A disastrous offensive launched by the Red Army in May, 1942 around Kharkov ended in a rout that paved the way for a renewed German offensive deep into southern Russia and the Ukraine beginning on June 23, 1942. The goal was to break Soviet resistance by capturing the oilfields of the Caucasus and the River Volga at Stalingrad. The Red Army was once again put on the defensive and soon their backs were against the Volga River, desperately trying to hang on in the face of an implacable and ruthless enemy bent on the annhilation of the Slavic people. This battle, fought in subhuman conditions between August 1942 and January 1943 cost nearly 2 million casualties and unspeakable suffering for those who fought and died there. This is the story of the battle many consider the turning point of World War II in Europe.