I have read several books about Stalingrad. This is definitely one of them.
The Battle of Stalingrad was contingent on the Russians winning Battle of Moscow. It was a close thing. Had the Germans been better prepared for cold weather conditions, they could have taken Moscow.
The battle for Stalingrad began in July 1942 and ended in February 1943.
Stalingrad was surrounded to the west and supplied from the other side of the Volga to the east. The fighting was bitter.
Hitler wanted the Caucasus mountains for oil and Stalingrad for its name… mostly.
As the Battle of Stalingrad progressed, the German army found itself hungry for the 650 tonnes of supplies per day it needed to fight. They were supplied by a single railroad line that became a pivotal target for the Russians.
By October, the Russians had control of the air. In November, 250,000 Germans were trapped in a pocket around downtown Stalingrad. The Germans called it the Kessel (Caldron in English). This was the turning point of the entire war.
The Russians decided to starve the Kessel. The German Luftwaffe tried to supply the Kessel from the air. The Russians shot down many supply sorties. The Germans starved to the tune of one dying every 7 seconds. The Germans were butchering 300 horses a day.
Hitler was a much better tactician than Stalin, but both managed to make some very big errors. The difference was that Stalin could afford them.
Von Paulus, the German head of the sixth army trapped in the Kessel, surrendered in February 1943. He had just been promoted to Field Marshal. Hitler thought the new rank would force him and his men to fight to the death.
Lee Moller is a life-long skeptic and atheist and the author of The God Con.