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.