THE GREAT FATHERLAND WAR I. Diplomatic and Military Background, 1938-41 A. The Munich Conference and its impact, 1938 B. The Molotov-Ribbentrop ("Nazi-Soviet") Pact: Aug 23, 1939 C. The Nazi-Soviet Partition of Poland, September 1939 D. The Soviet "Winter War" against Finland, 1939-40 II. The German Invasion and Soviet Response, 1941 A. Hitler's Attack: Operation Barbarossa, June 22, 1941 B. The Siege of Leningrad, 1941-44 C. The Survival of Moscow, December 1941 III. The Battle for Stalingrad, 1942-1943 A. Hitler's 1942 Goal: oil fields of the Caucasus B. July, 1942: Germans take Rostov, the "key to the Caucasus." C. August 23: Germans reach Volga River north of Stalingrad. D. August 23-26: Hitler's Air Force (Luftwaffe) attacks city. E. September: The German ground attack on Stalingrad begins. 1. Stalin decides to defend city: "Not one step backward!" 2. Red Army fights ferociously: "Every building a fortress" 3. 20,000 Germans die in 1 week: "Mass grave of Wehrmacht." F. November: The Soviet counterattack 1. Germans control 90% of Stalingrad as winter begins 2. Nov. 19-23: Reds surround city & trap 250,000 Germans 3. Gen Von Paulus asks consent to break out; Hitler refuses 4. Goering's Luftwaffe tries vainly to supply troops by air G. December: German relief army sidetracked, contact cut off. H. January, 1943: Defeat and surrender of the German 6th Army IV. The Impact of Stalingrad A. Military catastrophe for Germans: 150,000 dead; 90,000 POWs B. Germans fight on, but never recover the momentum.