The day of February 2, 1943, when Soviet troops defeated the fascist invaders near the great river Volga, is a very memorable date. The battle for Stalingrad is one of the turning points in the Second World War. Such as the Battle of Moscow or the Battle of Kursk. It gave a weighty advantage to our army on its way to victory over the invaders.
Loss of battle
According to official data, the battle for Stalingrad claimed the lives of two million people. According to unofficial - about three. It was this battle that became the occasion for mourning in fascist Germany, declared by Adolf Hitler. And it was this, figuratively speaking, that inflicted the deadly wound of the army of the Third Reich.
The Battle of Stalingrad lasted about two hundred days and turned the once blooming peaceful city into smoking ruins. Of the half a million civilians, noted by the inventory before the outbreak of hostilities in it, by the end of the battle there were only about ten thousand people. Not to say that the arrival of the Germans was a surprise for the inhabitants of the city. The authorities hoped that the situation would be resolved, and did not pay proper attention to the evacuation. However, it was possible to take out most of the children before aviation equalized children's homes and schools with land.
The battle for Stalingrad began on July 17, and already on the first day of the battles, colossal losses were noted both among the fascist invaders and among the valiant defenders of the city.
Intentions of the Germans
As was typical of Hitler, his plan was to take the city in the shortest possible time. So nothing and not taught in previous battles, the German command was inspired by victories won before coming to Russia. The capture of Stalingrad was given no more than two weeks.
For this purpose the Sixth Army of the Wehrmacht was appointed. In theory, it should have been sufficient to suppress the actions of Soviet defensive detachments, subjugate civilians and enter their regime in the city. This seemed to the Germans a battle for Stalingrad. The summary of Hitler's plan was to seize the industries that the city was rich in, as well as the river crossings on the Volga River, which gave him access to the Caspian Sea. And from there he opened a direct path to the Caucasus. In other words - to rich oil deposits. If Hitler had succeeded, the outcome of the war could have turned out to be quite different.
The approaches to the city, or "No step back!"
The "Barbarossa" plan failed, and after the defeat near Moscow, Hitler was forced to reconsider all his ideas. Having abandoned the previous goals, the German command went the other way, deciding to seize the Caucasian oil field. Following the paved route, the Germans take Donbass, Voronezh and Rostov. The final stage was Stalingrad.
General Paulus, commander of the 6th Army, led his forces to the city, but on the approaches he was blocked by the movement of the Stalingrad Front in the person of General Timoshenko and his 62nd Army. So began fierce fighting, lasting about two months. It was during this period of the battle that Order No. 227, known in history as "Not a step back!" Comes out and it played its part. No matter how hard the Germans tried and did not throw more and more forces to penetrate the city, from the starting point they moved only by 60 kilometers.
The battle for Stalingrad took on a more desperate character when the army of General Paulus increased in numbers. The tank component increased two-fold, and aviation multiplied fourfold. To contain such an onslaught, the South-Eastern Front, led by General Yeremenko, was formed on our side. In addition, that the ranks of the fascists were significantly enlarged, they resorted to roundabout maneuvers. So, the enemy's movement was actively carried out from the Caucasian direction, but due to the actions of our army it was not of significant use.
According to Stalin's cunning order, only children were evacuated from the city. The rest fell under the order "Not a step back." In addition, until the last day, the people remained confident that it would still work. However, it was ordered to dig trenches near his house. This was the beginning of unrest among civilians. People without permission (which was given only to the families of bureaucrats and other prominent figures) began to leave the city.
Nevertheless, many of the male component went to the front as volunteers. The rest worked in factories. And very useful, since the ammunition was sorely lacking in the enemy's reflection on the outskirts of the city. The machines did not cease day and night. Civilians did not indulge in rest. They did not spare themselves - everything for the front, everything for the Victory!
Break Paulus into the city
The inhabitants of August 23, 1942 remembered as an unexpected solar eclipse. Before sunset it was still early, but the sun suddenly enveloped in a black veil. Numerous aircraft produced black smoke, in order to mislead the Soviet artillery. The rumble of hundreds of engines tore the sky, and the waves emanating from it crashed the windows of buildings and threw civilians on the ground.
The first bombing of the German squadron razed to the ground most of the city. People were forced to leave their homes and hide in trenches dug by them before. The building was unsafe or, in view of the bombs that had fallen into it, it was simply unrealistic. So the second stage continued the battle for Stalingrad. A photo . which the German pilots managed to do, display the whole picture of what is happening from the air.
