Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Victory at Stalingrad - 12:00 February 2nd 1943

"The sudden silence was overwhelming and some of our soldiers, habituated to the constant din of fighting, couldn't stand it. The only time there was silence was just before an enemy attack. Men were shooting rifles, letting off grenades, just to relieve the tension." (Lieutenant A. Mereshko, 62nd Army).
"Then all our soldiers began to sing. We sang the Russian songs which helped to sustain us when all seemed hopeless." (Mark Slavin, 45th Division)

The German surrender at Stalingrad in February 1943 was the strategic turning point of WW2. After Stalingrad, the Germans had no hope of winning on the eastern front and that meant inevitable defeat in the wider conflict for WW2 was primarily a Soviet-German war.

When Germany launched Operation Barbarossa on June 22nd 1941 and invaded the Soviet Union, they launched a war of annihilation, a war to destroy ’judeobolshevism’ by the mass murder of Soviet citizens. Over the next four years more than 26 million Soviet citizens were killed, almost 11 million from the Armed Forces - at Stalingrad alone a million Russian people lost their lives.

In remembering the battle of Stalingrad we pay homage to the immense heroism of the soldiers of the Red Army. Despite Antony Beevor's attempt to denigrate, contemporary evidence is overwhelming: it was the sheer valour and guts of the soldiers of the 62nd Army, particularly the 13th Guards, which turned what was a militarily hopeless position into final victory.

"For us, it was life and death which met on the Volga. And it was life which won the fight." (Marshal K. Rokossovsky)