Battle of Stalingrad

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Battle of Stalingrad
Soviet soldiers in Stalingrad (January 1943)
Soviet soldiers in Stalingrad (January 1943)
date August 23, 1942 to February 2, 1943
place Stalingrad , Soviet Union
output Victory of the Soviet Union
consequences Turn in World War II on the Eastern Front
Parties to the conflict

German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era) German Empire Romania Italy Croatia Hungary
Romania kingdomRomania 
Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) 
Croatia 1941Independent state of Croatia 
Hungary 1940Hungary 

Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union Soviet Union


German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era) Erich von Manstein Maximilian von Weichs Friedrich Paulus Hermann Hoth Petre Dumitrescu Constantin Constantinescu Constantin Sănătescu Italo Gariboldi Viktor Pavičić Gusztáv Jány
German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era)
German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era)
German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era)
Romania kingdomRomania
Romania kingdomRomania 
Romania kingdomRomania
Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)
Croatia 1941Independent state of Croatia
Hungary 1940Hungary

Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union Wassili Tschuikow Alexander Wassilewski Georgi Schukow Semjon Timoshenko Konstantin Rokossowski Rodion Malinowski Andrei Jerjomenko
Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union
Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union
Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union
Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union
Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union
Soviet Union 1923Soviet Union

Troop strength
Army Group B
Army Group Don
6th Army
4th Panzer Army
Romanian 3rd Army
Romanian 4th Army
Italian 8th Army
Hungarian 2nd Army

total approx. 850,000
Stalingrad Front
South Front
Southwest Front
Don Front

total approx. 1,700,000

alone in the boiler: around 150,000 German soldiers died in combat, starved to death or froze to death. Around 108,000 men were taken prisoner by the Soviets, from which only 6,000 survivors had returned to their home countries by 1956. Total losses of around 300,000 men

in the entire battle (from July 7, 1942 to February 2, 1943): 1,130,000 men (approx. 500,000 of them dead)

The Battle of Stalingrad is one of the most famous battles of World War II . The annihilation of the German 6th Army and allied troops in the winter of 1942 / beginning of 1943 is considered the psychological turning point of the German-Soviet War that the German Reich started in June 1941 .

The industrial site of Stalingrad was originally an operational target of German warfare and was intended to serve as the starting point for the actual advance into the Caucasus . After the German attack on the city in the late summer of 1942 a Soviet were consecutive counter-offensive in November 1942 up to 300,000 soldiers of the Wehrmacht and its allies by the Red Army encircled . Hitler decided that the German troops should hold out and wait for a relief offensive , which failed in December 1942. Although the situation of the insufficiently supplied soldiers in the cauldron was hopeless, Hitler and the military leadership insisted that the loss-making fighting should be continued. Most of the soldiers stopped fighting at the end of January / beginning of February 1943, partly on orders, partly due to a lack of material and food, and were taken prisoner of war without an official surrender . Around 10,000 dispersed soldiers who were hiding in cellars and the sewer system continued their resistance until the beginning of March 1943. Of the around 110,000 soldiers of the Wehrmacht and allied troops who were taken prisoner, only around 6,000 returned home. Over 700,000 people were killed in the fighting in Stalingrad, most of them soldiers of the Red Army.

Although the German Wehrmacht suffered major operational defeats during the Second World War, Stalingrad gained special importance as a German and Soviet memorial site . The battle was instrumentalized by Nazi propaganda even during the war and, more than any other battle of the Second World War, is still anchored in the collective memory today .

Case Blue

After the attack by the German Reich on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 and the counter-offensive by the Red Army in the winter of the same year, a new offensive was planned for the summer of 1942 under the code name Fall Blau with the aim of capturing the Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus .

The city of Stalingrad has been classified as an important operational destination on the one hand because of its industrial and geographical importance and on the other hand because of its symbolic value:

  • Stalingrad was of great strategic importance for the Soviet Union , as the Volga is an important waterway . In addition, the city of Stalingrad was named after Stalin , which is why this attack also served to demoralize the Soviet armed forces. The city stretched 40.2 kilometers north-south along the west bank of the Volga, but was only 6.4 to 8 kilometers wide at its widest point. The Volga, which is 1.6 kilometers wide at this point, protected the city from being enclosed. The river was part of an important supply route for military equipment, on the basis of the Lend-Lease Act in the United States over the Persian Corridor and the Caspian Sea were transported to Central Russia. German plans aimed at a renewed advance on Moscow were therefore discarded because Hitler considered the Caucasian oil fields to be more important for further warfare. The conquest of Stalingrad was supposed to prevent this route of transport and secure a further advance of the Wehrmacht into the Caucasus with its oil deposits near Maikop , Grozny and Baku .
  • The symbolic meaning of the name Stalingrad for both Stalin and Hitler was an additional incentive for both warring parties to achieve a military victory. Stalin defended this city during the Russian Civil War as Army Commissioner of the Southern Front and, among other things, consolidated the power of the WKP (B) with mass shootings of alleged saboteurs . In 1925 the city was renamed Stalingrad by Tsaritsyn .

According to calculations by Stalin's high command , in 1942, despite one million fallen Red Army soldiers and over three million prisoners of war in Germany, 16 million Soviet citizens of armed age were still facing the German armies. The arms industry relocated behind the Urals produced 4,500 tanks, 3,000 combat aircraft, 14,000 artillery pieces and 50,000 grenade launchers by 1942. On the German side, a million soldiers were killed, wounded or missing; of the tanks involved in the attack only one in ten was still functional.

However, Hitler assumed that "the enemy had largely used up the masses of his reserves in the first winter of the war". From this misjudgment he ordered to attack Stalingrad and the Caucasus at the same time . This split up the limited German offensive forces and led to a spatial expansion and thinning of the front . The success of the plan depended on the fact that the vast flank of Army Group B along the Don could be defended by the armies of allied states, while German armies were to conduct the actual offensive operations. The main attack force was the 200,000 to 250,000 strong German 6th Army under General Friedrich Paulus . It received support from the 4th Panzer Army under Colonel General Hermann Hoth with various subordinate Romanian units.

German advance on Stalingrad

German Assault Gun III (autumn 1942)

Due to the German advance towards Stalingrad and the Volga, the Stalingrad Front was formed on July 12, 1942 on the orders of the Soviet High Command from the command of the dissolved Southwest Front . Marshal Tymoshenko and, from July 22nd, Lieutenant General WN Gordow were in command . It consisted of the 62nd , 63rd and 64th Armies and was reinforced by the 51st , 66th and 24th Army , the 1st and 4th Panzer Army and the 1st Guard Army by the end of August .

