Battle of Stalingrad
1941 was a disaster for Nazi Germany. After invading the Soviet Union in June, they had expected to defeat the Red Army in 6 weeks. But by December, German forces had been thrown back by the Soviet winter counter-offensive. And there were even bigger problems. Germany had previously relied on the Soviets themselves for supplies of raw materials. But now, at war with their former ally, those supplies were running short.
Worst of all however, in December of 1941 the United States entered the war of the Allies side. Above all, Hitler feared a war on two fronts, particularly against the industrial power of the United States. His window of opportunity to win the war was closing fast. For Hitler the extensive oilfields of the southern Caucasus were the key to victory, without them the war could not be won.
The campaign to capture that oil would culminate in the bloodiest battle of the Second World War, the Battle of Stalingrad. But although it is seen by many as the turning point of the entire war, the outcome of the battle may have been decided well before the Germans even reached the city.
Credit to : Imperial War Museum