How the Battle of Stalingrad Marked a Turning Point in WWII

By early 1942, Adolf Hitler’s dream of destroying the Soviet Union seemed closer to realization. German soldiers in boots had paraded victoriously through the streets of the main cities of the communist nation while their comrades besieged Leningrad and threatened the capital of Moscow. Then, at the end of that summer, the Nazi leader attacked Stalingrad. This decision led to Germany’s first major defeat on the Eastern Front and became the turning point of World War II.

“If you look at the whole operation, the Soviets basically wiped out the German Sixth Army and a Panzer army…leaving a huge hole in the Eastern Front,” says Stalingrad historian David Glantz, author of five books on the battle. “The Germans never fully recovered.”

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