Q6. What is the significance of “Battle of Stalingrad”?
In January 1942 the unity of the countries fighting against the fascist powers was cemented. The representatives of 26 nations, including Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union, signed a declaration, known as the United Nations Declaration. The signatories to this Declaration resolved to utilize all their resources to pursue the war until victory was achieved and to cooperate with one another against the common enemy, and promised not to have a separate peace treaty.
One of the most important turning points in the war was the Battle of Stalingrad (now called Volgograd). In November and December 1941, the German advance on Moscow met with stubborn resistance and the invasion was repulsed. Germany then launched an offensive in southern Russia. In August 1942, the German troops reached the outskirts of Stalingrad. For over five months, the battle raged. It involved about 2 million men, 2000 tanks and 2000 aeroplanes. The civilian population of Stalingrad joined the soldiers in the defence of the city. In February 1943, about 90,000 German officers and soldiers surrendered. In all, Germany had lost about 300,000 men in this battle. This battle turned the tide of the war. Germans suffered huge losses and their war machinery and morale was severly affected.