Battle of Stalingrad

Battle of Stalingrad

The Battle of Stalingrad took place in and around the present day city of Volgograd between July 17, 1942 and February 2, 1943.

Soviet infantry, Battle of StalingradThe battle is considered to be the turning point of World War II. The Soviet counter-offensive, which trapped and destroyed the German 6th Army (and their Axis comrades), led to the first large-scale German defeat of the war.


Battle of Stalingrad Casualties

The Battle of Stalingrad was the bloodiest in modern history, with combined casualties estimated at over 1,530,000 killed, wounded or captured. Historical reference regarding Stalingrad casualties varies greatly, so while this figure is just an estimate, it may be conservative. Soviet archives put military casualties closer to 2.6 million (excluding civilians).

  • 790,000 Soviet casualties (750,000 Soviet military, 40,000 civilians)
  • 740,000 Axis casualties (91,000 captured)
  • To put this in perspective, the United States lost 416,800 service members during World War II, both in Europe and in the Pacific.
  • The life expectancy for a Soviet private sent to the front was less than 24 hours, while that of a Soviet officer was 3 days.
  • The battle took a toll of roughly 7,700 casualties per day.
  • Of the 91,000 German troops taken prisoner, less than 6,000 lived to return home.


Initial Strength of German and Soviet Armies at Stalingrad

  • German & Axis Forces
  • Led by General Paulus
  • 1,011,500 men
  • 10,290 artillery guns
  • 675 tanks
  • 1,216 planes
  • Soviet Forces
  • Led by General Zhukov
  • 1,000,500 men
  • 13,541 artillery guns
  • 894 tanks
  • 1,115 planes


Battle of Stalingrad Timeline

  • July 17, 1942 – Battle of Stalingrad begins as the Luftwaffe begins to bomb the city and Soviet shipping on the Volga River.
  • August 23, 1942 – Panzer column reaches Volga River just north of Stalingrad.
  • September 13, 1942 – German ground offensive starts in the city.
  • November 19, 1942 – Red Army begins Operation Uranus to encircle German 6th Army.
  • November 23, 1942 – Encirclement is complete trapping roughly 290,000 Axis troops.
  • December 12, 1942 – Field Marshal von Manstein’s army group launches an attack to relieve the 6th Army in Stalingrad. German advance is halted by the Soviets.
  • February 2, 1943 – German troops trapped at Stalingrad surrender.


Historical Sites of Interest

Motherland Statue on Mamayev Kurgan, Volgograd

Motherland Calls Statue

Standing 85 meters (279 feet) high, the monument is one of many memorials on the Mamayev Hill. It was this strategic position overlooking the Hero City, that some of the fiercest fighting occurred in the Stalingrad Battle.

Mamayev Hill Memorial, Volgogorad

Mamayev Hill Memorial Complex

The Mamayev Memorial Complex To the Heroes of the Stalingrad Battle, is a moving memorial with numerous sites-memorials as you ascend to the crest of the hill where the Motherland Calls Statue is situated. Its interesting to note that many of the monuments were created with the bricks of the ruined city of Stalingrad.For more information about the memorial complex, see the official website (English, German, Russian).

Hall of the Warrior Glory, Volgograd

Eternal Flame

Also on Mamayev Hill, the Hall of the Warrior Glory, Mamayev Hill, Volgograd houses the eternal flame and the names of 7200 Russian soldiers who perished in the fighting.

Battle of Stalingrad Panoramic Museum

Battle of Stalingrad Panorama Museum

The Volgograd State Panoramic Museum Battle of Stalingrad houses an impressive 360′ artistic panorama, “The Defeat of Fascist Armies at Stalingrad”, plus 8 exhibition halls with over 3500 exhibits including photos, portraits, firearms and war paraphernalia. There is also an outside exhibit with Russian tanks and artillery. For more information about the Panorama Museum, see the official website (English, German, Russian).

ruins from the Battle of Stalingrad

Steam Mill Memorial

Part of the Battle of Stalingrad Panorama-museum, the ruins of the old mill are testament to the brutality of the fighting and the bravery of the Soviet soldiers who defended the besieged city of Stalingrad.

62nd Army River Embankment, Volgograd

River Embankment

Volga River embankment, Battle of StalingradStairs and monuments leading to Volgograd’s centralriver embankment. It was this narrow stretch of land that separated Soviet victory and defeat. The river embankment is thus named in honor of the 62nd Army which fought here.

Chekist Monumnet on Chekist Square, Volgograd

Chekists Monument

Dedicated to members of Soviet counterintelligence division (called Cheka or NKVD during the war) for their bravery in stopping German advances north of the city near the tractor factory in August 1942.

Pavlov House, Battle of Stalingrad

Pavlov House

Sergeant Yakov Pavlov House, StalingradPavlov House memorial, site where a well defended apartment building stood in the Battle of Stalingrad. Sergeant Yakov Pavlov and his platoon stormed and seized the building and successfully defended it from countless German attacks. The building became a symbol of the stubborn Soviet resistance during the Battle of Stalingrad and in the war in general.

Steamship Gasitel, Volgograd

Steamship Gasitel

Built in 1903 under the name Tsarev, the ship participated in the Russian Civil War and played a key role in the Battle of Stalingrad, ferrying supplies and reinforcements across the Volga River to the front line while evacuating wounded Soviet soldiers.


Defense of Stalingrad Medals

The Battle of Stalingrad – Battlefield S1/E4

YouTube video


Battle of Stalingrad Movies / Documentary Film

Dogs, Do You Want to Live Forever?

Hunde, Wollt Ihr Ewig Leben?

Dogs, Do You Want to Live Forever?

German made movie about the Battle of Stalingrad

Director: Frank Wisbar

Year of Release: 1958

Running Time: 93 minutes

Фильм Сталинград

Сталинград (Фильм 1, Фильм 2)

Stalingrad (Film 1, Film 2)

Russian made movie about the Battle of Stalingrad

Director: Yuri Ozerov

Year of Release: 1989

Running Time: 87 min (Film 1) + 98 min (Film 2)

Stalingrad movie


German made movie about the Battle of Stalingrad

Director: Joseph Vilsmaier

Year of Release: 1993

Running Time: 134 minutes

Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates

Hollywood made movie about the Battle of Stalingrad

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Year of Release: 2001

Running Time: 131 minutes

Stalingrad documentary film


Documentary film about the Battle of Stalingrad

Director: Sebastian Dehnhardt

Year of Release: 2003

Running Time: 165 minutes