The region became one of the priority goals for German command because of its location, and large amount of subsoil resources, including oil. Invading Kuban would have deprived the USSR of the natural resources essential for the war and allow Germany to establish control over the Caucasus.
While Army Group B was fighting at Stalingrad to cut off communications between the Caucasus and European Russia, Army Group A moved southward. From August 1942, many important Soviet cities were taken in a series of bloody battles in Kuban. On September 11, Novorossiysk fell. However, the German Army suffered heavy losses and thus was forced to assume the defensive.
Meanwhile, the war reached a turning point for the Red Army at Stalingrad. By 1943, the Stalingrad (South) front was posing a serious threat for the Army Group A rearward area. On January 1, 1943, the South front forces launched a counteroffensive.
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