The annihilation of General von Paulus’ 6th Army epitomised the devastating defeat of Hitler’s ambition to conquer Stalin’s Soviet Union. After the successful Operation Blue offensive 6th Army reached the River Volga north of Stalingrad in summer 1942. With over-extended supply lines and facing steely opposition, increasingly desperate attempts to seize the city repeatedly failed. Slowly 6th Army became encircled. The German High Command attempted a number of relief attempts, notably Field Marshal von Manstein’s ‘Winter Storm’ but all were defeated by the tenacity of the enemy and the Russian winter. To their credit the men of 6th Army fought to the end but by February 1943 the last pockets of German resistance were either destroyed or had surrendered.
Thanks to a superb collection of photographs, this Images of War book provides an absorbing insight into the dramatic events of the last months of 6th Army’s doomed existence.