The Battle of Stalingrad was the turning point of World War II. The armies of Hitler's Nazi Germany and Stalin's Communist Soviet Union fought to the death in this industrial city on the banks of the Volga. Initially, it seemed impossible for the Soviets to hold out against the Wehrmacht and supporting Luftwaffe aircraft, but the handto- hand fighting in ruined factories, rubble-strewn streets and houses pockmarked by machine-gun bullets gradually turned events in their favour. Then, vast outflanking movement led by Marshal Zhukov in November 1942 dramatically turned the tables, surrounding General Paulus's German Sixth Army. Over a period of three months this army was bled white while Hitler refused to let it break out to the west, and Hermann Goering's claim that he could supply it from the air turned out to be the hollowest of boasts.