The march to the Caucasus. – On 11 July the group of armies B enters the stage which, with the first armored army, flanked by the right wing by the group of armies A, begins the march to the Caucasus with a great conversion to the right, pivoting on the 3rd Romanian army in Taganrog on the Sea of Azov. This movement brings the operating mass to the Azov-Denisovskaja line on 31 July, intercepting the only railway south of the Don that connected the Sea of Azov and the Volga; on 23 July he occupied Rostov. At the same time, the right wing of the group of armies A stood at the great bend of the Don in the section Serafimovič-Kalač-Kostantinovskaja, in front of Stalingrad. The 4th battleship reached 30 km. from the Volga but the 6th was unable to pass to the top of the Don elbow due to the unsurpassed resistance of the Soviets. While, therefore, this the last mass aimed at the Volga, the first had already begun the race to the Caucasus (see in this App.); two directions, therefore, diverging, which if on the one hand gave the maneuver an unprecedented grandeur, constituted its weak point and the reason before its failure. On 7 August, having crossed the high course of the Kuban ′, the peaks were already in the oil region of Majkop; on the 14th the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the northern slopes of the Caucasus were reached. To the west Krasnodar was occupied, to the east Georgevsky and the port of Tuapse was threatened from near. having crossed the high course of the Kuban ′, the peaks were already in the oil region of Majkop; on the 14th the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the northern slopes of the Caucasus were reached. To the west Krasnodar was occupied, to the east Georgevsky and the port of Tuapse was threatened from near. having crossed the high course of the Kuban ′, the peaks were already in the oil region of Majkop; on the 14th the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the northern slopes of the Caucasus were reached. To the west Krasnodar was occupied, to the east Georgevsky and the port of Tuapse was threatened from near.
The Battle of Stalingrad. – On 1 August the 4th Armored Army passed the Don and was followed by the 6th which, to its left, made a conversion and headed north-east towards the Volga and Stalingrad. The battle began with the surprise on July 28 by the armored avant-gardes of the 4th army, a surprise that failed. The von Böck passed to the investment of the city, quickly transformed into a stronghold, crossing the Don also in front of the city itself and launching its armored columns both north and south of it in the direction of Dubovka and Krasnoarmejskoe, but the resistance Soviet thwarted all efforts, until 11 September, the day when the Volga was reached south of Stalingrad. From that moment the battle was fought in the interior of the city, taking on all the characteristics of a regular siege fight, which lasted for two months, involving considerable forces: about one million men with 5000 chariots. The losses reached 200,000 men, as the Germans had to storm the houses and factories transformed into fortresses. In spite of so much fury and such enormous efforts, the Germans did not succeed in occupying Stalingrad; indeed, on November 27, the German 6th Army besieged, as a result of the great Soviet counter-offensive, became besieged and on February 2 Marshal von Paulus surrendered with 24 generals and 90,000 men of the 330,000 he had at the beginning of the battle.
The Russian counter-offensive in the winter of 1942 – 43. – According to localtimezone.org, the Soviet general counter-offensive began in early November, engaging the entire northern and central stretch of the Germanic front. The axis of the counteroffensive was the bisector of the great loop of the Don: main direction Serafimovič-Rostov, which would have determined the severing at the base of the great German salient Rostov-Stalingrad-Caucasus and the consequent isolation of the German armies operating south of the lower course of the Don and the Don-Volga gate. This vast action was entrusted to the mass of reserves gathered in the Caspian region from Kujbyšev to the Caucasus; well-armed, well-trained reserves, backed up by masses of tanks and planes. To the south, between the Volga and the Don, they would operate with troops coming from the north in converging directions, other masses gathered in the Eastern Caucasus.
The action began in the Kalmyk steppe and in the Terek area on the one hand in the direction of Stalingrad and Proletarskaja with the aim of Kuban ′ and Rostov; on the other, against the troops who had unsuccessfully tried to occupy the oil zone of Groznyj. Stalingrad was hit from the south and north on November 26: the 6th German army was encircled. The Don was passed to Voronezh and Belogore (January 26) and the German armies pushed back beyond the Orel-Kursk-Charcov line; while in the north, in the central sector, the struggle between Kalinin and Velikie-Luki was going on. This action was demonstrative and intended to keep German reserves away from the decisive southern sector. By now it was evident the powerlessness of the German general staff to re-establish the situation and resume the initiative of operations, due to lack of reserves. It was necessary to shorten the front, proportionate it to the means available and promptly clear the distant Caucasus, to prevent the entire right wing of the array from being cut off from the rest. In February, the general withdrawal of the armies, which had flooded the Caucasus region, was in full swing. When the movement was completed, the German troops reoccupied the front in the summer of 1941: Lake Ladoga-River Volkhov-Lake Il′men-Velikie-Luki-Ržev-west of Orel-west of Kursk-Taganrog. As of February 28, the entire region between the Caucasus, Don and Volga was cleared of the Germans, with the exception of the Kuban bridgehead: Rostov, Vorošilovgrad with part of the Donets basin, had returned to the Soviets.