March 3, 2018

Horrors of War: 35 Incredible Photos That Show the Brutal Reality of 'the Battle of Stalingrad', 1942-43

The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943) was a major confrontation of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in Southern Russia.

The Battle of Stalingrad was also one of the bloodiest battles in history. The city of Stalingrad was of vital strategic importance to both the Nazi Germans and the Soviet Armies. The city with Stalin’s name on it made it also an irresistible target for Hitler of having the prestige of capturing it.

The fighting was marked by constant close quarters combat and, at first, direct assaults by air raids. The battle is seen as the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare, with combined military and civilian casualties of nearly 2 million.

The Russians called it to be the greatest battle of their Great Patriotic War. Many historians called it the greatest battle of the entire conflict. It stopped the Nazi German advance into the Soviet Union and marked the turning of the tide of war in favor of the Allies.

The Battle of Stalingrad ended in disaster for Nazi Germany when Soviet forces defeated about 265,000 personnel of the Wehrmacht, their Axis allies, and Hiwis. Of the 107,000 Axis servicemen captured, only 6,000 survived captivity and returned home by 1955.

Below are incredible photos of that horrific battle.

German 6th Army soldiers marching to Stalingrad, 1942

T-34 in Stalingrad

Battles in the city streets, Stalingrad, November 1942

Commanding General Vasily Chuikov, known as 'The Man of Iron Will' or 'The Stone', Soviet commander during the Battle of Stalingrad

German soldier cleans his rifle in the break between battles at Stalingrad, autumn 1942

 German soldiers in Spartanovka, in the outskirts of Stalingrad

German soldiers in urban combat at the Battle of Stalingrad

 German squad seeks cover in preparation to advance, combat at the Red October Factory, Stalingrad, 1942

 Red Army fighting position, Stalingrad, 1942

Soviet rockets being fired at German positions during the Battle of Stalingrad

Soviet soldiers battling in city streets, Stalingrad, November 1942

Soviet soldiers battling in city streets, Stalingrad, November 1942

Soviet troops fighting in the ruins of the factory 'Red October', Stalingrad, October 1942

Stalingrad, autumn 1942

Two Soviet soldiers evacuate a wounded comrade from a factory building

Wehrmacht soldiers eating roast chicken outside of Stalingrad, 1942

Wehrmacht soldiers in Stalingrad

Wehrmacht soldiers in Stalingrad

Stalingrad, 1943

A Soviet soldier gives cigarettes to German POWs captured during the Battle of Stalingrad

Dead German soldiers after the Battle of Stalingrad, 1943

Frozen bodies of Germans, Stalingrad

Piles of dead German bodies outside of Stalingrad, Feburary 1943

Stalingrad after the war, 1943

Two German soldiers froze to death in Stalingrad

German Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, Major General Arthur Schmidt, and Paulus' adjutant Colonel Wilhelm Adam after their surrender, Stalingrad, 31 Jan 1943

German general Friedrich Paulus as a POW in 31 January 1943

German POWs, Stalingrad

German POWs, Stalingrad

Russian boys at Stalingrad with captured German machine guns, February 1943

Center of Stalingrad after liberation, 2 February 1943

Center of Stalingrad after liberation, 2 February 1943

Center of Stalingrad after liberation, 2 February 1943

The 'Sword of Stalingrad' is offered as a gift from the United Kingdom to the Soviet Union. It is a tribute to the Russian soldiers who fought, and were victorious, at the Battle of Stalingrad

Youth in a Soviet athletic parade emulating the nearby recently rebuilt Barmaley Fountain in Stalingrad, 1945


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