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«The Battle of Stalingrad»
Battle of Stalingrad
July 17, 1942 - February 2, 1943
The Battle of Stalingrad (July 17, 1942 - February 2, 1943 ) - fighting Soviet troops in the defense of the city of Stalingrad, and major strategic defeat of German forces between the Don and Volga rivers in the Great Patriotic War . 
Is the largest land battle during the Second World War , which, along with the battle of Kursk was a turning point in the course of hostilities , after which the German troops finally lost the strategic initiative . The battle included an attempt to capture the Wehrmacht right bank of Volga at Stalingrad (modern Volgograd) and the city itself , the confrontation of the Red Army and the Wehrmacht in the city and the offensive of the Red Army ("Operation Uranus" ) , which resulted in the 6th Army and other Allied forces of Nazi Germany in and around the city were surrounded and massacred and partly captured.
It is estimated that the total loss of both sides in the battle over two million people. Axis powers lost a large number of people and weapons and subsequently failed to fully recover from the injury .
For the Soviet Union , which also suffered heavy losses during the battle , the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad marked the "beginning of a mass expulsion of the invaders from the Soviet land "  , followed by the liberation of the occupied territories of Europe and the final victory over the Third Reich in 1945.
February 2 is the Day of Military Glory of Russia - Day of defeat Soviet troops of Nazi troops in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943
In July , when the German intentions became very clear to the Soviet command , it has developed plans for the defense of Stalingrad . To create a new defensive front after Soviet troops had pulled out from the depths of the move to take positions in the area, where there were no pre-prepared defensive positions . Most of the compounds of the Stalingrad Front represented a new form , which has not yet been properly knocked together and , as a rule , had no combat experience . Was an acute shortage in fighter aircraft , anti-tank and anti-aircraft artillery . In many divisions lacked ammunition and vehicles.
Recognized the battle is considered the start date on July 17. However, Alexei Isaev found in the war diary of the 62nd Army data on the first two collisions that occurred on July 16. Vanguard of the 147th Infantry Division was shot at 17:40 near farm Morozova anti-tank guns of the enemy and destroy them with reprisal fire . Soon there was a serious clash :
" At 20:00 four German tanks secretly approached the farm Gold and opened fire on the force . First battle of Stalingrad battle lasted 20-30 minutes. Tankers 645th Tank Battalion stated that destroyed two German tanks, 1 anti-tank gun and 1 tank destroyed. Apparently , the Germans did not expect to be faced immediately with two companies of tanks and sent forward all four cars. Losses amounted to one unit T-34 burned and two T-34 padded . The first fight bloody battles many months was not marked by the death of a draw - casualties of two tank companies amounted to 11 people wounded. Dragging two wrecked tank squad came back . "
- Isaev AV Stalingrad. The Volga no land for us . - Moscow: Jauza , Penguin Books , 2008 . - 448 . - ISBN 978-5-699-26236-6
July 17 on the turn and river Chir Tsimla advanced detachments of the 62nd and 64th Armies Stalingrad Front met with the vanguards of the German 6th Army. Interacting with the aircraft of the 8th Air Force ( Air Force Major General TT Khriukin ) , they stubbornly resisted the enemy , which , in order to break their resistance , had to deploy five divisions of 13 and spend five days to deal with them . Eventually the enemy knocked forward detachments from their positions and went to the main line of defense forces of the Stalingrad Front . Resistance of Soviet troops forced the Nazi commanders to strengthen the 6th Army . By July 22, it was already 18 divisions , there were 250 thousand people fighting strength of about 740 tanks , 7.5 thousand guns and mortars . Troops of the 6th Army was maintained up to 1200 aircraft. As a result, the balance of forces has increased even more in favor of the enemy . For example, in tanks , he now had a twofold advantage . Troops of the Stalingrad Front to July 22 had 16 divisions (187 thousand people, 360 tanks , 7.9 thousand guns and mortars , about 340 aircraft).
At dawn on July 23 on the offensive moved north , on July 25 and the southern shock grouping. Using the superiority of forces and the rule of aviation in the air , the enemy broke through the defense on the right flank of the 62nd Army and by the end of the day July 24 went to the Don near Golubinski . As a result, up to three Soviet divisions were encircled . Enemy troops also managed to press the right flank of the 64th Army . For the troops of the Stalingrad Front was a critical situation . Both flanks of the 62nd Army were deeply covered by the enemy, and output it to Don created a real threat to break the Nazi troops to Stalingrad .
