6th Army soldiers marching to Stalingrad, 1942

These children had no idea what kind of hell would be thrown on them. They are literally heading towards hell. It's kind of terrifying to see the men in this picture and, statistically speaking, they probably never saw 1944.

Those sunglasses are privately my own, probably too expensive. The sunglasses were issued only to Africa Corps soldiers and motorcyclists, but not to infantry.

Based on previous battlefield successes, the Germans were expecting fierce fighting, but Stalingrad was to be won with reasonable losses. Until that point, when it came to ground warfare, Germany had experienced only "setbacks", such as the Battle of Moscow, after which, they continued to encircle and destroy the Soviets in the spring of 1942.

He still considered himself invincible and was confident in his final victory. The brutal, unprecedented, near-street fighting at Stalingrad, and then the destruction of the entire army, was a completely new experience for him. Of course they knew that there would be fierce fighting, but they were not expected to engage in one of the most gruesome and terrifying battles ever fought.

Of the approximately 110,000 German prisoners captured at Stalingrad, only 6,000 ever returned. Already weakened by disease, starvation and lack of medical care during the siege, he was sent to prisoner camps and later to labor camps in the Soviet Union on the Death March (75,000 survivors died within 3 months). .

Some 35,000 were eventually sent on transport, of which 17,000 did not survive. Most died from wounds, disease (especially typhus), colds, overwork, abuse and malnutrition.

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