Strong Soviet resistance in the Donbogen and a lack of fuel delayed the German approach by several weeks. On July 17, 1942, the heads of the German 6th Army met the vanguard of the Soviet 62nd and 64th Armies, which initially received support from the 4th Panzer Army and later from the 1st Panzer Army. The strong frontal resistance of the Soviet troops during the Kesselschlacht near Kalatsch (July 25th to August 11th) forced the German Wehrmacht to deploy its troops more widely. Due to the increasing breadth of the battlefield, the Stalingrad Front was divided on August 7th by order of the Stavka and a south-eastern front was also formed, the command of which was transferred to Colonel General Jerjomenko . In terms of numbers, the Soviet high command for the defense of Stalingrad could fall back on about 1,000,500 men, who had 13,541 guns , 894 tanks and 1,115 aircraft at their disposal.

Only on August 21, 1942 could the German 6th Army with the LI. Army Corps (General of the Artillery von Seydlitz-Kurzbach ) cross the Don at Kalatsch and start the advance to Stalingrad. The German troops were opposed by the 62nd Army under Lieutenant General AI Lopatin , the 63rd Army under Lieutenant General W. I. Kuznetsov and the 64th Army under Lieutenant General VI Chuikov . It should be taken into account that the Soviet army at that time was more like a German corps in terms of personnel and material due to different organizational structures compared to a German one . From this it follows that at the beginning of the battle both sides were roughly equally strong - if one assumes that a German army consisted of four to five army corps, depending on the situation, equipment and mission.

Advance detachments of the German 16th Panzer Division reached the Volga north of Stalingrad near Rynok on August 23 at 6 p.m. , but soon had to defend against strong Soviet counter-attacks from the north. On the same day, a massive German air raid with 600 planes killed thousands of civilians in Stalingrad, who were not to be evacuated on Stalin's orders. The German Luftflotte 4 dropped a total of approximately one million bombs with a total weight of 100,000 tons on the city.

For a long time, the Stawka prevented the population from leaving the city, which was overcrowded with refugees, as Stalin was of the opinion that staying there would increase the morale of the fighting soldiers. Women and children had to help expand the defensive positions, dig anti- tank trenches and, in some cases, even intervene in combat. In August 1942 there were around 600,000 people in the city. Over 40,000 civilians were killed in air raids in the first days of the battle. It was not until the end of August that residents began to be resettled across the Volga. But with such a large population it was too late for a complete evacuation of Stalingrad. Around 75,000 civilians had to stay in the destroyed city. Neither the Red Army nor the Germans showed any consideration for the civilian population. Numerous residents had to live in holes in the ground. Many froze to death in the winter of 1942/43; others starved to death because there was no more food.

On August 23, 1942, when German advance commandos broke through to the Volga north of Stalingrad, the Soviet high command, on instructions from Stalin, declared the city to be under siege . From that day on, the responsibility for the immediate defense of the city lay with Colonel-General Andrei Yeryomenko, who after Gordov's dismissal had taken over the organization and management of the Soviet Stalingrad Front on Stalin's personal instructions . Nikita Khrushchev was at his side as political commissar and Major General IS Varennikov as chief of staff . Order No. 227 , issued by Stalin on July 28, 1942, with the slogan “Don't step back!” Led to the formation of firing squads and punitive battalions for Red Army soldiers who were accused of lack of combat readiness or cowardice.

Course of the battle

Walther von Seydlitz-Kurzbach (left) with Friedrich Paulus in Stalingrad, 1942

The course of the battle is divided into three major phases.

  • 1st phase: From late summer 1942 the 6th Army tries to conquer the city of Stalingrad. After conquering up to 90 percent with high losses on both sides, the situation turns in favor of the Red Army.
  • 2nd phase: The Red Army troops encircle the 6th Army in Operation Uranus. The poorly equipped Romanian units deployed to secure their flanks could not withstand the Soviet offensive.
  • 3rd phase: After Hitler's prohibition of attempting an escape , the 6th Army shelters itself and waits for outside help. In Operation Wintergewitter , the Germans attempted to reach the basin, which ultimately failed due to the resistance of the Red Army and the subsequent collapse of Italian units on the central Don. After heavy losses through fighting, cold and hunger, the remnants of the 6th Army surrender in February 1943.

First phase of attack by the 6th Army

German soldier with Soviet submachine gun in cover between rubble in late autumn 1942 (photo by a German propaganda company )
Air raid on Stalingrad (September 1942)

On September 12, 1942, Hitler asked Paulus to take Stalingrad. "The Russians", so Hitler, are "at the end of their strength". After the state of siege was imposed, Lieutenant General AI Lopatin was temporarily replaced as Commander in Chief of the 62nd Army by Chief of Staff NI Krylov and replaced by Lieutenant General Vasily Chuikov . General Lopatin had doubted that he could hold the city against the German troops according to Stalin's orders. The leadership of the 64th Army, which Chuikov held until August 4th, has already been transferred to General MS Shumilov .

On September 13, the major German attack began with bombing by dive bombers and massive fire from field artillery and mortars on the inner defensive belt of Stalingrad. The 295th Infantry Division took action against Mamayev Hill and the 71st Infantry Division against Stalingrad Central Station and the central ferry terminal in the city center. The German XIV Panzer Corps (16th Panzer, 60th and 3rd (motorized) divisions) deployed in the north of the city had the task of defending against the multiple attacks of the Soviet 1st Division at the eastern end of the Kotluban corridor between Don and Volga . Guard Army , 24th and 66th Army (Lieutenant General AS Schadow ). The very next day, the commanding general von Wietersheim was deposed by Hitler because he had proposed that the loss-making attacks on Stalingrad be stopped altogether. The new commander, Major General Hans-Valentin Hube , ordered a new attack on the Orlowka promontory on September 27, which quickly collapsed, so that the 94th and 389th Infantry Divisions had to be brought in as reinforcements. Opposite the Soviet 21st Army (Lieutenant General AI Danilow), the VIII Army Corps (General of the Artillery Heitz ) held the Don section between Shishikin and Kotluban with the 76th and 113th Infantry Divisions . The further the German LI. Army corps advanced into the inner city, the more violent the Soviet resistance was.

The Soviet defenders turned every foxhole, house and intersection into a fortress. On September 14th, the 13th Guards Rifle Division under Major General Rodimzew arrived as reinforcement to stop the further German advance. On September 21, the 284th Rifle Division (Colonel Batjuk) reached the western Volga and secured between the “Red October” steelworks and the Mamayev Hill. On September 27, the hard-fought Mamayev Hill on the northwest side remained in German possession, only the eastern slope was held by the 284th Rifle Division. On September 29, the Orlovka front was cut off, and the enclosed Soviet units fought until they were destroyed. At the end of September 1942, the 6th Army High Command shifted the attack focus to the industrial complexes in the north of the city. The 284th Rifle Division replaced the 13th Guards Rifle Division on Mamayev Hill . The battles over the two train stations, the grain silo, the Pavlov House , the Mamayev Hill (in German referred to as Höhe 102 , also called Mamai Hill) and the large factories in the north with the “Red October” steelworks, the gun factory, were particularly fierce “Barricades” and the “Dzerzhinsky” tractor factory .

