By Reinhold Busch

In November 1942 – in a devastating counter-attack from outdoors the town – Soviet forces smashed the German siege and encircled Stalingrad, trapping a few 290,000 infantrymen of the sixth military within. for nearly 3 months, through the cruelest a part of the Russian wintry weather, the German troops persisted atrocious stipulations. Freezing chilly and reliant on dwindling foodstuff provides from Luftwaffe air drops, hundreds of thousands died from hunger, frostbite or an infection if now not from the scuffling with itself. 

This very important paintings reconstructs the awful destiny of the sixth military in complete for the 1st time via interpreting the little-known tale of the sphere hospitals and crucial dressing stations. the writer has trawled via enormous quantities of formerly unpublished reviews, interviews, diaries and newspaper money owed to bare the stories of infantrymen of all ranks, from easy squaddies to generals. 

The publication comprises first-hand debts of infantrymen who have been wounded or fell ailing and have been flown out of the encirclement; in addition to those that fought to the sour finish and have been taken prisoner by means of the Soviets. They give some thought to the severity of the scuffling with, and show the slowly ebbing hopes for survival. jointly they supply an illuminating and tragic portrait of the appalling occasions at Stalingrad.

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Additional resources for Survivors of Stalingrad: Eyewitness Accounts from the 6th Army, 1942-1943

Sample text

When visibility had improved Donald Easten led a counterattack onto DIS Hill from neighbouring FSD Hill but, as the day flooded into light, a further menace arose: the Japanese could fire without hindrance onto the southern and south-western slopes of DIS Hill, and machine-gun fire swept across the hill, as well as the low trajectory fire from a 75mm gun, the shells of which arrived without warning. In the centre of DIS Hill a number of Japanese had inveigled themselves at the onset of dawn into a series of ammunition storage huts and the bakery, hoping to avoid detection in the daylight.

The entire 2nd Division arrived in this way, after crossing the length of India, between 1 and 11 April 1944. (IWM, FLM 4066) 42 A mule train from 23rd LRP Brigade. These men depended for supplies on what they and their mules could carry, and on intermittent supplies dropped from the air. (IWM, FLM 4070) now the Japanese had already dug deeply into the hillside and could not be ejected without considerable expenditure of life. Easten took his company and dug them in around FSD Hill. Since Jail Hill dominated the southern edge of the ridge defences, the disappearing tree cover became a problem for the defenders who became visible to the Japanese and consequently could move only at night.

They included a company of the 4/7th Rajputs commanded by Capt. Mitchell. Six hours later the telephone cable back to Jotsoma and Warren's HQ was cut. Except for Laverty's and Yeo's radios (Richards' soon ran out of battery and he was forced to rely on Laverty) the Kohima Ridge was now cut off. Its 1,000 defenders (together with the 1,500 non-combatants milling around in confusion and impeding the defenders) squeezed inside the perimeter and were soon surrounded by up to 15,000 eager Japanese. That night, when the sun was replaced by a resplendent shining moon, a company of Japanese came down the steep slopes of Jail Hill, crossed the road and climbed up DIS Hill to a cacophony of war cries and blaring bugles.

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