can you show me the way to understand the meaning of the following sentence (the bold part):
At Stalingrad, the Soviets took perhaps a million casualties, and inflicted nearly a million more, to wrest the initiative from Germany. (it's an extract of The New York Times about the war in Afghanistan).
I would like to know if the sense in this case of the verb 'take' is like 'receive', 'have' or make. I am a bit confused about 'take casualties' it seems to me a little bizzare.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation (Do not hesitate to correct me - My pleasure).