The German units only succeeded in bringing the almost completely destroyed city almost completely under their control as part of Operation Hubertus (November 9th to 12th), which Hitler in his speech in the Löwenbräukeller on November 8, 1942 as a great victory was celebrated. The 62nd Army under Lieutenant General Tschuikow only held a narrow strip a few hundred meters wide on the Volga and small parts in the north of the city.

Second phase: Operation Uranus - encirclement of the 6th Army

The 6th Army is surrounded by Soviet forces

By begun on the morning of 19 November 1942 "Operation Uranus" the troops of the Armed Forces of the Soviet armed forces were Don Front under Rokossovsky and the Southwestern Front under Vatutin in the West at the Romanian 3rd Army , as well as the Stalingrad Front under Andrei Ivanovich Eremenko the broke through in the southeast with the Romanian 4th Army , trapped within five days.

To this end, the 5th Panzer Army (General Romanenko ) from the Don bridgehead of Serafimowitsch and the 21st Army from the Kletskaya bridgehead (from October 14 under Lieutenant General Tschistjakow ) each made a breakthrough to the south. The Romanian 3rd Army (General Petre Dumitrescu ) facing them could not hold out for long because they were supposed to secure an overstretched flank and were insufficiently equipped for it. For the defense against the Soviet tanks, for example, these units had mostly 3.7 cm PaKs drawn by horse-drawn vehicles , which were practically ineffective against the Soviet T-34 tanks. The advance of the Red Army advanced quickly, also because the weather was bad at the time of "Operation Uranus" and the German Air Force was unable to intervene. When the weather improved, the Luftwaffe found itself unusually on the defensive, as the Lavochkin La-5 was used in larger numbers for the first time in this battle , an aircraft type with comparable performance to the German Fw 190 and thus capable of its own Effective cover for attack aircraft.

Behind the Romanian 3rd Army was the XXXXVIII. Panzer Corps , consisting of the 22nd German and 1st Romanian armored divisions. On Hitler's orders, it was thrown against the Soviet troops to stabilize the situation. The Panzer Corps, primarily equipped with completely outdated Czech Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t) , was in stables and barns in readiness. Enormous mice in the straw had eaten their way through the panels and electrical cables of the vehicles, leaving only around 30 tanks ready for action, which, due to their small numbers and their rather low combat strength, could not stop the attack by the Red Army. The commander of that tank corps, Ferdinand Heim , subsequently served as a scapegoat , was expelled from the Wehrmacht and was not reassigned to a command in Boulogne until 1944 .

On November 20, the attack by the 57th Army (General Tolbuchin ) of the Stalingrad Front (Jerjomenko) began in southern Stalingrad . The Soviet 13th Panzer Corps (Major General Tanaschishin) broke through the northern wing of the Romanian 4th Army near Krasnoarmeisk . The Romanian 20th Infantry Division under General Tataranu was pushed northwards to the German IV Army Corps to Beketowka and later surrounded by this corps and the 6th Army, which were still subordinate to the German 4th Panzer Army. The second attack wedge, the 4th Mechanized Corps (Major General WT Wolski) of the 51st Army (Major General NI Trufanow ) broke through the front of the Romanian VI. Corps at the Tundutowo train station and could not be stopped by the German 29th Infantry Division . The breakthrough in the Romanian 4th Army and the German 4th Panzer Army enabled the Soviet armored spearheads to perform a double pincer movement that met on November 23 at Kalatsch am Don and thus closed the ring around the German 6th Army encircled in the Stalingrad area.

The Wehrmacht was now in a dangerous dilemma : in the event of a defeat in Stalingrad, the Red Army could have broken through to Rostov and the Black Sea and thus cut off Army Group A as well as Army Group A - which would mean the loss of the entire southern wing of the German Eastern Front would have meant. Otherwise, however, a withdrawal from the Pre-Caucasus would have meant that the Caucasian oil fields would move into an unreachable distance and a planned advance towards Iran or India would have become completely illusory. However, Hitler did not want to admit this to himself and therefore delayed the withdrawal order for Army Group A. Only when the failure of the relief attempt became apparent that the 6th Army was defeated, the withdrawal of Army Group A was initiated on December 28, 1942, which, due to the late decision, turned into a loss-making escape over hundreds of kilometers, often all difficult ones Weapons, vehicles and tanks had to be abandoned simply because of the worsening permanent lack of fuel.

Third phase: conquering the cauldron

Cauldron battle

Sketch of the troops involved: red = armies of the Don Front, black = divisions of the 6th Army

Since November 22nd, the 6th Army was completely surrounded by Soviet troops. On that day, the units of the 4th Panzer Army (IV Army Corps) and the Romanians (two divisions), which had also been pushed into the pocket, were subordinated to her. Paul and his staff planned to first stabilize the fronts and then break out to the south. At that time, however, there was already a lack of the necessary equipment for such a company.

On November 24, Hitler finally decided to supply the boiler from the air after Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring had assured him that the Air Force was able to fly in the required minimum requirement of 500 tons of supply daily. Allegedly, both Goering and Hitler were informed by the General Staffs of the Army and the Air Force that this was not possible. The highest level of supply was reached on December 19, 1942 with 289 tons, but on some days no supply flights could be carried out due to the bad weather. From November 25, 1942 to February 2, 1943, instead of the promised 500 tons, only 94 tons could be flown in every day.

On November 24th, the soldiers' rations were halved and the bread allocation was set at 300 grams a day and subsequently reduced to 100 grams, towards the end of which it was only 60 grams per man. This means only three slices of bread a day, which is never what a combatant soldier would need. The troop starved to death for weeks.

The supply from the air, for which the primary VIII. Air Corps of the Air Force 4 was in charge, broke down further than in the context of the Middle Don-operation airfields Tatsinskaya (24 December 1942) and Morosovskaya (5 January 1943) west of the boiler as the starting point for the flights into the boiler and the Pitomnik airport (January 16, 1943) within the boiler were captured by the Red Army and supplies could only be carried out via the poorly prepared Gumrak field airfield . Most of the encircled soldiers died not as a result of fighting, but of malnutrition and hypothermia .

Soviet snipers enter a destroyed house (December 1942)

Another major problem for the soldiers and officers in the boiler was that the wounded had to be transported via these supply airfields. Especially after only the Gumrak makeshift airfield was available, the flight crews often had to use guns to keep the desperate from hanging on to the aircraft, which they did not always succeed in doing. So it happened that men, for example, held on to the chassis of the starting machines until they lost their strength and they fell.

