MOSCOW -- Dispatches from embattled Stalingrad reported today that Soviet air reinforcements have prevented a general Nazi break-through on the Volga City front, but Russian forces were compelled to fall back southwest of the citv and the battle has entered "the critical stage."
The reports indicated that the fresh Soviet air strength thrown into the battle at a moment when flight after flight of German bombers often as many as 300 at a time were wearing down the resistance of the defenders.
The dispatches reported the German were attacking all along the Stalingrad Front from the northwest, the west and the southwest -- with the situation most critical for the moment on the southwestern approaches.
Soviet Cavalry Attacks
Simultaneously, new Red Cavalry units reached the Stalingrad sector and went into immediate action northwest of the city where they were reported to have turned back two enemy attacks.
It was the first time in two weeks that front reports had mentioned cavalry and indicated that these forces constituted part of the reinlorcements the Red Army is moving into the Stalingrad Battle.
There was every indication here that the Russian commanders are determined to hold Stalingrad what ever the cost.
Try to Reinforce Garrison
The Russians, it was reported, still hold certain lines of communication to Stalingrad although they are slow and difficult and the Soviet High Command was said to be taking drastic steps to reinforce the garrison of the beleaguered city.
The new Red air fleet units operating in defense of Stalingrad were said to be not strong enough to challenge the huge German air superiority on the front.
However, they were able to give sufficient support to enable the Russian land forces to cling to positions at most points despite the systematic bombardment of one sector after another by the Luftwaffe.
Down 57 Bombers in Day
Soviet fighters were reported constantly intercepting large formations of German bombers. One fighter unit was reported to have shot down 57 bombers in a day's fighting with a loss of only seven planes.
The German advance was the first reported in communiques or dispatches in 48 hours.
Hordes of Tanks Attack
The Germans, dispatches said, marked off Soviet positions in squares. Then, hundreds of bombers systematically dropped thousands of explosive and fragmentation bombs in an effort to destroy every living thing and clear a road to Stalingrad.
Evidently this effort, the most violent of the supreme German attempt to take Stalingrad and cut the Volga River line, began yesterday. The Russians clung to the ground as the bombers roared over. Then column after column of German tanks and infantry tried to eurge toward Stalingrad.
Finally, the Germans penetrated the western end of a tactically important village and fortified themselves.
The latest Soviet communique said the Russians had dislodged the Germans from a fortified locality in the Soviet offensive opposite Moscow, after three days' hard fighting. The Russians killed up to 4000 of the enemy and burned several dozen tanks.
Nazis Losses Mount
But paramount interest was centered on the Battle of Stalingrad.
The Germans opened their frenzied thrusts on the southwest approach on the central sector. Preliminary ground blows failed. The bombing opened, and section by section, blasted Russian positions. Russian fighter planes, aided by intensive anti-aircraft fire, shot down many of the planes.
An infantry division and 30 or 40 tanks advanced. They met withering artillery and anti-aircraft fire, which kept them from advancing more than 300 or 400 yards, and cost them several battalions of infantry (probably 2000 men) and dozens of tanks.
To the south, small groups of tommy-gunners infiltrated Russian lines and penetrated an inhabited point. The Russians then expelled the Germans, but the German air force began dropping 500-pound explosive and fragmentation bombs on a narrow target, enabling the Germans to break through and fortify the western end of the village.
Goosestep Into Russians
On an unnamed sector, the Soviet Guards repulsed five attacks by at least 60 German tanks. The Germans climaxed their efforts to over .whelm the Guard by a futile psychological attack Germans goosestepping straight into Russian positions.
In the Mozdok area of the Eastern Caucasus, the German tanks penetrated an inhabited point, the communique said. Last midnight's communique had acknowledged a Soviet retreat there. The Germans broke across the Terek River in the Mozdok area in an effort to advance on the nearby Grozny oil fields.
9000 Die at Voronezh
At Voronezh, 325 miles northwest of Stalingrad, the Hungarians paid heavily for an effort to strengthen the left flank of the German line extending through the Don basin and got nowhere. Periodical Russian assaults have menaced this flank.
It was reported that at least 9000 men were lost by the Axis at Voronezh in three or four days.
The Russian offensive in the Sinyavino area of the Volkhov Front, to clear a land passage to besieged Leningrad, moved ahead. Sinyavino is six miles south of Schlusselburg, which is 20 miles east of Leningrad.