World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

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Battle of Stalingrad 1942, 1943

The famous Battle of Stalingrad: 1942-1943 turning point of the Eastern front.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Soviet Tanks, WWII, Nazi Uniforms, Kursk: Panzer battle, Siege of Leningrad, Wehrmacht, Soviet Red Army.

A German Tank Battalion Fought to the End in the Icy Hell of Stalingrad
The Panzer-Abteilung 129, a tank battalion serving with the German 6th Army, fought its way into the Soviet city of Stalingrad in late 1942 only to find itself pinned down during winter. A a million-man Red Army counter offensive, attacking in two giant pincers, surrounded the Germans that November. Trapped, the battalion’s soldiers sheltered wherever they could in a village to find warmth. The last days of the battalion were brutal and unimaginably miserable, as recounted in the first volume of historian Jason Mark’s series Panzerkrieg: German Armored Operations at Stalingrad — which traces the day-by-day history of 6th Army tank battalions using extensive primary sources from those who witnessed the battle.

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Image gallery - Battle of Stalingrad in colour
The photographs from the Battle of Stalingrad have been brought to life to mark the milestone anniversary of the critical defeat of Nazi's. The colourised pictures show a soviet soldier hoisting a flag over the city of Stalingrad and the soldiers who helped make the victory possible. They include Vasily Grigoryevich Zaytsev - a Soviet sniper who killed more than 250 Nazi-supporting soldiers and officers with a standard-issue rifle. Also among the pictures is Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak - a fighter pilot in the Soviet Air Force during World War Two and the first female pilot to shoot down an enemy plane, the first of two female fighters to earn the title 'fighter ace' and the holder of the record for the greatest number of kills for a female fighter.

How the Nazis created the myth of Stalingrad
75 years ago in July of 1942, the battle for Stalingrad began. The Soviet city was a major prize for the advancing Axis military machine, which had invaded the USSR the previous year. Not only was the city named after Hitler`s archenemy, but it was an industrial powerhouse and a gateway to the oil fields of the Caucuses. The battle did not end as the Nazis had hoped. The defeat presented the Nazis with a propaganda quandary. How could the Russians, portrayed as subhuman Slavs by the Nazis, have defeated the Aryan Germans?

Why Stalingrad Was the Bloodiest Battle of World War II (and Perhaps of All Time)
In August 1942 the German VI Army had pushed all the way to the banks of the Volga River, near the industrial heartland of the USSR. Once captured, the Nazis could sever the Volga. All they had to do was take one more city. Stalingrad. The prewar population of Stalingrad was four hundred thousand. It was home to a key river port as well as numerous important war and civilian industries. Though Stalingrad carried significant military importance, the psychological importance both leaders placed on the city elevated it to a level of importance above perhaps even the capital city of Moscow. The price both armies were willing to pay to possess it transcended military utility and entered fully into the category of obsession.

Battle of Stalingrad, the Turning Point (November 1942)
As the surprise Soviet counter-offensive of the winter of 1941 petered out in the freezing snows of the Russian vastness the minds of the German war planners began to turn to the inevitable summer campaign ahead, their successive offensive against the bloodied but defiant enemy. Operation Blue, as the plan was named, though somewhat vague on its final objectives, envisaged among other things; reaching the Volga, bringing Stalingrad the large city on its banks under control and also gaining the oil rich Eastern Caucasus during the campaign. Again it was hoped that by menacing this vital area they could compel the Soviets to commit its precious reserves, presenting the Germans thus with an opportunity to force the issue.

Battle for Stalingrad – Russian Archive Pictures You May Not Have Seen Before
Battle for Stalingrad – Russian Archive Pictures You May Not Have Seen Before!

In 'Stalingrad,' Jochen Hellbeck uses forgotten interviews to take us inside the battle
In "Stalingrad: The City That Defeated the Third Reich" (PublicAffairs, 512 pp., $29.99), Jochen Hellbeck assembles what amounts to an histoire totale, or all-encompassing chronicle, of this pivotal contest. The book, previously published to great acclaim in Germany, focuses on a collection of oral histories gathered by Soviet researchers during, and in the aftermath of, the battle in 1942-43. This documentary trove languished in the basement of a Moscow archive until Hellbeck came upon it in 2008. Comprising 215 eyewitness accounts from generals to privates, as well as civilians, these interviews paint a "multifaceted picture" of incredible bravery and fortitude. Due to their "candor and complexity," they were censored during the war.

