Winter Storm

The Battle for Stalingrad and the Operation to Rescue 6th Army

Hans Wijers

152 x 229 mm, 336, rare photographs included, 9780811710893, £13.99, Paperback, Stackpole Books
1 April 2012

Currently in stock.

• Rare firsthand German accounts from the Battle of Stalingrad

Battling frigid weather, malnutrition and the constant onslaught of enemy fire, those who took part in the pivotal Battle of Stalingrad were sujected to some of the most challenging conditions of the battlefield. At times during the five bloody and desperate months of the conflict the average Soviet soldier’s life-expectancy dropped to just under 24 hours. Of the 91,000 German soldiers captured over the course of the battle only 5,000 survived to return to their homeland. It is thought that nearly two million lost their lives as a result of the deadly clash between the advancing German forces and the Soviet Union. This is the story of the German forces caught in the midst of one of the bloodiest battles the world has ever seen.

The Wehrmacht stormed into Stalingrad on the back of a series of strategic bombings that saw the city reduced to a warren of ruins and rubble. The battle, fought across the city from building to building, often resulted in German forces holding over 90% of the territory. Despite support from the air, the German offensive was unable to force the Soviet defenders to give up their position on the west bank of the Volga. After months of fighting in the freezing Russian climate and facing devastating food shortages, the German hold on Stalingrad began to slip, paving the way for a Soviet victory.

Here, Stackpole presents this stunning compilation of firsthand German accounts from the battle. Winter Storm depicts the life of German soldiers trapped in the city by Soviet forces to confront not only enemy troops but also extreme hunger and frigid weather. Few accounts communicate in such vivid detail the horrors German forces encountered in the hopeless closing days of the Battle of Stalingrad. Rare photographs punctuate the text bringing to life this truly desperate period of the war. Winter Storm is an indispensable account for anyone who seeks to understand the life of a soldier caught up on a merciless battlefield in a conflict that will forever be remembered as the turning point of World War II.

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