The battle for every meter
Army group "B", completely entrenched arriving recruits, beginning a major offensive. Thus cutting off the 62-th army from the main front. So the battle for Stalingrad was over in urban areas. No matter how hard the soldiers of the red army to neutralize the corridor for the Germans, they did not come out.
The stronghold of the Russians was not equal in its strength. The Germans both admired the heroism of the Red Army and hated it. But they were even more afraid. Paulus himself did not conceal his fear of Soviet soldiers in his notes. As he claimed, every day several battalions were sent into battle and almost no one is coming back. And this is not an isolated case. This happened every day. The Russians fought desperately and died desperately.
87th Division of the Red Army
An example of the courage and fortitude of Russian soldiers, who knew the Battle of Stalingrad. is the 87th division. Remaining in the composition of 33 people, the fighters continued to hold their positions, having established themselves at the height of Little Rossoshki.
To break them, the German command threw them 70 tanks and a whole battalion. As a result, the Nazis left on the battlefield 150 fallen soldiers and 27 podbiti cars. But the 87th division is only a small part of the defense of the city.
The battle continues
By the beginning of the second period of the battle, Army Group B had about 80 divisions. On our side, reinforcements were made by the 66th Army, which was later joined by the 24th.
A breakthrough into the city center was carried out by two groups of German soldiers under the cover of 350 tanks. This stage, which included the Battle of Stalingrad. was the most terrible. The soldiers of the Red Army fought for every inch of the earth. Fights were fought everywhere. The thunder of tank shots was heard at every point of the city. Aviation did not stop its raids. The planes were standing in the sky, as if not leaving it.
There was no district, there was not even a house where the battle for Stalingrad would not pass. The map of military operations covered the whole city with neighboring villages and villages.
The fighting went both with the use of weapons, and hand-to-hand. According to the memories of the surviving German soldiers, the Russians in some tunics fled to attack, exposing the horror of an already exhausted enemy.
The fighting was going on both in the streets and in the buildings. And it was even harder for the soldiers. Every turn, every corner could hide an opponent. If the first floor was occupied by the Germans, then on the second and third Russians could gain a foothold. While on the fourth the Germans were again based. Residential buildings could several times pass from hand to hand. One of these houses, holding the enemy, was the house of the Pavlovs. A group of scouts led by commander Pavlov was entrenched in a residential building and, knocking out of all four floors of the enemy, turned the house into an impregnable citadel.
Most of the city was taken by the Germans. Only at the edges of it the forces of the Red Army were based, having formed three fronts:
The total number of all three fronts had a slight advantage over the Germans in engineering and aviation. But this was not enough. And in order to defeat the Nazis, it was necessary to have a true military art. Thus, the operation "Ural" was developed. Operation, fortunate, which has not yet seen the battle for Stalingrad. Briefly it consisted in the performance of all three fronts on the enemy, cutting him off from his main forces and taking him into the ring. That soon happened.
On the part of the Hitlerites, measures were taken to free the army of General Paulus, who fell into the ring. But the operations "Thunder" and "Thunderstorm" developed for this purpose did not bring any success.
The final stage of the defeat of Hitler's troops in the Battle of Stalingrad was Operation Ring. Its essence was to eliminate the encircled German troops. The latter were not going to surrender. With about 350,000 personnel (which fell sharply to 250,000), the Germans planned to hold out until reinforcements arrived. However, neither the rapidly attacking Red Army soldiers, who were smashing the enemy, nor the state of the troops, which had suffered considerable losses during the time that the battle for Stalingrad lasted, prevented this.
As a result of the final stage of Operation Ring, the Nazis were divided into two camps, which soon after the onslaught of the Russians were forced to surrender. The very same General Paulus was taken prisoner.
The importance of the battle of Stalingrad in the history of the Second world war is enormous. After suffering such huge losses, the Germans lost their advantage in the war. In addition, the success of the red army inspired the rest of the army fighting Hitler States. As for the Nazis themselves, then to say that their morale is weakened, it means nothing to say.
Stressed the significance of the Battle of Stalingrad and the defeat of the German army in it and Hitler himself. According to him, on February 1, 1943, the offensive to the East no longer made any sense.