By late July, the Germans pushed the Soviet forces for Don . The defensive line stretches for hundreds of kilometers from north to south along the Don . To break through the defense along the river, the Germans had to use in addition to its 2nd Army , Army their Italian , Hungarian and Romanian allies. 6th army was only a few dozen kilometers from Stalingrad , and 4th Panzer , while to the south of him, turned to the north , to help take the city. South of Army Group "South" (A ) continued to delve further into the Caucasus , but it slowed down the offensive . Army Group "South" And it was too far to the south and could not provide support for the Army Group "South" B in the north.
July 28, 1942 the People's Commissar of Defense , Stalin turned to the Red Army with the order number 227 , which demanded to strengthen the resistance of the enemy and by all means to stop his advance . Provision the most stringent measures to those who show cowardice in battle and cowardice . Outlines practical measures to strengthen the moral and morale and discipline in the armed forces . "It's time to finish the retreat , - stated in the order. - Not one step back ! " This slogan embodies the essence of the order number 227. Commanders and political task was to bring to the consciousness of every soldier requirements of this order .
The stubborn resistance of Soviet troops forced the Nazi commanders July 31 to turn from the Caucasian direction Stalingrad 4th Panzer Army ( Colonel-General Hoth ) . August 2 its advanced units approached Kotel'nikovskii . In this regard, a direct threat to the enemy breakthrough city from the south- west. Battles unfolded in the south- western approaches to it. To strengthen the defense of Stalingrad by the decision of the front commander on the southern face of the outer defensive ring was deployed the 57th Army . In the Stalingrad front passed the 51st Army (Major General TK Kolomiec , October 7 - Major General NI Trufanov ) .
Severe was the situation in the band of the 62nd Army . August 7-9, enemy troops pushed her over the River Don , and four divisions surrounded west of Kalach . Soviet soldiers were fighting surrounded by 14 August , and then in small groups began to break out of the encirclement . Coming up from the Reserve Bids three divisions of the 1st Guards Army (Major General KS Moskalenko , from September 28 - Major General IM Chistyakov ) inflicted on the enemy troops counterattack and stopped their further progress .
Thus, the plan of the enemy - a swift blow on the move to break through to Stalingrad - was thwarted by the stubborn resistance of the Soviet troops in the great bend of the Don and their active defense on the southwestern outskirts of the city . For three weeks the offensive the enemy was able to advance only 60-80 km . Based on assessment of the situation in Nazi commanders made significant adjustments to its plan .
August 19 , Nazi troops resumed the offensive , inflicting blows in the general direction of Stalingrad. 22 August 6th German army crossed the Don and captured on the eastern shore , near Peskovatka bridgehead width of 45 km, which focused on the six divisions . August 23 14th Panzer Corps enemy broke through to the Volga north of Stalingrad , near the village market , and cut off the 62nd Army forces from the rest of the Stalingrad Front . On the eve of enemy aircraft struck a massive blow to Stalingrad from the air, done about 2 thousand sorties. As a result, the city was terrible devastation - entire neighborhoods were in ruins or simply wiped out .September 13th , the enemy launched an offensive on all fronts , trying to capture Stalingrad storm. Keep his powerful onslaught of Soviet troops failed. They were forced to retreat into the city, the streets of which were fastened fierce fighting .
In late August and September, Soviet forces conducted a series of counterattacks in a southwesterly direction to cut off the connection of the 14th Panzer Corps, the enemy broke through to the Volga. When applying counterattacks our troops had to close a breakthrough in the area of Germans station Kotluban , Rossoshka and eliminate so-called " land bridge ." Cost of huge losses , our troops were able to move only a few kilometers.
By August 23, 1942 of 400 thousand inhabitants of Stalingrad was evacuated about 100,000 . August 24 Municipal Committee adopted the defense of Stalingrad delayed a decision on the evacuation of women, children and wounded on the left bank of the Volga . All citizens , including women and children , worked on the construction of trenches and other fortifications.
August 23 forces of the 4th Air Force produced the longest and destructive bombardment of the city . Luftwaffe destroyed the city , killed more than 90,000 people and destroyed more than half the pre-war housing stock Stalingrad , thereby transforming the city into a vast territory covered with burning ruins. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that after the high-explosive bombs German bombers dropped incendiary bombs . Formed a huge fiery whirlwind , which burned down the central part of the city and all its inhabitants. The fire spread to other areas of Stalingrad , as most buildings in the city were built of wood or had wooden elements . Temperature in many parts of the city , especially in the center , up to 1000 C. This then again in Hamburg , Dresden and Tokyo.
