The day the Germans lost the battle of Stalingrad – level 3
On August 23, 1942, the Germans began the battle for the city of Stalingrad, Russia, which stood in the way to their final destination, the oil fields further in the south.
It all started with a huge air bombing of the city. The anti-aircraft unit that protected the city consisted exclusively of women. They had 37 cannons and fought until the last cannon was in operation.
In the next stage, the German soldiers entered the city. The Russian defense was strong against a ground attack. Both sides were fighting for every building. The fights were long and the German advances were very slow.
Nevertheless, the Russians were slowly losing the city but they were still able to control some parts. They were ready to fight to the last man.
All the time, trains were carrying new soldiers to Stalingrad from Siberia. They were often young boys, who were immediately sent to the front line. The lifespan of a soldier was less than one day.
The Russian army held on and on November 19, 1942, a turning point occurred. More Russian soldiers came to Stalingrad and they surrounded the areas occupied by the Germans. Inside, 300,000 German soldiers and their allies were trapped. The supply of German soldiers in the city collapsed. Getting new bullets and food was impossible.
On February 2, 1943, the Germans gave up. The battle was over.
The battle was a major turning point in the course of World War II. It was one of the most terrible battles in human history, leaving up to 2 million dead or injured and a totally destroyed city behind.
Difficult words: aircraft (a plane), advance (a step forward, progress), to fight to the last man (to fight until no one is left), lifespan (how long somebody lives on average), surround (to make a circle around something), ally (your friend in a war).
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