Operation Uranus was the codename of the Soviet Red Army’s 19–23 November 1942 strategic operation on the Eastern Front of World War II. The Red Army took advantage of the German army’s poor preparation for winter, and the fact that its forces in the southern Soviet Union were overstretched. The battle was won by the Red army on November 23, 1942, at a cost of 1,143,500 personnel and 1,500 aircraft.
About Operation Uranus in brief
Operation Uranus was the codename of the Soviet Red Army’s 19–23 November 1942 strategic operation on the Eastern Front of World War II. The operation was executed at roughly the midpoint of the five-month long Battle of Stalingrad. The Red Army took advantage of the German army’s poor preparation for winter, and the fact that its forces in the southern Soviet Union were overstretched. The Axis armies lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor. By late 22 November Soviet forces linked up at the town of Kalach, encircling some 290,000 men east of the Don River. German mobile reserves were not strong enough to parry the Soviet mechanized spearheads, while the Sixth Army did not react quickly enough nor decisively enough to disengage German armored forces and reorient them to defeat the impending threat. By the end of 20 November the Third and Fourth Romanian armies were in headlong retreat, as the Red Army bypassed several German infantry divisions. German forces were forced to retreat to the banks of the Volga River, pushing the Soviet Sixth Army’s flanks away from the city. The German Sixth Army was able to complete its advance towards the Don with heavy air support from the Luftwaffe. On 4 August, two German panzer corps were able to encircle a Soviet force of 50,000 personnel and approximately 1,000 tanks, and on 22 August began to cross the Don to complete the advance. The following day the following day, the Sixth army had occupied most of the suburbs of the city and began pushing the defending Red Army back to the city’s outskirts.
By November the city had been taken by the German Fourth Panzer Army, and by the next day the Soviets had encircled the German Fifth Panzer Army and were on the verge of taking the Caucasus oil fields. The battle was won by the Red army on November 23, 1942, at a cost of 1,143,500 personnel and 1,500 aircraft. It was the only operation of the Second World War in which more than half a million Red Army soldiers were killed or wounded. The Germans were unable to take the oil fields and the city, and were instead forced to defend the city against a Soviet offensive in the summer of 1942. The war ended in December 1942 with the defeat of the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge and the fall of Moscow to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Army was forced to withdraw from the Caucasus and to take over the control of the Trans-Siberian Railway in the east. The Soviets were also forced to give up their attempt to capture the Caucasus Oil Fields, which they had been trying to take since May 1942. In the end, the Soviet Army won the war in the battle for the Caucasus, and took control of most of Russia’s oil fields, as well as much of the Black Sea region. The campaign was a major success for the Soviet government, and led to the creation of the Dnepropetrovsk Soviet Socialist Republic.