Battle Of Stalingrad: A Picture Album (Unseen Pictures)

Stalingrad was a peaceful bustling city. Until.....

The German bombers appeared over the sky. And the bombs fell....

The aerial assault on Stalingrad, the most concentrated on the Ostfront, represented the natural culmination of Richthofen's career since Guernica. Fourth Air Fleet aircraft flew a total of 1,600 sorties that day and dropped 1,000 tons of bombs for the loss of only three machines. According to some estimates, there had been nearly 600,000 people in Stalingrad, and 40,000 were killed during the first week of bombardment.

The reason why so many citizens and refugees still remained onthe west bank of the Volga was typical of the regime. The NKVD had commandeered almost all river craft, while allotting a very low priority to evacuating the civil population. Then Stalin, deciding that no panic must be allowed, refused to permit the inhabitants of Stalingrad to be evacuated across the Volga. This, he thought, would force the troops, especially the locally raised militia, to defend the city more desperately. 'No one bothered about human beings,' observed one of the boys trapped behind with their mothers. 'We too were just meat for the guns.

On their third evening, German panzers sank a paddle-steamer taking women and children from the city to the east bank. Hearing screams and cries for help, soldiers asked their commander if they could use some of the pioneers' inflatable boats to rescue them. But the lieutenant refused. 'We know how the enemy fights this war,' he replied. After night had fallen, the panzer crews pulled their blankets up over their heads so that they did not hear the cries any more.Some women managed to swim to the west bank, but most swam to a sandbank where they stayed the whole of the next day. The Germans did not fire when they were evacuated the next night, as proof that they were different from the Russians.


The following morning, General Chuikov received a summons to the new headquarters at Yamy of the joint military council for the Stalingrad and South-Western Fronts. It took him all day and most of the night to cross the Volga and find the spot. The glow from the blazing buildings in Stalingrad was so strong that, even on the east bank of the broad Volga, there was no need to switch on the headlights of his Lend-Lease jeep.When Chuikov finally saw Khrushchev and Yeremenko the next morning, they stated the situation. The Germans were prepared to take the city at any price. There could be no surrender. There was nowhere to retreat to. Chuikov had been proposed as the new army commander in Stalingrad.'Comrade Chuikov,' said Khrushchev. 'How do you interpret your task?'

'We will defend the city or die in the attempt,' he replied. Yere-menko and Khrushchev looked at him and said that he had understood his task correctly

 Stalingrad burns...

German Stukas over Stalingrad

Germany came to a bad end at Stalingrad. Cemetery of German soldiers who fell here...

The once bustling Red Square in Stalingrad lay in ruins... The Russians did the same to Berlin three years later...

German soldiers at Stalingrad

Sixth Army chief, general Paulus inspects a gunner position

A German signboard warns, "Stalingrad is dangerous. Peril"

Russians warily approach dead German soldiers

General Paulus at Red Square in Stalingrad

German soldiers in action

The dejection had set in.... The Russians had the Sixth Army surrounded

"Forbidden to enter the city. The curious endanger not only their lives but also those of their comrades." 

 The nazi flag flies over a ruined city

Top German officers at Stalingrad: General Paulus, the Freiherr von Weichs Generaloberst and General der Artillerie von Seydlitz 

 Soviet propaganda poster: "Dad is dead. Complain to Hitler, he is responsible" 

General Paulus at the aerodrome of Gumrak 

Radio message of General Paulus to OKW, reporting the imminent capitulation 

 Paulus before he surrendered. Hitler had forbidden him to capitulate. He had told him to die with his men.

Soviet poster urging German soldiers to surrender. "German soldiers, follow our advice: accept my surrender, comrade, and not shoot me" 

 The last message broadcast by the German Sixth Army.  February 2, 1943:
"High clouds at 5,000 meters. Visibility 12 km. Clouds. Small isolated cloud fields. Temperature 31 degrees below zero. Fog and mist red on Stalingrad. End of the weather. Greetings to home"

 Paulus with Russian officers after surrendering

 These men did not have a chance to surrender....

 The Nazi dream had begun to shatter...

 These men surrendered. The officers....From left to right: Generalmajor Dimitriu, of the 20th Infantry Division Romanian. Generalleutnant von Daniels, of the 376th Infantry Division. Generalleutnant Schlömer, the XIV. Panzerkorp. Generalmajor von Drebber, the 297th Infantry Division. Generalleutnant  Renoldi, Military Medical Corps of the Sixth Army. All of them, prisoners of war.

General Paulus' staff

The Schmidt Generalleutnant

Generalstabsarzt (Military Medical Corps) Prof. Dr. Renoldi 

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Quotes about war....

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."
--Napoleon Hill

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide."
--Havelock Ellis

'Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
--Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
--George McGovern

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."
--Joseph Stalin

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
--Voltaire, War

In war, truth is the first casualty.
-- Aeschylus

"The ability and inclination to use physical strength is no indication of bravery or tenacity to life. The greatest cowards are often the greatest bullies. Nothing is cheaper and more common than physical bravery."
--Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
--Adolf Hitler

"To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization."
--George Orwell

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country."
--Bertrand Russell

Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.
--Francis Meehan

Snippets From History

German Soldiers in Russia: Part 1

Hubert Menzel was a major in the General Operations Department of the OKH (the Oberkommando des Heers, the German Army headquarters), and for him the idea of invading the Soviet Union in 1941 had the smack of cold, clear logic to it: 'We knew that in two years' time, that is by the end of 1942, beginning of 1943, the English would be ready, the Americans would be ready, the Russians would be ready too, and then we would have to deal with all three of them at the same time.... We had to try to remove the greatest threat from the East.... At the time it seemed possible.'

Battle for Berlin, 1945

'We started to fire at the masses,' says one former German machine gunner. 'They weren't human beings for us. It was a wall of attacking beasts who were trying to kill us. You yourself were no longer human.'


Berlin after it fell to the Russians, 1945

"Vladlen Anchishkin, a Soviet battery commander on the 1st Ukrainian Front, sums up the horror of the whole event, when he tells how he took personal revenge on German soldiers: 'I can admit it now, I was in such a state, I was in such a frenzy. I said, 'Bring them here for an interrogation' and I had a knife, and I cut him. I cut a lot of them. I thought, 'You wanted to kill me, now it's your turn.'
Read More


Dramatic Pictures: Battle For Stalingrad
"...Effective command no longer possible... further defense senseless. Collapse inevitable. Army requests immediate permission to surrender in order to save lives of remaining troops."
General Paulus' radio message to Hitler on January 24, 1943

"...Capitulation is impossible. The 6th Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last man, the last bullet..."

Hitler's response to General Friedrich Paulus' request to withdraw from the city


Points To Ponder....

The fall of France was shocking. It reduced France to virtually a non-player in the Second World War. The efforts of Charles de Gualle were more symbolic than material. But the martial instincts of the French must never be doubted. Under Napoleon they were a formidable military power. The French definitely have more iron in their blood then say, the Italians [I do not mean it in a derogatory sense. War never makes sense]


Bias Of Western Historians

Soviet resistance made possible a successful Allied invasion of France, and ensured the final Allied victory over Germany.

It can hardly be called mere 'resistance'! If it hadn't been for the Russians, Hitler would have made mincemeat of British forces in Africa and landed on British shores in no time. Hitler attacked Russia first because it had more land and resources than Britain. It is as simple as that.

Eastern Front: Bias Of Western Historians