Volgograd will revert to its previous name, Stalingrad, for commemorative events 6 days a year
The Russian city of Volgograd has announced it will revert to its previous name, Stalingrad, for commemorative events six days a year, to honor its hard-worn victory over German troops during the Second World War. The city, named for Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, was re-named Volgograd in 1961 after his cult of personality fell from favor. Despite negative associations with Stalin, the name "Stalingrad" still conjures pride in Russians, as it represents a turning point in the war that ultimately saw Germany defeated.

Collection of interviews with members of the Red Army provides the first precise account of the battle of Stalingrad
The battle of Stalingrad marked a turning point in Nazi Germany's war of conquest. "The news from Stalingrad had a shock effect on the German people," admitted the Reich minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, on Feb. 4, 1943. Of the 110,000 German prisoners captured in Stalingrad, only 5,000 ever returned home. On the Soviet side, up to 1 million Red Army soldiers died. In 1941 Moscow historian Isaak Izrailevich Mints founded the Commission on the History of the Patriotic War. The idea was for everyone in the armed forces, from soldiers to officers, to express their experiences. In 1943, three historians interviewed over 20 Soviet soldiers who were on hand when Friedrich Paulus and his men were captured. This is the first precise account of this event from the perspective of ordinary soldiers.

Photographs: Stalingrad 1947, A world in pieces
Photographs: Stalingrad 1947, A world in pieces,

Secrets of Stalingrad convoys - Divers exploring Volga river-bed for the boats that sunk
An underwater search expedition, "The Secrets of the Stalingrad Convoys", has been completed on the Volga River. A team of Russian divers spent 3 days exploring the Volga river-bed, searching for the boats that sunk there during the Battle of Stalingrad. There are many history books about the Battle of Stalingrad, but the military operations on the Volga River are not known yet. Experts say that many events concerning the ferrying across the Volga, remain unprecedented. Under tornado fire, armoured patrol boats, trawlers and other ships made 35,000 voyages and ferried 90,000 people to the right bank of the Volga River.

The battle of Stalingrad: 91% of the housing stock was destroyed and asphalt flowed like a river
On August 23, 1942 Luftwaffe launched a massive air assault on Stalingrad, dropping one-ton high-explosive bombs on the city. The crater of one bomb was as big as a two-storey building. Many buildings started to burn. Neftegorodok, the Oil Town, was one of the first to be destroyed. Oil spilled into the Volga and caught fire. The flames rose 200 meters above the river. In the city itself asphalt flowed like a river. People burned and clothes burst into flames due to the heat.

Vera Tyugayeva, who was five when the bombings started, recalls: "The city was ablaze; the sound falling bombs shrieked in our ears. We covered them with our hands to keep our ear drums from bursting. We were waiting a ferry to take us to the other side. When the first ferry came people were crawling over each other's heads. We didn't go. The ferry made it to the middle of the river and was destroyed by a shell. Everyone aboard drowned."


The battle of Stalingrad - the turning point of the war in eastern front - alive in Russian memory
Tamara Kolbasina was living in Stalingrad when the Germans attacked, turning the Volga into a ribbon of fire: "I had gone for bread. I thought the war was far from us. Suddenly, there were planes overheard, masses of them."

How could the Germans have won the Battle of Stalingrad - thread at Axis History Forum
Axis History Forum has an interesting discussion about the German chances of winning the Battle of Stalingrad 1942-1943, and completing the Operation Blue (Fall Blau) successfully.

Red Army Master Sergeant Peter Gitelman took part in the Battle of Stalingrad
Peter Gitelman was a Red Army Master Sergeant who participated in the Battle of Stalingrad and who was decorated for bravery following the bloody Russian offensive against the Germans that took over one million lives during the winter of 1942-1943. He came to Canada as a refugee in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. When Stalingrad was attacked, Gitelman was sent to work in military field hospital #833. "He would always say that Stalingrad was a good experience for him because it was there where he met his wife, Elena Gritsenko, who was a nurse working in the same field hospital."

