70th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Stalingrad
Published 2 February 2013
The Battle of Stalingrad (August 23, 1942-February 2, 1943) was one of the most brutal and bloody battles of World War II. Germany's disastrously ill-fated attack on the Russian city is widely considered to have been a major turning point in the conflict, as its army suffered massive military losses and a huge psychological blow from which it never recovered. (19 PHOTOS)
A massive German aerial bombardment of Stalingrad at the start of the battle in August 1942 left much of the city in ruins.
Stalingrad's main railway station in late 1942
Laying waste to Stalingrad ultimately failed to help the Germans take the city, however, as they soon got bogged down in morale-sapping street battles amid the ruined buildings.
Street combat, October 1942
Soviet soldiers during a street fight in Stalingrad, September 1942
The battlefield dead, November 8, 1942
A Russian nurse bandages a wounded soldier during a street skirmish in Stalingrad. Female medics and orderlies were often in the thick of battle during the siege.
Comissar Nikita Khruschev (left) discusses tactics with General Andrei Yeryomenko (second left), commander of the Red Army's Southeas [Stalingrad] Front and other officers.
The Red Army's simple but devastatingly effective Katyusha rockets were much feared by German troops and helped damage their morale.
A downed German fighter lies amid the ruins of Stalingrad. Huge air battles were waged over the city during the course of the siege.
The brutal battle conditions were exacerbated by the harsh Russian winter.
Soviet forces eventually encircled the Germans at Stalingrad, thus sealing the fate of Hitler's Sixth Army.
Many Germans preferred to fight to the bitter end rather than surrender to Soviet forces.
Soviet officers pass by German prisoners of war as the battle enters its endgame in Januay 1943.
With supplies running out, most Germans were in an exhausted and emaciated condition by the time the fighting ended.
Out of the nearly 110,000 German prisoners captured at Stalingrad, only about 6,000 ever returned to Germany.
Columns of Nazi German Wehrmacht soldiers pass through the streets of Stalingrad on February 1, 1943.
A Soviet soldier victoriously hoists a flag over Stalingrad in February 1943.
The center of Stalingrad after liberation, February 2, 1943