first published on January 4, 2019 by Will
A remarkable collection of historical footage gives us the German perspective of the 1942-43 Battle of Stalingrad, which resulted in the destruction of the German 6th Army at the hands of the Soviets.
The five-month Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943) is still the fiercest and deadliest close quarter battle to have ever occurred. Nearly 2 million troops were killed in the battle.
Although Stalingrad was a “win” for the Soviets, they took a significantly higher portion of casualties with 1,129,619 men killed in action.
The nightmarish battle consisted of building-to-building, room-to-room fighting, all while under constant airstrikes and artillery barrages that left the city a smoldering pile of rubble.
The initial German push to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, and was somewhat successful in pushing the Red Army back. However, the Red Army was able to identify weakness on the German flanks. The Germans were using their top troops on the front, but left the less capable Romanian and Hungarian units to guard their flanks.
In November 1942, the Soviets conducted a two-prong attack on those flanks, crushing them and successfully encircling the German Army in Stalingrad. Instead of calling for retreat, Hitler ordered his troops to stay and fight in the city. Over the course of the brutally cold winter, the Axis troops ran out of ammunition and supplies. In February 1943, the raining Axis troops surrendered, giving the Red Army victory in Stalingrad.