In 16 hours, 23 August 1942 strike force of the German 6th Army broke through to the Volga River near the northern outskirts of Stalingrad, near the villages of Latoshinka, Akatovka, Market.
In the northern part of the city , near the village Gumrak , German 14th Panzer Corps met fierce resistance to Soviet anti-aircraft batteries in 1077 Regiment Lieutenant Colonel VS Herman , in calculations which included guns and girls . The battle lasted until the evening on August 23. By the evening of August 23, 1942 German tanks appeared in the area tractor plant , 1-1.5 km from the factory floor , and started its shelling . At this stage, the Soviet defense relied heavily on militia recruited from the workers, firemen, policemen. At the tractor factory continued to build tanks that manned crew of factory workers , and immediately went into battle with conveyors .
By September 1, 1942 , the Soviet command could provide troops in Stalingrad, only risky crossing of the Volga . Already among the ruins of the destroyed city Soviet 62nd Army built a defensive position with gun emplacements located in buildings and factories. The battle in the city was fierce and desperate. Snipers and assault groups as they could detain enemy. Germans , moving deeper into Stalingrad suffered heavy losses . Soviet reinforcements crossed the Volga River from the east coast under constant bombing and shelling .
From 13 to 26 September of the Wehrmacht troops pushed the 62nd Army and broke into the city center, and at the intersection of 62nd and 64th Armies broke through to the Volga. The river is fully exposed to fire by German troops. Hunting was for each vessel, and even a boat. Despite this, during the battle for the city from the left bank to the right, have transported more than 82 thousand soldiers and officers, a large amount of military equipment, food and other military supplies, and on the left bank were evacuated about 52 thousand wounded and civilians.
The struggle for footholds in the Volga, in particular on Mamaev Hill and factories in the northern part of the city , lasted more than two months. Battle for the factory " Red October" Tractor Plant and artillery factory " Barricades " became known to the whole world . While the Soviet soldiers continued to defend their positions , firing at the Germans , factory workers repaired damaged Soviet tanks and weapons in the vicinity of the battlefield , and sometimes at the battlefield. Specificity fights enterprises was of limited use because of the danger of firearms ricocheting : battles were using piercing and cutting and crushing objects , as well as melee
The struggle for footholds in the Volga, in particular on Mamaev Hill and factories in the northern part of the city , lasted more than two months. Battle for the factory " Red October" Tractor Plant and artillery factory " Barricades " became known to the whole world . While the Soviet soldiers continued to defend their positions , firing at the Germans , factory workers repaired damaged Soviet tanks and weapons in nNemetskaya military doctrine was based on the interaction of arms in general and particularly closely infantry, combat engineers , artillery and dive bombers . In response to Soviet soldiers tried to settle in tens of meters from the enemy, in this case , the German artillery and aircraft could not operate without the risk of getting on their own. Often opponents of the separation wall , floor or entryway . In this case, the German infantry had to fight on equal terms with the Soviet - rifles , grenades , bayonets and knives. The struggle was for every street , every factory , every house , basement or stair passage. Even individual buildings were on a map and were named Pavlov's House , Windmill, Supermarket , prison, House Zabolotnoho Milk House , House Specialists , L-shaped house and others. The Red Army is constantly pursued a counter , trying to recapture lost ground earlier . Several times passed from hand to hand Mamaev Kurgan Amtrak . Assault groups on both sides tried to use any of the passages to the enemy - sewers , cellars saps .
With both sides battling supports a large number of artillery batteries ( Soviet artillery caliber acting from the east bank of the Volga ) , up to 600 - millimeter mortireposredstvennoy vicinity of the battlefield , and sometimes at the battlefield. Specificity fights enterprises was of limited use because of the danger of firearms ricocheting : battles were using piercing and cutting and crushing objects , as well as melee
German military doctrine was based on the interaction of arms in general and particularly closely infantry, combat engineers , artillery and dive bombers . In response to Soviet soldiers tried to settle in tens of meters from the enemy, in this case , the German artillery and aircraft could not operate without the risk of getting on their own. Often opponents of the separation wall , floor or entryway . In this case, the German infantry had to fight on equal terms with the Soviet - rifles , grenades , bayonets and knives. The struggle was for every street , every factory , every house , basement or stair passage. Even individual buildings were on a map and were named Pavlov's House , Windmill, Supermarket , prison, House Zabolotnoho Milk House , House Specialists , L-shaped house and others. The Red Army is constantly pursued a counter , trying to recapture lost ground earlier . Several times passed from hand to hand Mamaev Kurgan Amtrak . Assault groups on both sides tried to use any of the passages to the enemy - sewers , cellars saps .
