In 1942, Stalingrad was bombed by Nazis. The city has become a landscape full of wreckage and ruins. Thousands of civilians died and ninety percent of the Voroshilovsky district was destroyed.
During World War II, this was the largest German assault on Soviet territory. The aim was to disrupt communications between the central regions of the Soviet Union and the Caucasus. In addition, Germany also wanted to invade the region’s oil fields.
After the destruction of the 6th German Army, the terrifying and unstoppable advance of Hitler’s armies across Europe halted. The Battle of Stalingrad ended in February 1943. The confrontation, considered one of the bloodiest in history, left about 2 million dead and wounded, between soldiers and civilians.
In short, the Battle of Stalingrad caused the end of Nazi expansion into Soviet territory to become Germany’s greatest defeat during World War II. 75 years have passed, however, some details surrounding the conflict remain shocking. Check out some of them now.
1 – Soviet Strategy
During the conflict, the Soviets became experts in setting ambushes. According to historical documents, some of these ambushes allowed the Soviets to target German soldiers at close range. In addition, the Soviets had snipers scattered throughout the city. The shooters aimed – to sow terror among enemy soldiers who feared being killed even in their campaign tents.
2 – The scenery
The city had become a gigantic field of ruins by the massive bombing of the Germans. People wandered among the rubble for food or anything that might be useful. Civilians also fought brutally in Stalingrad, not for their country, but for their own lives and those of their children.
3 – Refuges
Homeless, with houses destroyed by bombs or fire, it has become commonplace to live in holes dug in the wall of a ravine. To feed, people sought grain in places that had already been destroyed. Many, while searching for food, died from German sniper bullets. Also, when there was no food left, many even ate mud.
4 – Evacuation Plan
Before the battle began, Stalin himself ordered the civilians not to be evacuated. Stalin’s implicit order to keep civilians in the city was intended to make soldiers fight more passionately to protect their families.
5 – Women
The surviving teenagers began helping the injured soldiers. Little by little, young women began working in the medical department of military units. According to historical records, some assisted doctors in surgery or helped the medical staff hold one or the other soldier while amputating his leg or arm.
6 – The 1077th Anti-Aircraft Regiment
The 1077th Antiaircraft Regiment, made up almost exclusively of women, mostly teenagers. Even though they did not receive combat training, the young women managed to destroy 83 tanks and shoot down 14 Nazi aircraft.
7 – The End
By the time the battle of Stalingrad was over, hundreds of women had joined the army. The country had lost so many men that the authorities had no choice but to use women in all military functions. Despite having a strong presence in the battle, there is no hard data on how many women served the country.