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Today in History: Conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad

In other languages: vi th zh-tw ja

Seventy-two years ago on January 31, 1943, the German 6th Army which had been enveloped by Soviet troops finally surrendered after a bitter and bloody battle in the city of Stalingrad that had lasted almost 6 months. The commander of the German 6th Army, Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, was subsequently captured, becoming the first field marshal to do so in German military history.

<Left: Soviet general Vasily Chuikov; right: Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus>

The Battle of Stalingrad officially began when German forces besieged the city in July 1942. Everything proceeded like clockwork in the beginning, allowing the German army entrance to the area zone of Stalingrad in September. However, the German offensive soon came to a standstill, mired by the tough resistance displayed by the defending Soviet force. The situation soon degenerated into a desperate battle of attrition for both sides of the conflict.

After two months of endless street fights in the city, the Soviet army finally managed to execute a surprise counterattack in November and suceeded in encircling the remaining German troops still stationed in Stalingrad. Although the German army soon began rescue operations while supplying fresh troops with the aid of the Luftwaffe, the invasion eventually failed in the face of severe winter and the stubborn resistance of the Soviets.

By now, the Battle of Stalingrad is already a decades-old historical event, but we can still commemorate the people who sacrificed themselves valiantly in the battle. In World of Tanks, a map called “Stalingrad” exists, which is designed with the historical location in mind. If you are assigned to this map when you play World of Tanks today, put out your best performance in the spirit of remembering history!