Volga road trip: Stalingrad - The titanic battle
Stalingrad. It is a name that echoes through the history of the 20th Century. Today they call it Volgograd, but to me it will always be Stalingrad. Not because I like the Soviet dictator, but because of the huge battle that bears the city's name. In Britain we learn about Dunkirk. Americans learn about Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima, but (with all due respect) they were sideshows compared to the battle of Stalingrad. During the winter of 1942 Stalingrad became a meat grinder that took almost 2 million lives. It was a vicious struggle with shocking cruelty on both sides... Down on the bank of the Volga, there is one whole building left as it was at the end of the battle.

Russia remembers carnage of the Battle of Stalingrad
Thousands are gathering to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of one of the most important battles of World War II. The Battle of Stalingrad saw over 2 million Soviet and German soldiers desperately fighting for 6 months. The name Stalingrad may have vanished off the maps and been substituted by Volgograd, but it has been seared into the history books and into the memories. For both armies, the city meant much: The Germans considered Stalingrad as a key to the Russian oil fields in the Caucasus. For the Soviets, it was about saving their nation from the advancing Germans. As Joseph Stalin ordered the Russian troops: "not a step backwards".

World War II Turning Point - Stalingrad and the 6th Army
The war opened dazzlingly for the Teutonic warriors. Punching huge gaps in the Russian defense lines the Panzer divisions of the Germans streaked across the Russian plains leaving the mopping up to the infantry divisions. But after the winter battles of 1941, when Russians launched a counter punch, Germans were not in a position to again attack on all 3 fronts. After consideration they picked on the economically vital Southern Front. For the gigantic attack of 1942 the Army Group South was reorganized with Field Marshall Von Bock in charge. Under his command were several armies including the 2nd army, 17th army, the 6th army, the 1st Panzer army and the 4th Panzer army.

Stalingrad - The beginning of the end for Nazi Germany
Strolling through the squares of Volgograd, it is easy to forget that this is a city drenched in blood. The former Stalingrad is filled with reminders of the battle that marked the beginning of the end for Third Reich. The name Stalingrad evokes the horror of a clash that cost 2 million lives in the winter of 1942-1943. On the steppe beyond the city, Russians are still burying the dead 65 years later. After humiliating defeats by the Nazi invaders, Stalingrad was the turning point that led to the Soviet Union’s victory, at the price of 26 million dead. I had reread Antony Beevor’s Stalingrad, but seeing the landmarks brought home the scale of the struggle.

The Ghost Army: Journalist Andy Gallagher writes book on Stalingrad
"The Ghost Army" by Andy Gallagher zeroes in on the Eastern Front battle of Stalingrad. "...the more I read, the more I realized the real warfare of World War II was fought on the Eastern Front, a struggle of pitiless savagery. And as I read more, I realized the battle of Stalingrad was such a horrible disaster, no matter how much you might hate the Nazis, nobody should have to die like the members of the 6th Army." With a quarter of a million men (6th Army was beefed up with 500 battle tanks, 7,000 guns and mortars) under his command General Friedrich Paulus advanced on Stalingrad, defended by General Georgi Zhukov.

On Feb. 2, 1943 - Russians Liquidate Last Stalingrad Pocket   (Article no longer available from the original source)
On Feb. 2, 1943: The Red Army has completed the destruction of 330,000 trapped troops at Stalingrad, the flower of Adolf Hitler's army, Moscow announced. This raised the Russians' announced toll of Axis casualties on the Volga to more than 500,000. 91,000 troops, including field marshal General Friedrich Paulus and 23 generals had surrendered in the last 3 weeks. The Soviet bulletin said "trophies are still being counted in one of the biggest battles in the history of wars," but listed this booty as captured: 1,150 tanks, 6,700 guns, 1,462 mortars, 8,135 machine guns, 90,000 rifles, 61,102 trucks, 3 armored trains and a large amount of other equipment.

Exhibition of Emmanuil Yevzerikhin: Stalingrad Battle photographer
The Russian Museum has opened the exhibition of the Soviet photographer Emmanuil Yevzerikhin. Over 400 works made in the 1930-70s and now belonging to a private collector can be seen at the exhibition held in Mramorny Palace of the Russian Museum. The majority of the photos are dedicated to the Great Patriotic War. He as a war reporter was at many front lines all throughout the war, and became famous as "the major photographer" of the Stalingrad Battle.

