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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Stalingrad: Hero City of the USSR

The Motherland Calls Memorial Complex, Volgograd (Stalingrad), USSR

From a folder of historic cards published in 1985 on the 40th anniversary of the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War we continue our series looking at the Hero Cities and Fortresses as well as other sites and battles critical to the Soviet victory. The folder was entitled "No one is Forgotten. Nothing is Forgotten."

This third post looks at the Hero City of Stalingrad which endured and held out through the deadliest siege in history at the cost of a million lives.

It is important to never forget the tremendous determination, courage and sacrifices of the Soviet peoples and Red Army in the great struggle of liberation against Nazism and fascism that was World War II.

Stalingrad: Hero City #3

The victory at Stalingrad is the largest military and political event in the course of the peoples' struggle against German fascism. It made a decisive contribution to achieving a radical change in the Great Patriotic War and the entire Second World War. As a result of the Battle of Stalingrad, the Soviet Armed Forces wrested the strategic initiative from the enemy and held it until the end of the war.

The Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted 200 days (July 17, 1942 - February 2, 1943), is one of the greatest battles of the Second World War. The Stalingrad party organization mobilized all the forces of the working people to repulse the enemy. More than 75 thousand residents of the city joined the ranks of its defenders, more than 50 thousand Stalingraders joined the people's militia. 225 thousand people worked on the construction of defensive lines. In Stalingrad and the region, 82 fighter battalions were created. By August 1942, 39 partisan detachments and groups were operating on the territory of the region. The Volga military flotilla played an important role in the Battle of Stalingrad.

Under conditions of continuous bombardment, under artillery shelling, factory workers produced weapons and ammunition for the army, repaired tanks and weapons. The whole country helped the defenders of Stalingrad.

Partially captured by the enemy in the fall of 1942, the city was liberated on February 2, 1943 by the troops of the Don Front. As a result of the Battle of Stalingrad, the Soviet Armed Forces wrested the strategic initiative from the enemy and held it until the end of the war. Here, for the first time in world history, a 330,000-strong group of enemy troops was surrounded and captured. In total, in the battles for Stalingrad, the enemy lost about 1.5 million soldiers and officers, 3.5 thousand tanks and assault guns, over 3 thousand aircraft, more than 12 thousand guns and mortars, 75 thousand vehicles.

The Soviet government highly appreciated the defenders of the Volga stronghold. For heroism and courage shown in the Battle of Stalingrad, 112 soldiers were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. More than 700 thousand participants in the battle were awarded orders and medals, 760 thousand defenders of the city were awarded the medal "For the Defense of Stalingrad". 183 associations, formations and units were converted into guards. In 1965, the Hero City of Stalingrad was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal.


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