“Every German soldier must be made to feel that he is living under the muzzle of a Russian gun” – Vasily Chuikov, Commander, 62nd Army, Stalingrad
This year marks 75 years since Field Marshal Paulus surrendered the Sixth Army at Stalingrad, a moment regarded as the most important turning point in the war against Nazi Germany. The preceding months of fighting had produced the highest number of casualties in the entire war, as Axis and Soviet forces engaged in deadly close-quarter combat among the city’s ruins.
General Chuikov’s words to his men during the early months of the battle reflect just how tenacious the defending Soviets would eventually prove to be. By 1943 the German invaders had become entirely encircled in the city, and some 91,000 men were taken prisoner. The Red Army had turned a stalwart defence into a crushing offensive victory.