the period shown in "Stalingrad":

Wehrmacht (6th Army)

XIV tank corps (lieutenant-general Angern)

2nd tank regiment of the 16th tank division

79th motorized regiment of the 16th tank division

521st anti-tank battalion

92nd infantry regiment of the 60th motorized infantry

Red Army

62nd Army (general-major Kolpakchi)

192th infantry division*

196th infantry division

33rd guard infantry division

40th tank squadron

649th separate tank battalion

1st tank army (general-major Kiselev)**

28th tank corps

  • By 17.07.1942, 192th infantry division consisted of 676th infantry regiment, 1th division of 293rd artillery regiment, 644th tank battalion ** By 27.07.1942, 1st tank army consisted of 13th and 28th tank corps., 131st infantry division, two AA artillery regiments and a anti-tank regiment. 158th heavy tank brigade was also assigned to the 1st army.