War Council of the Stalingrad Front in December 1942 (left Nikita Khrushchev , right Andrei Jerjomenko )

At this time, the Soviet army made use of the work of German communists (including Walter Ulbricht , Erich Weinert and Willi Bredel ). The main task of the Soviet propaganda department at the time was to play 20 to 30-minute programs with music, poetry and propaganda on mobile gramophones and to broadcast them via huge loudspeakers. Among other things, the popular old hit song with the refrain “In my homeland, in my homeland, there's a reunion!” Was broadcast via these loudspeakers .

Other means of propaganda, including the slogan “Every seven seconds a German soldier dies. Stalingrad - mass grave . ”Which followed the monotonous ticking of a clock, and the so-called“ fatal tango music ”(Death Tango) provided an additional demoralization of the soldiers in the cauldron. Most of the propaganda broadcasts of this kind, however, initially led to increased shelling of the enemy positions on the orders of the German generals, so that a large part of the Soviet forces at these companies were killed. Due to the decline in German ammunition deliveries, however, this bombardment became weaker and weaker over time and it was hardly possible to "listen" as a result.

Another acoustic means of demoralization that was also used was the characteristic “scream” of the Soviet Katyushas ( multiple rocket launcher ) called the German “Stalin organ” .

Stalingrad Airlift

The supply of the trapped German troops with ammunition, supplies and food via an airlift was essential for the continued fighting in the boiler . The Inspector General of the Air Force Erhard Milch was commissioned by Adolf Hitler to guarantee it. For this purpose, the Ju 52 , led by Lufttransportführer 2, retrofitted bombers such as the He 111 as well as training and passenger aircraft of the types Ju 86 and Fw 200 were used. Even 27 of the four-engined He 177A-1 bomber of Kampfgeschwader 50 were used. Lufttransportführer 1, also known as Lufttransportführer Morozovskaya, was in charge of the He-111 units.

The delivery of the daily necessities of the army of at least 500 tons of supplies, promised by the commander in chief of the air force Hermann Göring , was never achieved. The highest daily output of 289 tons of goods was achieved with 154 aircraft on December 19, 1942 in good weather conditions.

In the first week from November 23, 1942, with an average of 30 flights per day, only a total of 350 tons of cargo were flown in, of which 14 tons were provisions for the 275,000 men in the boiler (this is 51 grams per person, which corresponds to two slices of bread). 75 percent of the cargo consisted of fuel for the return flight, for the tanks and for the Bf-109 escort fighters in the boiler . In the second week, a quarter of the required amount was transported with a total of 512 tons, of which only 24 tons were food. This meant that more draft animals had to be slaughtered to compensate for the lack of food. Since the troops that were still operational had priority in supply, the wounded and sick soon received no more food and fought bitterly for the last places in the transport machines.

From November 24, 1942 to January 31, 1943, the Luftwaffe suffered the following losses of transport aircraft on supply flights:

Aircraft type number
Junkers Ju 52 / 3m 269
Heinkel He 111 169
Junkers Ju 86 042
Focke-Wulf Fw 200 009
Heinkel He 177 005
Junkers Ju 290 001
total 495

So a total of 495 machines were lost. This corresponded to 5 squadrons and thus more than one air corps .

The losses amounted to about 50% of the aircraft used. In order to compensate for the loss of pilots, the Air Force's training program was stopped in favor of the air supply to Stalingrad and the thus released, but actually irreplaceable trainers as transport pilots were burned. As the war continued, this led to a noticeable deterioration in the level of training for new pilots. In addition, enemy flights to other theaters of war were significantly reduced in order to save fuel for use in Stalingrad.

German relief attempt - "Enterprise Winter Storm"

To lead the units in and around Stalingrad, the new Don Army Group was formed from AOK 11 on November 26, 1942 under the leadership of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein with headquarters in Novotscherkask . A few days earlier, Manstein and Field Marshal von Weichs had been briefed on the difficult situation of the 6th Army at the headquarters of Army Group B in Starobelsk . Hitler had also prevented the outbreak because he wanted to maintain the prestige of “German soldiers standing on the Volga” and ordered three tank divisions to be sent to Stalingrad for relief. In addition to the enclosed 6th Army, the Don Army Group was assigned the 4th Panzer Army, including the remnants of the Romanian 4th Army, in the Kotelnikowo area . In addition there were the combat groups and alarm units of the XVII. Army corps on the Tschir section, as well as the remains of the Romanian 3rd Army. After the 7th Air Force Field Division at Nizhne Tschirskaja, which was supplied via Morovskaya, was completely destroyed in Soviet attacks, the newly formed Hollidt Army Department took over the defense on the Tschir. The Don bridgehead at Tschirskaja was held by the Tzschökell group and the Adam group , south of it the combat group secured von der Gablenz. To the west, on the southern bank of the Tschir, the 11th Panzer Division , the 336th Infantry Division as well as the Combat Group Stumpfeld and the Group Schmidt secured . The XXXXVIII acted as support. Panzer Corps, whose command was in Tormosin.

On December 12, 1942, the 4th Panzer Army under Colonel General Hoth launched the relief attack in "Operation Winter Storm" to relieve the 6th Army. First came the LVII. Panzer Corps (General der Panzertruppe Kirchner ) only with the 6th Panzer Division (General Raus ) and the 23rd Panzer Division (General Vormann). After the 17th Panzer Division (Lieutenant General von Senger and Etterlin ) arrived on the battlefield on December 17th, the southern bank of the Myshkova River was captured in battle. In addition, the 6th Army should have tried to break out of the pocket in the direction of the Hoths Army group under the keyword "Thunderbolt" in order to make the operation a success. Starting from Kotelnikowo south of Stalingrad, this relief attack was severely hindered 48 km before reaching the pocket by strong resistance from the Soviet 2nd Guards (Lieutenant General Rodion Malinowski ) and the 5th Shock Army as well as the 7th Panzer Corps (Major General Rotmistrow ). The Soviet major offensive, Operation Saturn , which was launched at the same time further northwest on the central Don and which led to the collapse of the Italian 8th Army on December 16 and thus threatened the entire Army Group South with the constriction, forced the immediate cessation of the relief of Stalingrad. In view of the poor condition of their own troops, the leadership around Paulus believed that the 6th Army's attempt to break out, called for by Manstein, was a "disaster solution". Hitler repeatedly refused to break out of the pocket, most recently on December 21, because the motorized units of the 6th Army had too little fuel to cover the route to Hoth's tank army. The relief attempt had to be stopped on December 23. The situation of the German soldiers and their allies was thus finally hopeless.

