At the end of August they started bombing it to rubble.
“Bombing started at ten in the morning and we saw a large number of planes flying over. The planes were dropping bombs into the center of the city. Everything was ablaze. There was noise and screaming. Some people managed to get back to their ruined homes. There was constant fear that we felt. We wanted to survive the war. We were just always wondering where to get food. We were constantly hungry.”– Valentina Krutova, a child in Stalingrad
At Stalingrad, the Soviets surprised the Germans with their apparently inexhaustible ability to raise more troops. On November 19, more than a million Red Army soldiers took part in Operation Uranus, an ambitious and successful attempt to cut off the German Army inside the city. Not only were the Germans defeated at Stalingrad, but they also had to pull back from their advance towards the Caucasus oil fields.
The death toll at Stalingrad was immense. About a half million Red Army soldiers died in the battle, more people than Great Britain or the United States lost in the entire war. Most of the civilians who stayed in the city perished, becoming just part of the estimated sixteen million Soviet civilians who died during the war.