The loss of the two airfields, at Pitomnik on 16 January 1943 and Gumrak on the night of 21/22 January, meant an end to air supplies and to the evacuation of the wounded. Some German holdouts continued to operate in the city and resist until early March 1943. Army Group Don was formed under Field Marshal von Manstein. , On 25 July the Germans faced stiff resistance with a Soviet bridgehead west of Kalach. In recognition of the determination of its defenders, Stalingrad was awarded the title Hero City in 1945. The Soviet Air Force, the Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily (VVS), was swept aside by the Luftwaffe. On 22 January, Rokossovsky once again offered Paulus a chance to surrender. :528 The expansion of objectives was a significant factor in Germany's failure at Stalingrad, caused by German overconfidence and an underestimation of Soviet reserves. These forces were also lacking in effective anti-tank weapons. Bergström quotes: Soviet Reports on the effects of air raids between 23–26 August 1942. Under his command were the twenty German and two Romanian divisions encircled at Stalingrad, Adam's battle groups formed along the Chir River and on the Don bridgehead, plus the remains of the Romanian 3rd Army. –, Biesinger (2006: 699): "On August 23, 1942, the Germans began their attack. David Glantz, Armageddon in Stalingrad, The Stalingrad Trilogy Volume II (2009), 380–383. Germany's Sixth Army had ceased to exist, and the forces of Germany's European allies, except Finland, had been shattered. The Austrian divisional commander, General Erhard Raus, was summoned to Manstein's royal carriage in Kharkov station on 24 November, where the field marshal briefed him. Before the Heer reached the city itself, the Luftwaffe had cut off shipping on the Volga, vital for bringing supplies into the city. Poor weather prevented effective air action against the Soviet offensive. ", The toll on the Transportgruppen was heavy. This second plan was given the name Operation Thunderclap. On 19 November, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanian and Hungarian armies protecting the 6th Army's flanks. By 19 December the German army was in full retreat out of the Caucasus, while using the Sixth Army to tie down the Soviet forces. Beevor, Antony (1999). :154–68 On the other hand, Beevor noted the often extraordinary bravery of the Soviet soldiers in a battle that was only comparable to Verdun, and argued that terror alone cannot explain such self-sacrifice. Paulus chose the grain elevator and silos as the symbol of Stalingrad for a patch he was having designed to commemorate the battle after a German victory. The armies in the area were also poorly equipped in terms of anti-tank weapons. Battle for Stalingrad: the 1943 Soviet General Staff study. 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. ":137, The Red Army High Command sent three envoys while simultaneously aircraft and loudspeakers announced terms of capitulation on 7 January 1943. Even the sewers were the sites of firefights. Zhukov states, "Compared with the Germans, the troops of the satellites were not so well armed, less experienced and less efficient, even in defence. Alle der im Folgenden beschriebenen Sturmovik battle of stalingrad sind sofort im Internet im Lager und somit in maximal 2 Tagen bei Ihnen. ":166, 168–69, The Germans inside the pocket retreated from the suburbs of Stalingrad to the city itself. These tanks, unpainted and lacking gun-sights, were driven directly from the factory floor to the front line. 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