Remembering Stalingrad 75 Years Later

Seventy-five years ago this month, the Soviet Red Army surrounded –and would soon destroy — a huge invading German army at Stalingrad on the Volga River. Nearly 300,000 of Germany’s best soldiers would never return home. The epic 1942-43 battle for the city saw the complete annihilation of the attacking German 6th Army. It marked the turning point of World War II.

  • The story of Stalingrad is worth reading. Cannon fodder on both sides, with the Russians able to deliver more of it than the Germans.

    • Maggat

      My wife’s mother as a young teenager digging anti tank trenches on the eastern side of Stalingrad. Hard to imagine.

      • It is amazing any human being survived those conditions.

        • Would the Allies have defeated the Germans without the help of the Soviets/Russians to soften the target? Would be an interesting discussion, no?

          • bob e

            I talked to a German guy on the net once & he said if there was
            no stalingrad there would have been no d-day nor western front ..

          • Yes.

          • Historians are agreed that the Russian front was crucial for allied victory.

          • Maggat

            And vise versa.

  • vwVwwVwv

    You know who this”best German soldiers” have been, the 6th army?
    They have exterminated at least 1000000 Jew Ukraina by hand.
    They looted, burned and raped everything, they haven’t
    left out any atrocitie and to many of them survived.

    Stalingrad was very important, if the wolga had been crossed, no oil would
    go to the north, it would have been Hitlers victory.

    • Yes, they were utterly murderous. Before invading Russia, Hitler told his generals that he expected and intended that 30 million Russians would be killed. He managed to kill 27 million of them. Imagine that – someone determined to murder 30 million people. Similarly, of course, with the Jews, his intent was to kill off all European Jewry, and he managed to kill 6 million of them.

    • Manual Paleologos

      Von Paulus gave orders that his soldiers not cooperate with the SS ans Einsatzgruppen in their Jew murdering operations. The reason? They were expending too much ammunition.

      • vwVwwVwv

        Von Paulus came late and this legend is a typical one.
        As someone who lives in Germany I hide usually my
        Judaism, not out of fear, it is like a dark cloud, the
        people become uncomfortable, so I leave it to myself
        because I don’t want to disturb the atmosphere but know what?
        I have met so many Germans whose parents or grandparents saved Jews,
        the numbre of saved Jews in Germany must have been in the 10th of millions.

        The 6th army butchered the Jews of Ukraina,
        the half of my family, the maternal part is a handful,
        my mothers family contains now may be 15 people, my fathers
        more then a thousand, it’s strange on festivitys
        when it becomes obviouse.
        Germans don’t like
        to hear it
        Because they have a legend of the clean Wehrmacht (Army) but that’s fake history.

  • simus1

    Hitler was the best general the Russians had at Stalingrad.
    Ninety per cent of the POWs captured there and elsewhere on the eastern front by the Russians died in the camps before repatriation started after the war’s end.
    The battle at the Volga Tank Factory complex was unbelievable with the Red Army and Germans fighting each other at one end while the workforce was building new tanks or repairing the damaged ones being shipped there at the other.

    • Manual Paleologos

      A f(r)iend of mine has an uncle who was captured on the Eastern Front. He wasn’t released from captivity until 1957. He worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the coal mines. The Russians don’t play around.

    • You said it right. Corporal Hitler till then had obtained victories in the West by sheer luck; when he invaded Russia his ineptitude in matters military became glaring. He refused to draw back and got all his troops killed. Thank God!

  • bob e

    incredible photo boss ..

  • bob e

    incredible. I believe Hitler sent a part of the 6th army to the Balkans.
    Just image if this had not taken place & the Americans were not supplying
    tons & tons & tons of equipment to the sticking Ruskies ..

    • Yes, American supplies to the Russians were crucial to the Russian victory.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    It is noteworthy that the Battle of Kobani in northern Syria has been compared to Stalingrad, in which a small group of Kurds decisively defeated the hitherto invincible forces of ISIS in house-to-house combat and turned the tide of that conflict.

  • It was more a matter of pride than strategy that Stalingrad was fought over, tooth and nail.

    The city named after Stalin, after all, could not fall.

    • I think Stalingrad was the portal to the oil further south that Hitler badly needed. I read a great book on the subject about 3-4 years ago, but (as usual) I forgot most of the details by now.
      The pride you mention is true on both sides. For the Germans (or rather Hitler) there was no question of losing face by retreating when winter came (he got there late due to various distractions), contrary to all rational considerations. When his chief general in the campaign pointed out it was best to retreat till next spring, he replaced him and sent his army to its destruction.

      • The oil was a given but I think pride is the reason why two million were dead.