[I have not read the article; my membership has lapsed. So I may be repeating something that's in it. AT]
There is a common misinterpretation of the dramatic photos of gutted builings in Stalingrad, i.e., that the destruction occurred during the street-by-street combat. Actually, the German air force firebombed the city in advance of the ground forces. This triggered the first firestorm of WWII (of which there were subsequently many). Indeed, the attempt to occupy the city had to wait for the firestorm to burn iself out.
The evidence that is was a firestorm rests primarily on accounts of high winds sucking people into the inferno. To my knowledge there has been no definitive studies of this instance. If any reader knows of one, please share the information. Thank you.