This diorama represents the period of summer battles between the Soviet and German armies in 1942. During the summer Germany intended to invade Caucasus, Stalingrad and Astrakhan. The Red Army was defeated in Kharkiv and the Crimea, and weakened by these defeats it could not stop the enemy from advancing inland. At the battle of Kharkiv alone Soviet casualties were almost 300,000, whereas Germans and their allies lost 20,000 people. The Germans occupied Donbass and Rostov-on-Don. Their initial plan was to secure the Don and Volga rivers, and then drive towards the Caucasus in order to capture the oil fields of Baku. However, Hitler ordered to attempt both objectives simultaneously. Rostov-on-Don was recaptured on 24 July. Despite the resistance of the Red Army and multiple counterattacks, the summer battles allowed Wehrmacht to advance from Kharkiv to Stalingrad.
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