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The Great Patriotic War 1941 -1945

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The second period

lasted from November 19,1942 to December 31,1943 comprised two campaigns:

Winter 1942/1943 and spring-autumn 1943.

Main operations of the second period.

Offense under Stalingrad 19.11.42-2.02.1943: part of the Stalingrad battle. 76 days. Front line-850 km. Advance: 150-200 km at 4-4.5 km/day. 1,143,500 men. Average losses 6,392 men/day. Comprised smaller operations : Uranium, Smaller Saturn - surrounding of German troops, The Circle-liqudation of surounded troops. The desitive victory was one of turning points of the war. About 1/4 of all German troops on the Eastern front were lost. The Red Army accumulated the massive forces for the task: 15500 pieces of artillery,1463 tanks, 1350 aircraft - 1.5-2.0 times more than the Germans could find. Besides the most of the Soviet troops were fresh units from the strategic reserve as opposed tot heir battered counterparts. The opening strike of the Soviet artillery equaled the tactical nuclear strike. The Italian and Romanian units were virtually annihilated when the Soviet Tank Corps entered the breakthrough on the flanks to cut through the steppes on the full speed to complete the surrounding of the German troops.

[To be continued]

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