“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

History of War - - WELCOME TO ISSUE 51 - Tim Wil­liamson

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.

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