Stalingradskaya bitva I & II parts (The Battle of Stalingrad) (1949)
Director: Vladimir Petrov.
Starring: Aleksandr Antonov, Mikhail Astangov (Adolf Hitler), Nikolai Cherkasov (President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Aleksei Dikij (Josef Stalin), Vladimir Gajdarov (Gen. Von Paulus), M. Garkavij (Hermann Goering), N. Kolenikov (Col. Gen. Yeremenko), Nikolai Komissarov (Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel), Boris Livanov (Lt. Gen. Rokossovsky), Vasiliy Merkurev (Col. Gen. Voronov), K. Mikhajlov (Ambassador W. Averell Harriman), Nikolai Plotnikov, Maksim Shtraukh, Yuri Shumsky (Col. Gen. Vasilyevsy), Nikolai Simonov (Lt. Gen. Churkov).
Soviet Russian version of the Battle of Stalingrad with lots of detail about the battle
1942. Picture of Josef Stalin.
Stalingrad. The greatest battle that humanity has ever known occurred in the summer of 1942 on a wide expanse of the Soviet land. It was 1942. The Soviet Union fought Hitler's gigantic war machine one-on-one.
Stalin speaks with Comrade Vasilevsky saying: "It's clear. They are moving towards Stalingrad. This is the second time that we've had to defend this city from the enemy." He adds that they don't know the full plans of the Germans, but this plan is even more adventurous that the one for last year's capture of Moscow.
Stalin says the Germans are widely extendedion their flanks and their side must be highly aware of every new German division as well as the German-allied divisions. Vasilevsky says that by order of Stalin the 63rd Army is heading to the line at Pavlovsk-Veshenskoe-Serafimovich. Stalin adds that the font line at Kletskoe-Serafimovich be reinforced.
In reserve the Soviets have the 21st Army. Stalin wants to put it in to reinforce the Kletskoe-Serafimovich front line.
July 1942. Germany's tank forces break through on the southwestern front, then under the command of Timoshenko. General Paulus of the 6th Army and Hoth of the 4th Panzer Army seized Millerovo, Kantemirovka, Morozovskaya and Bokovskaya.
The Russian 62nd and 64th Army Divisions meets the enemy and slows it down.
Hitler is briefed on the progress on Stalingrad. Kleist's army group fights near Rostov-on-Don near the northeast corner of the Sea of Azov, while Weichs' army vanguard divisions are fighting on the western shore of the Don River. Hitler complains that Gen. Weichs is moving too slowly eastward. He insists that the German forces be in Stalingrad by July 25.
Paulus will attack in two installment and Hoth will target Kalach on the Don River. Hoth will surround the Soviet 62nd Army and seize the crossings over the Don.
The fighting begins over the Don River and lasts 20 days. This gave the defenders of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) extra time to shore up the city's defenses.
President Franklin Roosevelt of the USA is happy about the resistance the Soviets are throwing up against the Germans. He asks his military adviser what is the best way to help the Soviet Union? The answer is to invade the European continent.
Roosevelt says the problem is that Churchill wants a cheap victory. Churchill keeps talking about North Africa, where Churchill faces 12 divisions under Rommel. And yet the Russians face 240 German divisions. The president says that he can't drag Churchill over the English Channel on onto the continent.
The 62nd Army and the 4th Panzer Army retreat to the east bank of the Don.
Third week of August. Paulus crosses the Don.
Stalin sends a message to front commander Colonel-General Yeremenko spare no forces in stopping the German advances on Stalingrad from the west and south.
August 1942. Talks are held in Moscow between Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt representative Harriman. Churchill says they will not be able to attack on the continent in 1942. "Great Britain cannot risk an operation that does not promise a sure success." Stalin says then Britain and the US are renouncing their promise they just made this past spring? The problem with this is that the African campaign will not drain off a single German division from Russia. Moreover, elements of Rommel's army have been spotted in Russia.
Churchill says they will attack Sicily too, but the Russians reply that this also will not have much effect on the war. Harriman stands up and says that the invasion of France will begin in 1943. Stalin is very doubtful of the veracity of this claim either. He gets up and says: "Mr. Prime Minister, the Soviet Union and its army will stop the German advance, but those who broke their solemn promises will be responsible for tens of thousands of new victims in Europe."
After the meeting Stalin tells Vyacheslav Mikhailovich that the African and Italian campaigns really means that the Allies just want to be the first to reach the Balkans. "They want us to bleed to death, so they can order us around." So Stalin will send Malenkov to Stalingrad and will send Comrade Vasilevsky with him.
The Battle of Stalingrad begins. The 62nd Army contained te Germans on the outskirts of the city.
August 23. Paulus advances his army to the Volga River. Meanwhile, the German 4th Air Fleet attacks Stalingrad. Stalingrad is now being consumed by the many building fires in the city.
Yeremenko tells Stalin's two representatives that the Germans broke through the city's defenses using the 150th tank motorized infantry division. A message from Stalin arrives saying to stop the German advance now. Vasilevsky tells Yeremenko to used the regiment of NKVD forces. [The NKVD contained the regular, public police force of the USSR, including traffic police, firefighting, border guards and archives.] Furthermore, use the partisan groups.
It looks like the whole city is being mobilized to fight the Germans. Many people are digging anti-tank ditches. The mobilized civilians defended the north of Stalingrad until the arrival of the regular Red Army.
September 3. The Germans are only 3 km from Stalingrad. Stalin, of course, is a bit anxious. He messages his two representative to have the forces of the Northern Army Group fight on the north and northwest of Stalingrad.
September 4. Seven rifle divisions and two tank corps position themselves at Samofalovka, Shirokoe and Loznoe.
The 63rd abd 21st Armies fight to keep a foothold on the southern bank of the Don.
September 5. The Northern Army Group launches a counter attack on the forces of Paulus. The 63rd and 21st Armies set up defenses at Rubezhinskaya, Kotovskaya and Belyaevskaya. This forces Paulus to use 12 of his best divisions to fight off the attack coming from the north.
September 12. The 62nd Army is now in charge of the defense of Stalingrad. Lt.-Gen. Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov is the commander.
By now there is not one Soviet division at full strength. And the Germans are only 2 km away from Stalingrad. Chuikov decides: "Attack should be our defense tactic from now on."He commands the 399th Division to counterattack in the direction of Aero City.
Paulus rides in a staff car and says he will crush the Russians on the Volga River. He receives a note from Hitler telling him he is called to Vinnitsa,located on the banks of the Southern Bug in central Ukraine.
Hitler tells Paulus the he will pay with his life if Stalingrad is not taken by September 20.
September 13. Paulus launches a major attack on Stalingrad. German tanks and troops enter the city. One of the Russian battalions is now down to 20 men.
Stalin now issues some orders directly by phone. He gives Chuikov the 13th Rodimtsev Guards Division from the Higher Command reserves because the general is in big trouble. The reinforcements are now on the move. They board various vessels headed for the other side of the river.
German airplanes start bombing the vessels. Some ships take direct hits causing many casualties.
Stalin wants to set a trap for the armies of Paulus and Hoth's armies. The Italian and Romanian troops are on the flanks of the German army. What if the Soviets smashed right through the two flanks and have the two pincers meet behind the German divisions.
Days and nights pass, but the Soviet troops hold on though they are getting very low on men. One particular battalion is down to only three men. And now the Germans launch still another attack. The Russian machine gunner is killed. Another soldier takes over, but he is then killed. Only the lieutenant commander is left alive. The commander throws two grenades and kills a lot of Germans, but he, in turn, is shot down.
An old friend of Stalin's pays a visit and tells Stalin that he looks very tried and needs some rest. The friend also says that the people are wondering when will the nation go on the offensive against these Germans? Stalin tells him that they are preparing a large-scall strategic offensive near Stalingrad. "This blow will lead the Germans to devastation."
Stalin wants to divide the Battle of Stalingrad into two separate fronts: one called the Don Front and the other called the Stalingrad Front. For the Don Front the commander will be Rokossovsky.
October. The Germans have not broken through the defensive line of Chuikov's army. There is a lot of house to house fighting. At the end of the fighting for one building, a Russian soldier shouts: "I, Sergeant Yakov Pavlov, from Rodimtsev Guards, have retaken this Soviet house." Later the hpuse became known as Pavlov's House.
Stalin goes over the plan to entrap the two main armies with his commanders. The counter offensive will begin in November.
Part 2. Encirclement and Defeatof the German Forces at Stalingrad, 1942-1943.
The southwestern front is under the command of General Vatutin. That front has received reinforcements. The Stalingrad Front has received a tank brigade. Stalin is interrupted by a phone call with bad news. The Germans threw in a fresh division with the support of 150 tanks. They made their way up to the tractor plant and took it. In doing so they severed Colonel Gorokhov's group from Chuikov's army.
Stalin looks at the map and then says the Nazis want to split the 62nd Army in half and destroy it piece by piece. He orders Rokossovsky to counterattack immediately. He also orders Yeremenko of the Stalingrad Front to liberate any part of Stalingrad that has been taken by the Germans.
November. The Germans continue their push to get to the Volga River. They move between Glorishny and Liudnikov and attack the barricades with three divisions with tanks. Chuikov gives the order for the divisions of Gorichny and Batiuk to counterattack. He then decides to go see Liudnikov.
The Germans capture a cliff on the Volga but do not reach the actual river. Their plan is to encircle Liudnikov's division. On the left, Gorichny is in their way. Liudnikov is very irritated and bangs on the table. He tells Chuikov that they are running out of ammunition. Chuikov says that tonight they should get ammunition and reinforcements.
A report comes in that there is ice moving on the Volga carrying everything with it. The other bad news is that the Germans are attacking the barricades again.
The ice on the Volga completely disrupts communication with the left bank. That means no ammunition and no reinforcements. Russian airplanes are dropping some food and ammunition. Stalin tells the navy that they must break through all the ice and the German machine gun fire along the Volga.
Chiusky sends a message to his units and outside his units that they will fight the Germans to their last man.
Motor boats are getting through to Stalingrad. Ammunition is being delivered again.
The Russians will soon begin their advance westward from Stalingrad. It's the second advance after that of the Battle of Moscow. Gen. Vatutin of the southwestern front will deliver the main blow. Rokossovsky of the Don Front will act in support of Vatutin. And Yeremenko of the Stalingrad Front will advance one day later.
A broadcast from the commander-in-chef says that the Germans have felt the blows of the Russian army at Rostov, Moscow and Tikhvin. The new Red Army is on the move and better days will soon arrive.
November 19. The offensive begins on the German forces. And now the Germans get a bit of Soviet blitzkrieg against them. Pauls is warned that the Russians are breaking through the German defensive lines. Paulus orders the 16th and 24th tank divisions to the most likely place where the main Russian assault will be launched. He is informed that this is not possible under these horrible conditions. He says send the tanks in with the German units that are not yet at the front lines.
The Russian forces are advancing forward at a fast pace.
On the home front, Soviet citizens produced more than 1,000 airplanes, 1,140 tanks, 5,629 artillery guns and 11,400 mortars for the war effort.
Field Marshal Keitel gives out the news that Hitler has given permission to transfer the 11th Division from the Western Front. They can also use the 62nd Division from the reserves, as well as the 294th Division around Mirov.
The Russians are breaking through the German defenses all along the line. And now Paulus learns that the Russians have attacked again, but this time on the Don Front in the area of Kletsk and Melokletsk. Streicher's Don group is in deep trouble. But the Russians send two tank divisions to make sure Streicher cannot retreat. Russian Cossacks on horseback go to the attack holding their sabers over their heads.
The Germans are afraid that the Russians might be able to cut their main force off from their reserves.
November 20. The 6th Romanian Army Corps are running for their lives. Many are surrendering themselves to the Russians. Other divisions of Romanians have already been annihilated.
More bad news for German headquarters. The Russians have launched mobile units. A staff member remarks: "This is a total disaster." Kietel says it's too soon to let Hitler know of the events at Stalingrad.
November 21. Hitler learns of the bad news and demands that the German forces around Stalingrad launch a massive counter attack. But with what is everyone else's question? The system of command and control of the German troops is paralyzed.
Streicher's men are retreating. And now the headquarter of Paulus is being bombarded. A messenger delivers more bad news: "Sir, Russian tanks are three kilometers away." Pauus takes an airplane ride to check out the situation.
In long, long lines the German troops are retreating as fast as they can.
Paulus is now in Nizhnecherskaya. He can't get through to commander Hoth. Paulus is basically helpless before the Russian onslaught. He asks for advise from his superiors.
The Russians now occupy the Karpovka station. They continue to advance on Kalach where the attacks are to join together.
The 4ath and 5th Romanian Corps are being devastated. They are in danger of being completely encircled.
Stalin wants the latest news about the Romanians. The Romanians are completely surround and the Russians will now force them to capitulate. So Gen. Vatutin gives the order tio bombard the village of Raspopinskaya. The Romanian commanders surrender with some 6,000 troops. Kietel is furious at the Romanians.
Stalin learns that the Red Army has destroyed 11 infantry, two tank and one cavalry divisions. The number of enemy dead is 95,000 so far. In addition, they have 72,000 enemy captives.
November 22. Gen. Hoth is with Paulus now. He asks Paulus what are they going to do now, but Paulus doesn't even know himself. Paulus thinks and says he could try to get the remnants of his command through a small corridor not yet occupied by the Russians. He sent for permission from Hitler, but as of yet there is no response.
Stalin orders that the offensive is just to keep rolling onward. He looks at Kalach on his map.
Hitler finally responds. "In no case shall we leave Stalingrad. All of the front depends on that."
November 23. From his airplane, Paulus says: "If we let the Russians into Kalach, it will be the end."
At Kalach the two forces meet to close the circle on the Germans. A total of 22 German divisions became firmly locked in the oval. Stalin gives the job of mopping up the forces under Paulus to Comrade Voronov.
Voronov comes in and shakes hands with Stalin. The Soviet leader tells him about his new job but also says that the mop-up cannot begin before January.
Soviet forces destroy the 8th Italian Army, the 3rd Romanian Army and Field Marshal Manstein's army group.
Paulus listens to a report on their situation to be sent to Hitler. The report says the isolated group is under constant fire from long-range artillery. Some 80,000 soldiers died in action. Now they are down to about 40,000 sick and wounded soldiers. There is no winter clothing and soldiers' rations have been reduced.
Paulus looks more on the bright side. They have some 200,000 soldiers along with many guns and mortars.
Stalin talks about the plans for liquidating the Paulus group. Rokossovsky will be given the 62nd, 64th and 57th armies.
Rokossovsky says during the general advance, the 62nd army will strive to meet forces with the 21st army at Mamayev Heights.
Januasry 7, 1943. The Don Front has completed its preparations. Stalin wants Paulus to surrender and has an ultimatum written to get Paulus to surrender. They offer a lot of goodies to the troops if they surrender.
Hitler says surrender is out of the question!
January 10, 1943. The assault on Paulus' troops begins. Rokossovsky tells Stalin that the objective of the First Stage was completed.
Paulus moves his troops to the eastern bank of the Rassoshka River. He will also move the Stalingrad reserves to the same place.
Paulus speaks of fighting to the last man.
January 23. Army formations from the Don Front break through another German defense line.
The attacks on Paulus continue. He writes that today they gave up their last positions. They are now retreating to Stalingrad. They have little supplies, ammunition and fuel. They suffer from low morale, suicides and insanity.
The Russians now are ready to join forces once again and they do so.
January 30. The Germans start surrendering.
January 31. The last of the Germans are ordered by the Soviets to give up their weapons. Now the Soviets demand the weapon of Gen. Paulus. He puts his pistol on the table. His two aides now to the same.
The Germans are now forced to start walking
In a ceremony with the armies still left in Stalingrad, the high officers congratulate and praise the Soviet troops. The officers salute the men as a band plays music.
Stalin looks at his map, but now has his focus on Berlin, Germany.
The Battle of Stalingrad was the point of no return for the German Nazi army . As it is well known, German forces could not regain strength after Stalingrad.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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