December 1942: Having already surrounded the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, the Red Army launches its most ambitious offensive to date, Operation Little Saturn, designed to cut off and destroy all Axis armies in southern Russia. The first target of Saturn's fury is the Italian 8th Army, stretched across a thin defensive line along the frozen Don River. Two full Soviet Armies with hundreds of tanks launch themselves at the Italian positions. After several days of fighting, they achieve a breakthrough, which they rush to exploit. Encircled remnants of two corps of the Italian 8th Army embark upon a desperate trek to escape the encirclement.
To the north, the Italian Alpini Corps, consisting of the best troops of the Italian Army, a match for the troops of any nation, stand firm, resisting numerous Soviet attacks. Unfortunately, in January, a second Soviet offensive against the Hungarian 2nd Army to the Italian north breaks through the Hungarian lines. With breakthroughs to their north and south, the valiant Alpini are surrounded and they too must retreat to avoid destruction.
So begins the most desperate struggle faced by the Italian Army as the Alpini and other Italian formations march through the frozen wastelands without food, without supplies, and surrounded by thousands of hostile troops. To stop marching is to die; the only chance of salvation is to keep moving and kill any Soviet troops who stand in their way. Of the tens of thousands of Italian troops who embarked on this desperate struggle for survival . . . only a few returned.