By mid July, 1942, the Wehrmacht forces had reached the Don River as the Red Army’s divisions fell back across to the other side of the river. For the coming offensive against Stalingrad and the Caucasus, known as Operation Blue, the German Army Group South had been rearranged in two smaller army groups, which were redeployed along the Don and ready for action; in the north, Army Group B was composed of the German 2nd Army, the Hungarian 2nd Army, the Italian 8th Army, and the German 6th Army; in the south, Army Group A consisted of the German 4th Panzer Army, 1st Panzer Army, and the 17th Army. The 6th Army, under von Paulus, would push eastward towards the Volga River and take Stalingrad, supported by elements of the 4th Panzer Army, with Hungarian and Romanian forces picking up the rear. Meanwhile, the 1st Panzer Army, supported by the 17th, would march southwards towards the Caucasus.
Maps of German and Soviet order of battle before the battle for Stalingrad at the end of July and early August, 1942
Down Below: map of German deployment at the end of August, at the beginning of the battle