Russian Horror At Stalingrad

by Daniel Russ on September 1, 2010

German Dead At Stalingrad

The thing about war is that it is often very confusing. When we talked about the German assault on Russia and the Russians valiant defense, it clouds facts that don’t fit neatly into these images. Not every Russian was happy to defend Russia, for example. When the Nazis invaded in 1941, Latvians celebrated. Stalin had been brutal to them. Of course when the Latvians began to die at the hands of the invaders then things changed. When the Germans invaded there were still millions of Russians who hated what the Russian government had done to their particular ethnic group. There were Russians who were still bitter about parents and friends being abducted and killed by the NKVD (the precursor to the KGB). It’s not difficult to imagine this. It’s not impossible to imagine that upwards of 50,000Β  Russians were actually fighting on then front lines at Stalingrad with Von Paulus’ Sixth Army. Lt. Colonel Mader leading the 279th German infantry division remarked regarding the Tartars, “As anti-tank gunners, using captured Soviet weapons, these Russians were proud of every Soviet tank they destroyed. These people were excellent.” Of course Stalin had been particularly hard on ethnic groups and expelled many of them from their own lands for his own political reasons, the Tartars among them.

German Dead At Stalingrad

Many many Russians did not care if the Germans took Stalingrad or any territory or towns of the vast open steppes to the west. It wasn’t where they lived, had any family, and if Stalin lost some territory then that was a good thing. That said, many Russians tried to desert. Desertion rates we fairly high at the outset of the siege of Stalingrad. So NKVD detachments rode each troop ship over the Volga to make sure new soldiers made it into Stalingrad and didn’t attempt an icy swim over the side to safety. The Russian high command may have doubted that the Germans would win. But the Russians were not so sanguine. Most were terrified of the Germans. Russian high command under Chuikov was ruthless. The one way to make certain soldiers did not defect was simply to be more terrifying than the advancing Wehrmacht. The Soviet secret police that were so feared and studied in the Cold War got a good training session in the cold winter of Stalingrad.

Captured Wehrmacht Soldier On Left, Gloating Red Guard On Right

The crimes that could be attributed to the execution, both those that were done in the spot and those that were done after a trial, consisted of desertion, defecting, taking bribes, and what the Communist party apparatchniks might consider traitorous to the cause. That might also include aiding and abetting the desertion or defection of another soldier, even failing to execute or report a deserter.

It is said that almost 14,000 Russians were executed just at Stalingrad. That’s the equivalent of an army destroying an entire division of it’s own forces.

Stalin also refused to arrange for the evacuation of Stalingrad. He knew that a full city would be harder to capture than an empty city. He gave the same orders when Moscow was under attack. Over 60,000 Russians were captured by Germans at Stalingrad and sent to concentration camps in the west, or they were worked to death. Some 40,000 died in the city as a result of the bombing, the cross fires, the cold, or starvation. Of the 95,000 survivors of the German Sixth Army, 5,000 returned to Germany. Most of them were half dead by the time Von Paulus surrendered.

Red Guards Attack

The dead and wounded at Stalingrad were everywhere. Bodies frozen in place for months at a time, make shift hospitals were filled with thousands of screaming moaning soldiers with little or no chance to get medicine, even painkillers. Death was in every street corner, every room in every charred smoking building, and in every hospital. Diphtheria, typhus, gangrene, even mites and lice and bedbugs made the sick and wounded even more miserable. For many there, death was the release they were praying for.
The only happy camper at Stalingrad was the Grim Reaper.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Gwendolyn Klempa November 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Thank you, that wasreally interesting. I was born in Russia in 1960s but my parents fled and came here in the UK. Truthfully, I didnt really care much about my russian history until my mother died last month, now I’ve been trying to find out as much as I can. Seemed like food culture was as good a place as any to start from! You dont generally hear much about russian cooking do you? Anyway, I found a a good russian recipe site here that your readers might be interested in too.

Stephen Smith December 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm

The Russian’s, Satlin, Communism….all scum. It’s taken the west 60 years to realize that we should have supported the Germans and rid the world of their rotten, godless state. 60 plus years of waited resources, of decline of culture….mixed mongol breeding….and what do we have? A better more free world? The ideal that all men are created equal is almost comical….for they are not…like horses and dogs, breeding matters. The East is brinnging the world down and has been doing so for years. The west has fallen asleep, and because of this, the world is headed for shit. We’ll build our walls to keep them out, but it’s a shame we must…but we will.

Daniel Russ December 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm

When the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution reference equality, the documents are not talking about people having the same abilities. No we are not equal in that way.

But we all have equal rights, regardless of the gifts or challenges God gave us.

I wonder, with all your references to inferior races and mongrels, what type of person you are.

I am thinking you are despicable.

That said, thanks for the visit.

Arthur G. December 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Marry Christmas and Happy New Year – Great Blog!

Keelback February 14, 2011 at 8:28 am

No Adolf Hitler was pure evil. A genius but evil. He had to be stopped. But stupid Churchill and Roosevelt were easily tricked by Stalin. They let him have East Germany and eastern Europe when Churchill had promised to save eastern Europe. They are partly to blame for the mess Europe was left in after the war and still very much recovering from!

Daniel Russ February 14, 2011 at 8:45 am

I think Eisenhower realized that after the tremendous losses we were taking in the Pacific and after the losses since the invasion, we had paid a big enough price.

Frankly, I wonder if we would have been able to stop the Russians had we all come to arms against them.

Brad April 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm

The US was not in a position militarily or economically to take on Russia which is the reason for the split of Berlin and the cold war tactics that followed. We were in desperate need to end both wars in Europe and Pacific afterthe losses we had sustained (@500,000 1941-1945). Had we continued into a war with Russia we would not have been able to stop the communist advances in Korea and other places 10 years later.

Daniel Russ April 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I kind of agree. Even though our industrial machine was turning out planes and armored vehicles like crazy, the cost in blood and capital was very high. But compared to Germany and Russia, we still had a lot more reserve strength. One thing to consider, the Russians were rediscovering the crimes of the Germans while they pushed them back. Mass graves. Rotting bodies hanging, scorched Earth. The Russians were out fro revenge and they outnumbered us. They were motivated and frankly enough Americans had already died. Eisenhower was a smart politician who knew to let others win from time to time. He knew it would be best for everyone if the Russians were allowed to take Berlin.

Brad April 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Can you imagine if we had seen those high casualty rates from 2001 to now? I remember watching the news after the 2003 Iraq invasion when the media would eagerly report american death milestones of 1000,2000,etc., over a year after it started, and I would be amazed that no one would make the comparison to the @1500 kia on D Day alone. This country has forgotten what prices we have paid in the past.

Dan March 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm

this is s very good and informative piece bit I think it would much cleaner of you referred to soviet citizens as soviets rather than Russians since Latvians and Tatars for example we not Russians although they could accurately be called Soviets. very good work though. thank you.

Dan March 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm

clearer not cleaner. sorry.

Daniel Russ March 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

thanks

atxdirectory.com October 12, 2013 at 10:35 am

I don’t comment, however I browsed a ton of remarks on Russian Horror At Stalingrad
| Civilian Military Intelligence Group. I actually do have some questions for you if you do not mind.
Is it only me or does it look as if like some of the comments
appear as if they are written by brain dead individuals?
πŸ˜› And, if you are writing on other online social sites, I’d like to keep up with
you. Would you make a list of all of your social sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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