Soviet snipers using ruins as shelters , as the Germans inflicted heavy damage . Sniper Vasily Zaytsev during the battle destroyed 225 enemy soldiers and officers ( including 11 snipers ) .
With both sides battling supports a large number of artillery batteries ( Soviet artillery caliber acting from the east bank of the Volga ) , up to 600 - millimeter mortars
Soviet soldiers stormed the house in Stalingrad in February 1943
And Stalin , Hitler and the battle for Stalingrad became a matter of prestige , in addition to the strategic importance of the city. The Soviet command moved the Red Army reserves from Moscow to the Volga , and redeployed air force with virtually the entire country to the Stalingrad area .
Morning of October 14 6th German army launched a decisive attack on the Soviet bridgehead at the Volga. It was supported by more than a thousand aircraft of the 4th Air Force Luftwaffe. Concentration of German troops was unprecedented - at the front only about 4 km to the tractor factory and plant " Barricades " attacked three infantry and two armored divisions .Soviet troops stubbornly defended , supported by artillery fire from the east bank of the Volga and the Volga Flotilla ships . However, the artillery on the left bank of the Volga began experiencing shortages of ammunition in connection with the preparation of the Soviet counter-offensive . November 9 started cold , the
temperature dropped to minus 18 degrees. Crossing the Volga River has become extremely difficult because of drifting ice floes on the river , the troops of the 62nd Army experienced an acute shortage of ammunition and food. By the end of the day November 11 German troops were able to capture the southern part of the plant " Barricades " and on a plot of 500 m in width to break through to the Volga, 62nd Army now held three isolated from each other by small bridgehead ( the least of which was the island Lyudnikova ) . Division of the 62nd Army after their losses numbered only 500-700 people. But German divisions also suffered huge losses in many parts of the battles killed more than 40 % of personnel
" Operations« :
von Manstein Weichs
Operation Little Saturn"
Outcome of the Battle of Stalingrad caused confusion and confusion in Axis countries . Crisis began pro-fascist regimes in Italy, Romania , Hungary, Slovakia . Dramatically waned Germany its allies , notably aggravated differences between them. In political circles in Turkey has increased the desire to preserve neutrality. In regards to the neutral countries of Germany began to dominate the elements of restraint and alienation.
As a result of the defeat to Germany was the problem of the recovery of losses incurred in technology and people. Head of the Economic Department of the OKW G.Tomas General stated that the losses in the art equivalent quantity of military equipment 45 divisions of all arms and equal losses for the previous period fighting on the Soviet- German front. Goebbels at the end of January 1943 , said "Germany can withstand Russian attack only if it is able to mobilize their last reserves of manpower ." Losses in tanks and vehicles accounted for a six-month production of the country , in the artillery - three months in small arms and mortars - a two-month
The victory of the Soviet troops in the Battle of Stalingrad is the largest military- political event during World War II. Great battle , which ended in the environment, the defeat and capture of well-trained enemy grouping made an immense contribution to the radical change in the course of the Great Patriotic War and had a major impact on the future course of the Second World War.
In the Battle of Stalingrad forcefully reveal new features of the art of war the Soviet Armed Forces . Soviet operational art was enriched experience encircle and destroy the enemy.
The victory at Stalingrad had a decisive impact on the future course of the Second World War. As a result of the Battle of the Red Army firmly seized the strategic initiative and is now the enemy dictated his will. This has changed the nature of the actions of the German forces in the Caucasus, and Rzhev areas Demyansk . Attempts Soviet troops forced the Wehrmacht to order the preparation of the Eastern Wall , which was supposed to stop the advance of the Soviet Army.
During the Battle of Stalingrad were defeated 3rd and 4th Romanian Army ( 22 divisions ) , 8th Italian Army and the Italian Alpine Corps ( 10 divisions ), 2- Hungarian Army ( 10 divisions ), Croatian regiment . 6th and 7th Romanian army corps , which were part of the 4th Panzer Army , which had not been destroyed, were completely demoralized . According to Manstein " Dumitrescu was powerless to fight one demoralization of their troops . Had no choice but to remove them and send to the rear, to the homeland " . In the future, Germany could not rely on the new conscripts from Romania , Hungary, Slovakia . She had to use the remaining divisions allies only to carry rear services , fight the guerrillas and some minor parts of the front .