It has been seventy yeas since the battle of Stalingrad ended. The city at the river Wolga drew German troops to it like a magnat. Hitler had officially declared the city as ‘fallen’, but then the Red Army encircled the German 6th Army. What followed was a major human tragedy. Honderds of thousands were trapped in the city. Food and ammunition were scarce and an attempt to break through from the South failed. The German troops were left with an air bridge. The daily air transport flew on and off through snow and ice. Pilots who refused to land on the makeshift landing zones were threatened with war tribunal. None of it mattered in the end. In february 1943, the final shots could be heard. The air bridge had become a bridge of death.
Besides the air bridge, the ground fighting is central to this book. It is surprising to see how Stalingrad was in fact the high point in a series of bloody military showdowns. Before the battle even started, the Red Army had already lost 1,1 million soldiers to this Southern part of the Eastern front.
Author: Perry Pierik and Peter Steeman