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==Battle for the City==
The Germans launched a massive air assault on the city, under the command of General Paulus. Much of the city was reduced to rubble. The German’s devoted some of their finest units to the capture of the city, much against senior Generals such as Von Kleist’s wishes, who openly opposed Hitler’s wish to capture the city. In August of 1942, the Germans fought their way into the city, which was at first lightly defended. The Soviet commander of the Soviet forces was Vasily Chuikov, who was 42 years old and led the Soviet 62nd Army. He was to prove to be an indomitable fighter and an inspirational leader.<
/ref> Beevor, p. 173</ref> He organized his army and many of the city's civilians into a formidable defensive force.
Chuikov and the defenders used the rubble of the city as defensive cover and to slow down the German advance. They also put up a suicidal resistance and fought for every street and building. Soviet snipers decimated the German forces. After three months of fierce fighting, the German’s eventually captured some 90% of the city and had reached the Volga. It appeared that they were on the verge of victory. The Soviets had been building up their forces in great secrecy to the north and the south of the city. Amazingly, German intelligence did not spot the massive build-up of Soviet divisions. The Soviet’s under Zhukov attacked the 6th army’s flank as they continued to capture the last remaining pockets of resistance in Stalingrad. The Soviets deliberately selected those sectors of the German’ lines, held by their allies, such as the Hungarians and the Romanians. The Soviet High Command, estimated that these units would not fight and would quickly surrender. On the night of the 23rd of November, the Red Army attacked and quickly swept passed the Hungarian, Rumanian, and Italian divisions and they began to encircle the 6th army in Stalingrad, just as it was on the verge of seizing the city.<ref> Antil, p. 135</ref>