On this day in history, November 19th 1942, the Soviets, with more than one million men, launch Operation Uranus in an attempt to encircle Axis forces in Stalingrad and turn the tide of battle. The Battle of Stalingrad began in August of 1942 and ended about five months later in February of 1943 with the successful Russian encirclement of the Germans and their allies. Stalingrad ranks among the largest and bloodiest battles in history. Almost two million people, including civilians, were either killed, wounded, or captured. The Germans chose Stalingrad as a target in order to incapacitate one of Russia's greatest industrial cities and to secure the surrounding region, the resource rich oil planes of the Caucasus and Russian south. The Germans ultimately were defeated due to many tactical mistakes and having over-extended their resources. Ultimately, the Germans were unable to throw as many men and as much equipment at the conflict as their enemies were.