Out of the ruins of Stalingrad - Life and Fate
Through the winter of 1942-43, Vasily Grossman reported from the craters and cellars of the Stalingrad front line as the besieged Russians turned the tide and encircled Hitler's forces. His writings made him a national icon. After the German surrender, Grossman rode west with the Red Army, providing the first and most authoritative eyewitness report from Treblinka. In May 1945 Grossman was at the Brandenburg Gate as Berlin fell. In Hitler's bunker he pocketed stationery from the Führer's own desk for souvenirs.

19 Feb 1943: Germans surrender at Stalingrad
The Soviet Government has announced the final defeat of the German 6th Army at the port of Stalingrad. A statement said: Our forces have now completed the liquidation of the German Fascist troops encircled in the area of Stalingrad. The battle has been described as among the most terrible of the war so far. The 6th Army has been trapped inside the city, completely surrounded by the Red Army, for almost 3 months during the harshest part of the Russian winter. They have had to rely totally on air drops by the Luftwaffe for food.

Volgograd Jewish Community Honors Veterans of Stalingrad Battle
The Jewish Community Center of Volgograd welcomed veterans of World War Two for a gathering honoring those who participated in the Stalingrad Battle. The 63rd anniversary of the city's liberation was marked by all citizens of Volgograd. Rabbi Zalman Yoffe expressed thanks to the veterans and recited Kaddish for those who died in this historic battle, considered a turning point in the war against Nazi forces. Officials from the City Administration and Cossacks Affairs extended congratulations. The senior citizens also sang songs from their youth and recalled the most significant episodes of the war.

August-September 1943: Tokyo tried to reconcile Stalin with Hitler
Several years ago the U.S. National Archives published correspondence between the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin, Hiroshi Oshima, and the Japanese Foreign Ministry. From this correspondence, it transpired that after the defeat of the German armies in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943, the Japanese government had tried to act as an intermediary for Moscow and Berlin. Tokyo made several attempts to arrange separate talks on the cessation of hostilities on the Soviet-German front.
(RIA Novosti)

Memories of Stalingrad - As a soldier of General Paulus's 6th army
As a soldier of General Paulus's 6th army who fought at Stalingrad, I fully agree with Geoffrey Roberts' claim (Victory on the Volga, February 28) that the main reason for the German onslaught towards the Volga, which culminated in the battle for Stalingrad, was to open the gates for grabbing the rich Causcasian, Caspian and later the Iraqi oilfields. Soviet heroism and sacrifices under the necessarily harsh leadership of Josef Stalin were tremendous. Nine out of 10 of my comrades who died during the second world war died at the eastern front.

Victory on the Volga - The anniversary of Stalingrad
60 years ago the greatest battle of the WW2 reached its climax. The site of that decisive battle was not the windswept sands of north Africa beloved of British war mythology, nor the broad expanses of the Pacific favoured in the American version, but the debris of a devastated city on the Volga. The German surrender at Stalingrad in February 1943 was the strategic turning point of the second world war. After Stalingrad, Hitler had no hope of winning on the eastern front and that meant inevitable defeat in the wider conflict.

Bitter memories of Stalingrad - Private in the Red Army
Russia is marking the 60th anniversary of the battle which was one of the turning points of WWII. Soviet troops forced an elite German army to surrender at Stalingrad. Two million soldiers endured hand-to-hand fighting, carpet bombs, frostbite and starvation for more than six months. It was one of the longest battles in military history. Mikhail Morkovkin is now 79 and still lives in Volgograd. He was a private in the Red Army and still cannot forget what it was like. "We were scared to death, the earth was shaking and everything was burning," he said. "I raised my head from the ground and saw a wall of bullets flying towards me."

Red Army veterans battle to bring back glorious name of Stalingrad
It was the scene of the greatest battle of the Second World War, where the Nazi war machine began to crumble and at least two million men lost their lives. The jewel of the Soviet industrial empire, to which Hitler laid siege in 1942, it has been immortalised in epic books, movies, and a square in Paris. And now the town of Volgograd, still considered a monument to Russian bravery and sacrifice, wants again to be named after the dictator Josef Stalin. A change would give the town, which was defended by the Soviet Army to the cost of 1.3 million soldiers, its fourth name in a century.