World War II: Blitzkrieg
World War II in Europe from the fall of Poland to Stalingrad (16 September 1942)
Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean
With the German bid to capture Moscow thwarted, Hitler turned his attention to the southeast. In the 1942 Summer Offensive, he attempted to seize the oil fields of southern Russia and the Caucasus. However after dramatic initial successes, the attack ground to a halt, both in the Caucasus foothills and at the strategic city of Stalingrad.
The Germans began Case Blue, their great Summer Offensive of 1942, by advancing on Voronezh and Rostov, along the Don River in Soviet Russia. After securing the lower Don in July, they swept across southern Russia, moving on Stalingrad and the Volga in the north and the oilfields of the Caucasus in the south. However by late August they had lost their momentum, facing difficulties across the front - especially in their attempt to capture Stalingrad.
First Battle of El Alamein
Fall of Sevastopol
In October 1941, the Germans had overrun Crimea, occupying the entire peninsula except for the major port of Sevastopol. After direct attacks on the Soviet city failed, the Germans settled in for a siege until mid-1942. On 2 June, they launched a new offensive by land, sea, and air, forcing Sevastopol and its 95,000 remaining defenders to surrender in early July.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics launched the Sinyavino Offensive on German positions on the southern shore of Lake Ladoga, in an attempt to break the Siege of Leningrad. The offensive was gradually ground to a halt by German resistance, allowing the Germans to counterattack on September 21, restoring the front line to its pre-battle position by October 10. Despite the Soviet failure, the battle forced the Germans to cancel their plan to capture Leningrad (Operation Northern Light).