The summer of 1942 saw a huge push of German Army Group South into southern Russia towards the city of Stalingrad as part of the larger movement towards the oilfields of the Caucasus. The German 6th Army advanced rapidly towards Stalingrad following a Russian fighting retreat whilst Army Group A moved into the Caucasus, opening up a gap between the two German forces. Cancellation of the reallocation of the 4th Panzer Army to the Caucasus caused a delay in the German advance allowing the Russians to retreat. To the north of the main German stretch towards Stalingrad, fierce counterattacks helped stem the potential movement of German forces past the River Don. Brutal fighting enveloped Stalingrad as both Hitler and Stalin saw it as a prestige target, however German air support from the Luftwaffe and superior equipment meant that the Russians were severely overpowered and outgunned.
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