The fate of the German Sixth Army surrounded in Stalingrad was decided in early 1943, marking the turning point in the eastern campaign. From then on the German forces were steadily on the retreat in the face of continual Soviet offensives. As 1944 began, the superiority of the Red Army had become so crushing, aided by the obstinacy at the highest levels of German command, that the German Eastern Front, which was under heavy pressure everywhere, suffered a number of disasters which cost the eastern armies alone more than half a million German soldiers killed, missing and wounded.
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