The "Operation Kolzo" and the end of the 6th Army

Soviet infantrymen in fire position on a roof during the fighting for Stalingrad, January 1943
Soviet soldiers in the destroyed city center, February 2, 1943

At the end of September 1942, on the orders of the Soviet High Command, the Don Front was formed by renaming the Stalingrad Front; Colonel General KK Rokossowski had received the supreme command. The stock initially included the 21st, 24th, 63rd, 65th and 66th Army and from January 1, 1943, the 57th, 62nd and 64th Armies joined the front, all of which were involved in the enclosure of the 6th Army. Army were involved. Despite the hopeless situation, Colonel General Paulus rejected the Soviet side's request to surrender on January 8, 1943.

On January 10, 1943, the armies of the Don Front began their last major offensive against the remnants of the 6th Army in Operation Kolzo (Russian: Ring). The aim was to "shatter" the Stalingrad pocket. On the one hand, the ring around the trapped was tightened, on the other hand, the immediate front moved further to the west, which cut off the 6th Army even further from its own troops. In the course of this, the Soviet troops also managed to capture the two airfields Pitomnik (January 16) and Gumrak (January 22). From then on, Wehrmacht aircraft took off and landed only at the “Stalingradski” emergency airport, until that too fell into Soviet hands and supplies could only be dropped over the boiler.

Finally, on January 25, the forces of the Wehrmacht were split into a southern and northern basin. On January 28, the north basin was split again into a central and a north basin.

On January 30, 1943, Paulus was promoted to Field Marshal General by radio message from the Führer Headquarters . Since no General Field Marshal of the Wehrmacht had been taken prisoner by then, Hitler wanted to exert additional pressure on Paulus with this promotion to keep the position under all circumstances - or to indirectly encourage him to commit suicide .

On the same day, an address to the German people from the hall of honor of the Reich Aviation Ministry in Berlin was announced. Since the “Führer” was deliberately never supposed to speak in connection with an outright defeat, the “second man of the Reich”, Goering, was appointed to prepare the Germans for this. The British knew about Goering's twelve o'clock appointment, which was broadcast on the radio, and ensured an embarrassing delay of an hour with a few high-speed bombers over the capital. From the speech formulas that had become generally transparent, the audience could then infer the hopeless situation of those trapped.

On the morning of January 31, Red Army troops broke into the “Univermag” department store, in whose basement the headquarters of the 6th Army was located. At 7:35 am, the radio station there gave its last two reports: “Russian is at the door. We are preparing for destruction. ”Shortly afterwards:“ We are destroying. ”After further attacks by the Red Army on the remaining German positions, Major General Roske, commander of the 71st Infantry Division , gave up in the southern basin. Immediately afterwards Major General Laskin, Chief of the General Staff of the 64th Soviet Army, came to the headquarters of the 6th Army, where the surrender negotiations began. On the same day, the Mittelkessel, commanded by Colonel General Heitz , also surrendered .

The Commander-in-Chief of the 6th Army, Paulus , who was also taken prisoner that day , was interrogated by the then Colonel General and later Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossowski on the night of February 1st. Hitler raged when he learned of the arrest of the Commander-in-Chief. Paul had expressly forbidden all officers to commit suicide on the grounds that they had to share the fate of their soldiers to go into captivity.

Paulus, promoted to field marshal at the last minute on January 30th, was taken prisoner by the Soviets on January 31st, 1943

Operation Kolzo only finally came to an end with the cessation of the fighting in the northern basin, which - with the remnants of 21 German and two Romanian divisions that were barely capable of fighting and also completely undersupplied - and the infantry general Karl Strecker as commanding general - on February 2nd 1943 capitulated.

On February 3, around noon, the OKW read a special report on Großdeutscher Rundfunk in which it was stated that the 6th Army had fought “under the exemplary leadership of Paul to the last breath”, but with a “superior force” and “unfavorable” Succumbed to circumstances ". It was declared to be a historical “bulwark” of a not German, but “European army”, which was the representative of the fight against communism.

The claims of the Reichsrundfunksender culminated in the fact that all soldiers of the Sixth Army were killed. In the special report it was not mentioned that a total of 91,000 soldiers were taken prisoner of war, which the BBC had already reported and led to more people in Germany receiving their information from foreign " enemy broadcasters ". Goebbels, who launched this report, had been publicly exposed as a liar.

The Nazi regime ordered three days of national commemoration: bars, cinemas, etc. were closed, the radio only broadcast serious music . However, mourning flags were prohibited, and black frames were not allowed to appear in the press.

However, scattered units of the Wehrmacht fought in the Stalingrad area until March. An NKVD report noted an attack by German soldiers on March 5th as the last documented combat operation. Two Soviet soldiers were wounded in the attack. After a search operation, eight German officers were shot.

Meteorological aspects

In many documentaries, stories and reports, memories of the Russian winter weather dominate, which prevailed after the sometimes traumatic experiences of the first winter on the Eastern Front during the fighting for Moscow. The weather during the second and third phases of the battle was not consistently cold and neither was it unusual. In addition to the strong frost phases (mainly towards the end of the battle), the visibility conditions and thus the flying weather were of military importance. During the bad weather phases, the visibility was sometimes so poor that either no pilots or only very experienced pilots were able to ascend, which further worsened the supply situation.

Weather history

At the beginning of the Russian offensive there was only light frost and mostly poor visibility. After the enclosure, winter weather prevailed in the last week of November with snowfall and mostly light frosts. Shortly before the turn of the month, the thaw set in with rain, which made the paths difficult to pass.

A few days followed with changeable weather and repeated rain and snowfalls. The ice on the Volga was only continuous in the peripheral areas; the ice cover was not stable. Visibility was generally poor at the time. From December 10th it cleared up and there were no more dew phases during the day either. The frost was only moderate. Around December 14th there was a brief phase of thawing, followed by clearer weather with night frosts down to −15 ° C.

Shortly before Christmas then again poor visibility with changeable and sometimes light thaw. Heavy snowfall set in on Christmas Eve and on Christmas days the temperature fell to −30 ° C for the first time. However, it cleared up and there was good flying weather.

On New Year's Eve, a slight thaw set in again for 2–3 days before moderate frosts of around −15 ° C set in again on January 4th. Then again a little milder with short periods of dew. From January 11th, heavy snowfalls set in and as a result there was sometimes very heavy frost down to −30 ° C.


Prisoners at Stalingrad (February 1943)

The military historian Rolf-Dieter Müller speaks of “enormous casualties” by the Soviet side in this battle: “According to official figures, the Stalingrad defense operation alone cost the Red Army 323,856 dead up to November 18, 1942, and 319,986 wounded men.” The military historian Gerd R. Ueberschär and Wolfram Wette emphasize "that the casualties of the Soviet army and the Stalingrad civilian population were much higher than the German casualties". They assume about "one million soldiers and an unknown number of civilians". While Stalingrad had almost half a million inhabitants when the war broke out, the city had fewer than 8,000 inhabitants when it was reconquered by the Red Army, according to the historian Jochen Hellbeck .

On the German side, Field Marshal Paulus went into captivity with his staff and a large number of generals. The amount of German losses is a matter of controversy. According to Rolf-Dieter Müller, the numbers are now slightly lower than earlier estimates. According to Müller, 195,000 German soldiers were initially surrounded (other numbers: 220,000). Of these, 60,000 died in the boiler, 25,000 wounded (other numbers: 40,000) were still flown out. 110,000 men were taken prisoner after Müller, of whom only 5,000 (other numbers: 6,000) returned after 1945; Most of the prisoners died within a few weeks and months due to "incompetence and lack of supply on the Soviet side". However, it must also be taken into account that the prisoners were in extremely poor condition. Almost all of them were completely malnourished, many suffered from frostbite and injuries, and since the German Air Force had destroyed all railway stations in the Soviet hinterland, the prisoners now had to cover long distances on foot, which was overwhelming for many. Bad hygienic conditions led to further illnesses. In particular, the spotted fever , which was rampant among the compatriots and transmitted by lice even before the surrender, claimed most of the victims in the prison camps. At the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, the carcasses of around 52,000 Wehrmacht horses lay in the ruins of the completely destroyed city .

In the discussions about Stalingrad it is argued again and again that the "victim" of the 6th Army, i.e. H. the conscious adherence to the militarily hopeless position was "necessary" to prevent even greater losses on other sections of the front. But not only was the war for the Germans de facto lost after the Battle of Moscow and the USA's entry into the war in the winter of 1941, but Hitler's decision to attack simultaneously in the Caucasus and Stalingrad was doomed to failure from the outset because the troops were undersupplied as a result and there was a lack of fast motorized units. Not only had the Red Army developed a more flexible and efficient defense strategy in the meantime, but by the end of September 1942 at the latest it was also evident that the troops in these regions would not be adequately supplied in winter. The situation of the 6th Army in Stalingrad was therefore untenable even before it was trapped in November 1942. The fact that Hitler ordered to persevere in this situation can be explained more by reasons of prestige and by his fear of withdrawals, and only partly by military considerations. The assertion that the sacrifice of the 6th Army near Stalingrad contributed to the prevention of the inclusion of Army Group A in the Caucasus and thus prevented an even greater catastrophe, is to be answered in the affirmative , in the opinion of Bernd Wegner, until mid-January. According to Wegner, however, the fact that Hitler's order to withdraw Army Group A came much too late on December 28, 1942 was not recognized. under certain circumstances even realistic preconditions for a liberation of the same can be created. ”Although the army command under Manstein insisted on a continuation of the fight in the Stalingrad basin in order to tie up Soviet troops out of concern for the inclusion of the units of Army Group A in the Caucasus. But even after Army Group A withdrew, Hitler forbade the cessation of the fighting.

For a long time, the Battle of Stalingrad was seen as the turning point of World War II. This is not least due to the symbolic quality of the event “Stalingrad”, which was already associated with Wagner's Götterdämmerung in Nazi propaganda , but was also staged by Stalin as a world historical moment. In Soviet military literature, too, the battle of Stalingrad is mostly portrayed as a decisive battle. Nikolai Ivanovich Krylow , Chief of Staff of the 62nd Army and later Marshal of the Soviet Union, stated that "the people in the countries invaded by Germany and the millions in the concentration camps (drew) first hope." Historical science followed this interpretation by one The turn of the war in 1943 largely continued until Andreas Hillgruber argued in favor of a turn of the war in 1941 in his book Hitler's Strategy (1965).

Other military historians now also doubt that the Wehrmacht could have won the war by early 1943. After the USA entered the war and the blitzkrieg strategy failed in front of Moscow in December 1941, a German victory is seen as unrealistic today. From a military point of view, the Stalingrad defeat did not mean a "turnaround" for the Second World War as a whole, but it did mean the final loss of the strategic initiative in the eastern theater of war. "In this respect," said the military historian Bernd Wegner , "the Stalingrad events really represented a 'point of no return'".

The battle of Stalingrad is seen primarily as a psychological turning point, which further weakened the Germans' confidence in the regime. For the first time, the German public was shown the possibility of defeat for the entire war. The number 1918 could therefore be read on many of the house walls in memory of the German defeat in the First World War . Domestically, Stalingrad was an occasion for many officers to join the military opposition to Hitler. Political opponents could hope again that the National Socialist dictatorship would one day come to an end. Soviet historiography has always emphasized moral superiority against attack in the so-called Great Patriotic War . Today's historians on all sides try not to blur the distinction between predatory and defensive wars in answering the question of what price was paid for each military operation.

In terms of foreign policy, neutral states allied with Germany began to prepare for a German defeat. Since then, Great Britain and the USA have expected that the Soviet Union will also be one of the victorious powers of World War II. The victory of the Red Army, which until then had borne the brunt of the resistance against National Socialist Germany, led to more intensive military efforts by the Western Allies and encouraged the establishment of a second front in the West. The Soviet Union "was now recognized in Washington and London as an equal partner in the war against Hitler-Germany". In addition, one had to recognize that the Soviet Union can also win the war on its own in case of doubt. This encouraged efforts to establish a second front in the west.

Associations involved

Axis powers

Soviet Union

  • 54 rifle divisions: 1, 10, 23, 24, 29, 38, 45, 49, 63, 64, 76, 84, 91, 95, 96, 99, 112, 116, 119, 120, 126, 138, 153, 157 , 159, 169, 173, 193, 196, 197, 203, 204, 226, 233, 244, 252, 258, 260, 266, 273, 277, 278, 284, 293, 299, 302, 303, 304, 308 , 321, 333, 343, 346, 422
  • 12 guard divisions: 4, 13, 14, 15, 27, 34, 36, 37, 39, 40, 47, 50
  • 2 marine infantry brigades: 92, 154
  • 14 special brigades: 38, 42, 52, 66, 93, 96, 97, 115, 124, 143, 149, 152, 159, 160
  • 4 tank corps: 1, 4, 16, 26
  • 15 tank brigades: 1, 2, 6, 10, 13, 56, 58, 84, 85, 90, 121, 137, 189, 235, 254
  • 3 mechanized corps: 1, 4, 13
  • 3 cavalry corps: 3, 4, 89
  • 4 air fleets: 8, 11, 16, 17

Honors and commemorations

Soviet award

Soviet commemorative medal for the defense of Stalingrad. Obverse: ЗА ОБОРОНУ СТАЛИНГРАДА - For the defense of Stalingrad. Reverse: ЗА НАШУ СОВЕТСКУЮ РОДИНУ - For our Soviet homeland
Russian commemorative coin from 1993 for the 50th anniversary of the battle

The medal for the defense of Stalingrad was awarded to all members of the Soviet armed forces and civilians who were directly involved in the defense of Stalingrad from July 12 to November 19, 1942. As of January 1, 1995, this medal had been awarded 759,561 times. In the building of the Staff Unit No. 22220 in Volgograd, the huge mural is dominated by the representation of the medal. It shows a group of soldiers with their rifles pointing forward and bayonets attached to them under a waving flag. On the left you can see the outlines of tanks and an aircraft squadron, above the five-pointed Soviet star.

Discovered on April 18, 1972, the asteroid of the main outer belt (2250) Stalingrad was named after the Battle of Stalingrad.

Russian commemorative coins

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of the battle, a commemorative coin was issued in 1993 in honor of the city of Stalingrad with a face value of 3 rubles made of copper / nickel.

On the occasion of the celebration of the 55th anniversary of the end of the war, a coin in honor of the heroic city of Stalingrad was also released in 2000 as part of the Heroic Cities series . The coin with the inscription СТАЛИНГРАД - Stalingrad shows attacking soldiers and a heavy tank rolling forward in front of ruined houses.

Temporary renaming of the city of Volgograd to Stalingrad

70 years after the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, the city council of Volgograd decided at the end of January 2013 that the city should again bear its old name of Stalingrad on six days of remembrance a year . War veterans had applied for this . The decision sparked heated discussions in Russia. The Commissioner for Human Rights, Vladimir Lukin , condemned the temporary renaming and called it an "insult to the fallen of Stalingrad". They deserved recognition, "but not in this form". The communists in Russia are demanding a permanent return to the city's old name.

Memorial sites in Volgograd

The rotunda of the Museum of the Battle of Stalingrad (Panorama Museum) next to the ruins of the Grudinin Mill
  • The premises of the last headquarters of the 6th Army in the basement of the “UniverMag” (TsUM) department store in Ploschad Pavshykh Borstov, where Paulus and his staff stayed before and after his capture, are used as a museum, 'Pamyat' State Museum ( Memorial).
  • The Memorial Mother Homeland on Mamayev Hill with the 84 meter high Mother Homeland statue commemorates the costly battles for this strategically important hill.
  • At the Heroes' Square is the entrance to the Hall of Fame, in which mourning flags document the names of the Soviet fallen.
  • The place of the fallen warrior is a monument with eternal flame for the fallen Soviet soldiers. There are graves in several places. Wedding couples lay bouquets at the memorial in memory of the soldiers (soldier monument).
  • War cemeteries in Rossoschka : In the vicinity of the former Gumrak airfield and next to the old, completely destroyed village of Rossoschka, a semicircular cemetery for Soviet soldiers was opened in 1997 and a circular cemetery for around 50,000 Germans in 1999 Inaugurated fallen from the Stalingrad area.
  • Across from the ruins of the Grudinin mill in the city center, a lettering on the facade reminds of the conquest of this position by a Soviet soldier.
  • The Museum of the Battle of Stalingrad was set up in a round building next to the Grudinin Mill , where the "Sword of Stalingrad" is also on display. Winston Churchill gave the sword to Stalin as a gift during the Tehran Conference on the evening of November 29, 1943. It is a ceremonial sword specially made in Sheffield "for the victor of the Battle of Stalingrad" , which King George VI. dedicated to the citizens of Stalingrad and all citizens of the Soviet Union.

Remembrance in Germany

Central German memorial in Limburg
Stalingrad Madonna
  • On October 18, 1964, the central German memorial was inaugurated at the main cemetery in Limburg an der Lahn to commemorate all soldiers who died in Stalingrad and who subsequently died in captivity. In 1988, the city of Limburg took over the “Stalingrad Fighters Foundation” and thus ensured the preservation and maintenance of the Stalingrad Memorial, even through the existence of the “Bundestag Former Stalingrad Fighters”. V. Germany ”. The federal government decided to dissolve it in 2004.
  • For many people, one image remains associated with the Battle of Stalingrad: that of the Madonna of Stalingrad . The Christmas 1942 by the Protestant pastor, doctor and artist Kurt Reuber in a shelter in Stalingrad with charcoal on the back of a Soviet map bears the inscription "1942 Christmas in the cauldron - fortress Stalingrad - light, life, love". While Reuber himself did not survive the imprisonment, the picture ended up in the hands of the family in one of the last aircraft, which, at the suggestion of Federal President Karl Carstens , handed it over to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin in 1983 to commemorate the fallen and as a warning for peace . In the church (on the wall behind the rows of chairs on the right) hangs a picture of Mary that encourages remembrance and prayer. The Madonna forms the motif in the coat of arms of the medical regiment 2 of the medical service of the Bundeswehr.

Commemoration in Austria

Every year in February in Austria, Stalingrad memorial masses take place in many churches, which are usually organized by the Austrian Comradeship Association or other traditional associations. Furthermore, numerous objects from the battle are exhibited in the Vienna Army History Museum , including a. also war relics such as steel helmets, boots and pieces of equipment that were recovered from the battlefield of Stalingrad.

Commemoration in France

There is a metro station Stalingrad in Paris . It is located on the Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad .

Commemoration in Italy

In Italy, streets are called Via Stalingrado in several cities .

See also


Secondary literature


Films about the Battle of Stalingrad


  • 1949 The Battle of Stalingrad , USSR ( Mosfilm )
  • 1972 documentary Lettres de Stalingrad by Jacqueline Veuve
  • 2002 RBB documentary Stalingrad by director Christian Klemke and co-author Jan N. Lorenzen
  • 2006 Documentary film Stalingrad by Sebastian Dehnhardt under the direction of Guido Knopp
  • 2006 documentary film The Battle of Stalingrad. Great Britain 2006, German synchronization on behalf of N 24 in 2010. Shown in N 24 on December 29, 2014, 10:05 pm - 11:05 pm. (Procedure from September 1942 to January 1943, snipers, house-to-house fighting , evasion in the sewer system, Soviet counter-offensive, boiler, Soviet breakthrough on the Don)

Cinematic implementation
The battle for Stalingrad was implemented in several films, some of which were propagandistic. Films that strive for objectivity and deal with the cruelty of war in general are:

Contemporary witnesses in the film

  • 2008 Stalingrad - Volgograd. Encounters in the city of fate. Report. Hanse TV on behalf of NDR and rbb. Repetition shown in BR-alpha on February 3rd, 2010, 7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ( Contemporary witness Horst Zank, who was captured by the Soviets and survived, visits his old positions on the Don and Volga, the Soviet war memorials, the German-Russian war cemetery at Rossoshka and exchanges views with Russian veterans and the Russian population about peace as a lesson from the Past.)
  • Silent night in Stalingrad. In: ZDFzeit . Shown on ZDF television on December 11, 2012, from 8:15 pm to 9:00 pm. (Course of events, Russian and German contemporary witnesses, Stalingrad Madonna , affected family members. Partial filmic reconstructions.)

Web links

Commons : Battle of Stalingrad  - album with pictures, videos and audio files




Individual evidence

  1. ^ Richard Overy: Russian War. Rowohlt Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-498-05032-X , p. 286; Torsten Diedrich: Stalingrad 1942/43 . Reclam, Stuttgart 2018, ISBN 978-3-15-011162-8 , p. 149.
  2. Aleksandr Michailowitsch Samsonow: Stalingradskaja Bitwa. Isdvo Akademii Nauk, Moscow 1960, p. 257.
  3. ^ Richard Overy: Russian War. Rowohlt Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-498-05032-X , p. 249.
  4. ^ Matthew Cooper: The Air Force 1933-1945: A Chronicle. Motorbuchverlag, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-613-01017-8 , p. 259.
  5. ^ Matthew Cooper: The Air Force 1933-1945: A Chronicle. Motorbuchverlag, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-613-01017-8 , p. 264.
  6. Heinz Schröter: Stalingrad. To the last cartridge. Klein's printing and publishing company, 1945, p. 121.
  7. Otto Heinrich Kühner: Wahn und Untergang, 1939–1945. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt , Stuttgart 1957, p. 164.
  8. ^ Matthew Cooper: The Air Force 1933-1945: A Chronicle. Motorbuchverlag, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-613-01017-8 , p. 264.
  9. Bernd Ulrich: Stalingrad . CH Beck, Munich 2005, p. 90.
  10. So in: Manfred Griehl, Joachim Dressel: Heinkel He 177-277-274. A documentation of aviation history. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1989, p. 81.
  11. Bernd Wegner : The war against the Soviet Union 1942/43. In: The German Reich and the Second World War . Volume 6: The global war - the expansion to the world war and the change of the initiative 1941 to 1943. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1990, p. 1048.
  12. Ian Kershaw: Hitler. 1936-1945. DVA, Stuttgart 2000, pp. 715f.
  14. Wolfgang Benz , Hermann Graml , Hermann Weiß (eds.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism . 5th, updated and expanded edition. dtv, Stuttgart 2007, p. 746.
  15. ^ Antony Beevor: Stalingrad. Goldmann Verlag, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-442-15101-5 , p. 454.
  16. Cf. Antony Beevor: The Second World War. Munich 2014, p. 457.
  17. Hellbeck: The Stalingrad Protocols. 2012, p. 276.
  18. Excerpts from the war diary of the 6th Army: [1]
  19. ^ Rolf-Dieter Müller: The last German war. 1939-1945. Stuttgart 2005, p. 174.
  20. Wolfram Wette , Gerd R. Ueberschär (Ed.): Stalingrad. Myth and Reality of a Battle . extended new edition at the same time 5th edition. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-596-19511-4 , p. 15.
  21. Jochen Hellbeck: The Stalingrad Protocols. Soviet eyewitnesses report from the battle. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2012, p. 13 and p. 19.
  22. ^ Rolf-Dieter Müller The Last German War. 1939-1945. Stuttgart 2005, p. 176.
  23. ^ Wolfgang U. Eckart : Illness and wounding in the Stalingrad pocket , in: Wolfgang U. Eckart and Alexander Neumann (eds.): Medicine in the Second World War. Military medical practice and medical science in the "total war", Schöningh Paderborn 2006, pp. 69-92, ISBN 978-3-506-75652-7 , Eckart: Medicine in the Second World War .
  24. Manfred Hettling: Perpetrator and victim? The German soldiers in Stalingrad. In: Archives for Social History. 35 (1995), pp. 518f.
  25. Bernd Wegner: The war against the Soviet Union 1942/43. In: The German Reich and the Second World War . Volume 6: The global war - the expansion to the world war and the change of initiative 1941 to 1943. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1990, p. 1063.
  26. Bernd Wegner: The Myth "Stalingrad" (November 19, 1942– February 2, 1943). In: Gerd Krumeich, Susanne Brandt (eds.): Battle myths. Event - narration - memory. Böhlau, Cologne 2003, p. 184.
  27. Nikolai Krylow: Stalingradskij Rubez Stalingrad - The decisive battle of the Second World War. Pahl-Rugenstein, Cologne 1981, ISBN 3-7609-0624-9 , p. 1.
  28. Michael Salewski: Kriegswenden: 1941, 1942, 1944. In: Communications of the joint commission for research into the recent history of German-Russian relations. 2 (2005), pp. 97f.
  29. Bernd Wegner: The war against the Soviet Union 1942/43. In: The German Reich and the Second World War . Volume 6: The global war - the expansion to the world war and the change of initiative 1941 to 1943 . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1990, p. 1102.
  30. Jürgen Förster : Tough Legends. Stalingrad, August 23, 1942 to February 2, 1943. In: Stig Förster, Markus Pöhlmann , Dierk Walter (eds.): Battles of world history. From Salamis to Sinai . dtv, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-423-34083-5 , pp. 325–337, here p. 335; Jörg Echternkamp : The 101 most important questions. The second World War. CH Beck, Munich 2010, p. 42.
  31. Jürgen Förster: Tough Legends. Stalingrad, August 23, 1942 to February 2, 1943. In: Stig Förster, Markus Pöhlmann, Dierk Walter (eds.): Battles of world history. From Salamis to Sinai . dtv, Munich 2004, p. 337.
  32. ^ Lutz D. Schmadel : Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition. Ed .: Lutz D. Schmadel. 5th edition. Springer Verlag , Berlin , Heidelberg 2003, ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7 , pp.  183 (English, 992 pp., [ONLINE; accessed November 1, 2017] Original title: Named in commemoration of the fierce battle for the city. ).
  33. Controversial memorial campaign in Russia: Volgograd will briefly be called Stalingrad again. on: Focus Online. January 31, 2013.
  34. Stalingrad monument at the main cemetery. on:
  35. ^ Army History Museum / Military History Institute (ed.): The Army History Museum in the Vienna Arsenal . Verlag Militaria , Vienna 2016, ISBN 978-3-902551-69-6 , p. 142.
  36. see Via Stalingrado in Italy
  37. The Battle of Stalingrad - Part 1 in the Internet Movie Database (English), The Battle of Stalingrad - Part 2 in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  38. Classics of the German television game. Stalingrad . TV broadcast information. The crime thriller homepage , accessed on April 10, 2020.