The double envelopment was launched on 19 November, 1942 with twin attacks that met each other at Kalach four days later. More than a quarter million Axis soldiers were cut off from supplies just as the harsh winter began to take hold. The situation for the German attackers of Stalingrad seemed desperate and on 22 November General Friedrich von Paulus sent Adolf Hitler a telegram saying that the German 6th army was surrounded .
Forbidden to break out from the encirclement, the German Sixth Army fell to a number of Soviet ground attacks on 31 January, 1943. 100,000 soldiers surrendered to the Russians, although only about 6,000 survived captivity to be returned to Germany years after the end of the war. Conducted in rough coordination with the Mars attack near Moscow.