Stalingrad (formerly called Tsaritsyn) was a city and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Soviet Union. It was renamed for for Joseph Stalin in 1925. It became the site of a fierce battle between Soviet forces and the invading German army from 1942 to 1943. After the "de-Stalinization" policy adopted by the USSR and Russia upon his death, the city was renamed Volgograd.
The Battle of Stalingrad turned into a disaster for the Germans and for a while, it looked as though they would go down instead of the Soviet's. But the Germans were able to stabilize their front and even regain a lot of lost ground. This resulted in a stalemate on the Eastern Front.
In the Pacific, the Japanese Army which had been waiting for the Soviet's to fall, had to come to grips with the reality that the quick German victory on which Japan had pinned so many of its hopes on its ally was nothing but a pipe dream. Those in the Imperial Navy saw that defeat for the Germans meant the Allies could concentrate more of their resources on Japan's already thinly stretched forces.