Role in WW2
Main articles: History of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan during World War II
The monument to Azeri Major-General Azi Aslanov in Baku, who was awarded twice Hero of the Soviet Union.
During World War II, Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The capital, Bakuwas the largest centre for the production of oil industry equipment before World War II. The oilfields became one of the main objectives of Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, and the Battle of Stalingrad was fought for that objective.
Mobilization affected all spheres of life. The oil workers extended their work to 12-hour shifts, with no days off, no holidays, and no vacations until the end of the war. Baku became the primary strategic goal of Hitler's 1942 Fall Blau offensive. The German army was at first stalled in the mountains of Caucasus, then decisively defeated at the Battle of Stalingrad and forced to retreat.
Like the other people of the Caucasus, some Azerbaijanis joined the side of Germany. These units included: