Stalingrad Battle Atlas: Volume II
Stalingrad Battle Atlas: volume II
“We realized that the decisive battle had come and if we can survive it the Germans were unlikely to muster such powerful forces again."
Thus wrote Lieutenant-General Vasily Chuikov, 62nd Army Commander, about 14 October 1942. As hundreds of tons of steel where hurled against the Soviet defenders, the Germans unleashed a critical onslaught in what they perceived as their D-day for Stalingrad.
This same day Hitler issued the winter standby directive to his troops on the eastern front. It read: "This year's summer and fall campaign, excepting the operations currently under way and several local offensives still contemplated, has been concluded." As for the "operations currently under way" 6th Army was ordered not only to continue, but also to strengthen its offensive.
Although badly depleted for the most part, the divisions mustered by both sides in the industrial district of the city still embodied a considerable fighting potential. With regard to density, seldom in the history of wars such a small territory was contested by such a quantity of manpower, artillery and aircraft.
After the equivalent of a full month of combats within...