The Battle of Stalingrad is considered the bloodiest battle in human history. It began in August 1942 and concluded February 2, 1943, with a crushing defeat of invading Nazi forces by the Soviet Union.
It was a major turning point in World War II and was marked by incredible suffering, brutality and disregard for civilian casualties on both sides.
Total casualties are estimated at between one and three million. The Axis powers lost about a quarter of their total manpower on the Eastern Front and never recovered from the defeat. The Soviets lost well over one million soldiers and civilians.
Upon surrendering at Stalingrad, 91,000 tired and starving German soldiers, including 22 generals, were taken captive. Only 6,000 of these POWs survived to return home. The great majority died of overwork, disease and malnutrition at Soviet labor camps. The Soviet victory at Stalingrad put an end to Nazi Germany’s aggression and marked the beginning of its rapid decline. (More cartoons below).