Germany Initiates Case Blue

Case Blue (German: Fall Blau) was the German codename used by the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) for its 1942 strategic summer offensive in southern Russia that lasted between 28 June and 19 August 1942.

The offensive was so named because German military plans were "cases", or solutions to problems. The operation was a continuation of Unternehmen Barbarossa (Operation Barbarossa) and, in this case, Army Group South (Heeresgruppe Süd) of the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) was sub-divided into Army Groups A and B (Heeresgruppe A and B). The German offensive faced two problems: the continued resistance of the Red Army which now occupied a defensive position west of the Volga river (a significant logistic waterway), and the demand by German dictator Adolf Hitler for securing the Caucasus oil fields.

The operation plan was challenging for the German army groups in that they were required to achieve two goals, in poorly developed area of operations thousands of kilometers from Germany and facing five Soviet Fronts (similar to a German army group). These fronts, from north to south, were: Voronezh, Southwestern, Don, Stalingrad and Transcaucasian. The Baku oil fields had to be reached by crossing the Caucasus mountains.

Initially the German offensive met with spectacular gains. However, the Red Army defeated the German Army at Stalingrad following operations Uranus and Saturn. This defeat forced the Axis to retreat from the Caucasus for fear of being trapped themselves. Only Voronezh remained tentatively occupied by Axis troops.

Fall Blau (Case Blue)

In 1938 a study from the Luftwaffe about aerial warfare against England. This would later become the "Planstudie 1939", a concept for the whole of aerial warfare.
In 1942 "Fall Blau" was the codename for the operations of Army Group South with the operational targets: Woronesh, Stalingrad, and Baku.