Battle of Stalingrad
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II
Stalingrad panoramic.jpg
Date 23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943

(5 months, 1 week and 3 days)

Location Stalingrad, Soviet Union
Result Decisive Soviet Victory
Nazi Germany Flag.jpg Germany
Romania.jpg Romania

Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg.png Italy
Hungary.jpg Hungary
Croatia.jpg Croatia

Soviet.jpg Soviet Union

The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943) was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in the southwestern Soviet Union. Marked by constant close quarters combat and lack of regard for military and civilian casualties, it is among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. The heavy losses inflicted on the Wehrmacht make it arguably the most strategically decisive battle of the whole war.  It was a turning point in the European theatre of World War II, the German forces never regaining the initiative in the East and withdrawing vast military force from the West to reinforce their losses.

Battle of Stalingrad in The Man With the Iron Heart[]

Germany's defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943 convinced Reinhard Heydrich that the country should prepare and train a force to resist the Allies should they invade the country.[1]

Battle of Stalingrad in "Ready for the Fatherland"[]

The tremendous cost of Stalingrad to the German army eroded the faith of many generals in Adolf Hitler. Shortly afterwards, on 19 February 1943, Erich von Manstein shot and killed Hitler, took over as German head of state, and signed an armistice with the Soviet Union.[2]

Battle of Stalingrad in Days of Infamy[]

The Battle of Stalingrad turned into a disaster for the Germans and for a while, it looked as though they would go down instead of the Soviets. But the Germans were able to stabilize their front and even regain a lot of lost ground. This resulted in a stalemate on the Eastern Front.[3]

In the Pacific, the Japanese Army which had been waiting for the Soviets to fall, had to come to grips with the reality that the quick German victory on which Japan had pinned so many of its hopes on its ally was nothing but a pipe dream. Those in the Imperial Navy saw that defeat for the Germans meant the Allies could concentrate more of their resources on Japan's already thinly stretched forces.[4]

Battle of Stalingrad in Joe Steele[]

The Battle of Trotskygrad began in the summer of 1942 with massive Luftwaffe air attacks on Trotskygrad that left an estimated 40,000 people dead. The Wehrmacht followed up with an attack with Panzers and foot soldiers. However, the Red Army defended tenaciously fighting block by block and building by building bogging down the German advance. Hitler had underestimated the Soviet Union and so was forced to supplemented his army with troops from Romania, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia. The Red Army counterattacked that fall, through two points on these softer lines, trapping the large German force still trying to grind through Trotskygrad.[5]

The German forces trapped in the city eventually were forced to surrender in early 1943 and were marched off into captivity. At first it looked like this would unravel the entire German position in southern Russia but the Red Army outran their supply lines and were counterattacked in turn.[6]

Literary Comment[]

In the short story the Battle of Trotskygrad is mentioned as major victory for the Soviet Union which convinced President Steele to step up plans for an invasion of German-occupied France. However, no details of the battle were given.


  1. The Man With the Iron Heart, pgs. 5-10, trade paperback.
  2. See, e.g., Counting Up, Counting Down, pgs. 86-88, tpb.
  3. End of the Beginning, pg. 138, mmpb.
  4. Ibid., pg. 152.
  5. Joe Steele, pgs. 266-267, HC.
  6. Ibid, pg. 269.