Hearing the week by week coverage of Stalingrad really brings home how god awful that situation must have been for all involved. Watched a lot of documentaries, read stories on the battle but for some reason having this week by week series drag it out really brings home the hell that it was. Winter hasn’t even come yet but brutal house to house fighting with sharpened spades, day after day must have been brutal. For those that even survived I can’t imagine the nightmares those men had. Literally going room by room, attic by attic. Jesus.
Here’s the day-by-day coverage (via newspapers):
Welcome to the realities of war. it’s not pretty and it’s down right horrible. This was one of the gruesome examples of warfare at its worst.
So many areas of Stalingrad changed hands so many times on a given day that both sides would often be climbing over the corpses of friend and foe sometimes piled five and six feet high from changing hands upwards of 10 to 20 times in a day.
Often forward Movement was measured by inches and feet. Fighting was brutal face to face combat with any available weapon even using rubble to bash the enemies head in. Entire companies were completely wiped out in the fighting with no survivors and many of those who survived were haunted for the rest of their lives by what happened there.
There is a lot to be said about Stalingrad and I wish it was a rare occurrence but it still happens even today in modern combat.
That are the things I like about the series too.
1 The week by week format really brings the frustration and enduring horror home as opposed to reading backwards. (Start with the results of the battle which we know obviously and then skip through it)
2 Also this series doesn’t “glorify” war. It is just raw reality and especially WAH tells the story in horrible detail.
Agree, Stalingrad where the place where Germany comitted all the 7 sins, and then add the cold, hunger and above all loss of hope. Many must have thought: what the h… are we doing here? No wonder why German soldiers often saved the last bullet for themselves.