Thursday, February 2, 2023

80th Anniversary of the End of the Battle of Stalingrad

Today is the 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stalingrad.  It lasted from 23 August 1942 to 2 February 1943.  The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest and deadliest battle ever known with approximately 2 million people killed on both sides. 

The Battle of Stalingrad was the first major defeat for Hitler's army and is regarded as the turning point in the war in Europe.

In 1925, Tsaritsyn was renamed Stalingrad, after the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.  In 1961, the city was renamed Volgograd.

Here's a five-minute YouTube video about the Battle of Stalingrad.

©Simple History

There have been a few movies about the Battle of Stalingrad.  Stalingrad was a German language film released in 1993.  It follows a platoon of German soldiers transferred to the Eastern Front in WWII and they find themselves fighting in Stalingrad.  Here's the movie trailer with English subtitles.

©Strand Releasing

Another well-known film is the 2001 release of Enemy at the Gates.  

It tells the story of Vasily Zaitsev, a young sniper who killed over 225 enemy soldiers.  Here's the movie trailer.  

©Paramount Pictures

Vasily Zaitsev was a celebrated Hero of the Soviet Union for his service in WWII, which in Russia is known as "the Great Patriotic War".  Following the war, he settled in Kyiv and lived there until he died in 1991, just 11 days before the Soviet Union broke apart.  He was buried in Kyiv but he had wished to be be buried in Stalingrad so in January 2006 he was reburied in Volgograd.

Volgograd has been on my list of places to visit.  At the Stalingrad Museum his sniper rifle is on display which I'd like to see one day.  However, I don't think that it's going to be anytime soon.

Apparently Russia is glamorising Stalin again and have put up a new bust of him in Volgograd.  Although he was responsible for the deaths of 6-9 million people.


Who knows how Putin will try to spin the 80th anniversary into a propaganda event trying to further justify his war in Ukraine.

Я за Україну. Я за Україною. Слава Україні  Stojím za Ukrajinou!  I stand with Ukraine. 🇺🇦

Update:  Here's two minutes of CCTV coverage of the anniversary.


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