On June 22, 1941, four million troops poured over the Russian border. Within one month, over two and half million Russians had been killed, wounded or captured. The Germans made tremendous advances into Russia – into portions of Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad.
And then winter hit. The Germans were caught in summer uniforms, and it was a bitter, cold winter that year.
Stalin, using sheer force of numbers, threw another two million soldiers at the Germans.
Battle of Stalingrad 1942 photo courtesy of National Archive
The German offensive sputtered, and then stopped. The German army was about 1,800 miles away from home, and the railroads did not work.
In the spring of the next year (1943), another German offensive was launched especially around the approaches to Stalingrad. What followed can only be described as a nine-month titanic battle, with the result that the German Sixth Army in Russia was almost completely destroyed. That was the beginning of the end for Germany, but it would take three more years of desperate fighting, and millions and millions of people dead before it was all over.