The battle of Stalingrad was another major turning point. The Soviet Union stopped the Germans from advancing into Russia. Stalingrad was a fairly big industrial city, stretching about 30 miles along the bank of the Volga river. If the Germans captured Stalingrad, that would cut off Soviet communication with Southern Russia. In addition to this, capturing the city with the name of the Soviet leader would serve as massive propaganda as well as another huge boost to Hitler’s ego. Josef Stalin decided to keep civilians in Stalingrad. He did this because he knew the soldiers would fight harder knowing they were protecting innocent people. Operation Uranus was a huge counter-offensive that was the turning point of the battle. The counter attack was a huge surprise to the Germans because they thought the Soviets were too weak to mount such an attack. The Soviets hit the weaker bits of the German attack force. Eventually, the German army was seperated. One bit was on the Volga river and the other, larger, force was west of the city. The ones on the Volga were growing weaker and weaker because they were running out of food and supplies. The German High Command urged Hitler to let the leader of that force break free and reunite with the other forces. Hitler couldn’t contemplate retreating from the Volga and told the forces there to “stand and fight.” Hitler then ordered one of his best commanders to go and rescue the forces by the Volga. The forces by the river’s commander, General Friedrich Paulus, wasn’t allowed to fight the same way the troops were advancing so they could meet up. (Hitler’s orders.) This doomed Paulus’s forces since the force that was coming to rescue them simply wasn’t strong enough to break through Soviet defenses. The Germans later surrendered. The axis powers suffered around 800,000 dead, wounded, captured or MIA soldiers.. The Soviet’s red army suffered around 1,100,000 dead, wounded, captured or MIA soldiers. 40,000 Civilians died too.