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Author Topic: Volgograd - Волгогра́д - Stalingrad - Сталингра́д - Tsaritsyn - Цари́цын  (Read 15202 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Volgograd (Волгогра́д), hero city


An 18 hour train ride south of Moscow, Волгогра́д (Volgograd) sits on the western bank of the famous Volga river.  Its former name was Tsaritsyn from 1598–1925 and later named Stalingrad (Сталингра́д) from 1925–1961, is a city and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russia.


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Volgograd is 80 kilometres long, north to south and an important industrial, commercial, and transshipment center of Russia as a railroad hub and a major Volga River port. It is linked to the Don River by the Volga-Don Canal, constructed between 1950 and 1957.


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A large hydroelectric power dam is just north of the city. Among the main industries in Volgograd are petroleum refining, shipbuilding, and the manufacture of aluminum, chemicals, processed food, farm machinery, iron and steel, and forest products. The University of Volgograd (1980) is located in the city.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Much larger than the US Mississippi, the Volga is known for summer dachas.


Volgograd was founded in 1589 as Tsaritsyn, a fortress on the southeastern frontier of Russia. It was taken by cossack rebels twice: in 1670 by Stenka Razin and in 1774 by Yemelyan Pugachov. With the expansion of the Russian Empire in the 19th century, Tsaritsyn became an important port for products shipped down the Volga River. The city was the scene of heavy fighting during the Russian Civil War. Bolshevik forces occupied it during 1918, but were attacked by White forces under Anton Ivanovich Denikin.


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During the battle for Tsaritsyn the Bolsheviks were pushed back and surrounded at first, and only the actions of Joseph Stalin, then local chairman of the military committee, saved the city for the Bolsheviks. Stalin did so by recalling Zhloba's 'Steel Division' from the Caucasus which attacked the White Forces in the rear. In honor of Stalin's efforts in defending the city, it was renamed Stalingrad (literally: "Stalin city") in 1925.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Large enough to generate it's own sandy beaches.


During World War II (Great Patriotic War), the city of Stalingrad became the center of the Battle of Stalingrad as well as the pivotal turning point in the war against Germany. The battle lasted from August 21, 1942 to February 2, 1943. 1.7 million to 2 million Axis and Soviet soldiers were either killed, wounded or captured, as well as over 40,000 civilians killed. The city was reduced to rubble during the fierce fighting.


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The regional economy still revolves around the Volga River, with agricultural, shipbuilding, metallurgy, and petrochemical industries providing most of the region's jobs. Volgograd has a single line metrotram system opened in 1984, and sits astride European Route 40 from the port of Calais, France to the city of Ridder, Kazahkstan in Central Asia. There is no direct highway yet between Moscow and Volgograd.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] River barges enjoy a quiet afternoon breeze.



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Monument to Victory over German forces, "The Motherland Calls" on the Mamayev Kurgan- the largest statue in the world when erected in 1967. The battle of Stalingrad was ferocious.  Every narrow street and house was the scene of hand to hand combat from August 1942 to the German forces surrender in January 1943. The eternal flame at the monument was lit in 1967 by the first spark from the new hydroelectric plant just outside the city, a symbol of tribute to the city's past and future.


Offline mendeleyev

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Volgograd Webcam

[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Watch this live webcam of Volvograd.




Volgograd Radio stations:

[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Vedo


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Dorozhnoe 


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Russkoe


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Auto Radio



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Raduga Volgograd's GAY radio.  Listen at your own risk! There's a reason for the rainbow colours in the logo.  :chuckle:



Offline mendeleyev

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Volgograd Television stations


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] RTR Planet TV


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Vesti News TV


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] RBC TV


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] MIR TV



Offline mendeleyev

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Below: Monument for first world war. (Thanks to Shakespear!)


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The monuments on Mamayev Hill are stirring. Carved on the base of the main monument are the cries "Every house a fortress!" and "not one step back!" One the hill is a sculpture with a woman cradling a dying soldier across her lap.


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In downtown Volgograd there are several streets that run parallel to the Volga River. The “Alley of Heroes” is a walking-street cuts across all of these perpendicularly, and leads strolling pedestrians right through the heart of downtown, from Central Square all the way to the river.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] 13th Infantry held here.



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[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Tribute to Siberian soldiers.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] "Mother Russia"

Offline mendeleyev

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[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Tribute to families who sacrificed so much.



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[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Memorial Chapel.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] "as if brothers."



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Left to remember the destruction.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] "faces in stone."



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[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Woman cradles dying soldier.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Monument at Volga riverbank.




Regarding fresh flowers, taking photos, and behaviour at monuments
The Soviet Union suffered terrible losses during the Great Patriotic War, somewhere between 20 and 22 million people died. An entire generation of young men, ages 14 to 28, was wiped out. The devastation was so complete that its' estimated that every single Russian/Ukrainian family lost one or more members during that 4 years of hell on earth.

Today, in 2009, at memorials like this you'll witness flowers, visitors quietly kneeling for a brief prayer, making the sign of the cross, and you'll see tears. Some of these photos if you'll look closely have fresh flowers.  The GPW defined Russians as no other single event in recent history.

My family has a dacha just outside the city and there are some things I've learned as part of showing respect: We don't laugh and joke around the monuments, photo opportunities are taken with great care--you'll notice very few people in these photos.  Most Russians feel that the monument is there as a tribute to those who died, therefore they are often hesitant to pose for photos at such a place. If your friends offers, great!  If not, you may ask but depending on the person and the monument, you may be declined.

Russians are offended by happy-go-lucky tourists who pose with smiles and waves at monuments which honour their sacred dead, feeling such behaviour to be disrespectful to those whom the monuments are meant to honour. Climbing on monuments is also a behaviour best left out.

Even today I purchase a couple of bouquets of flowers and leave some flowers at various significant points along the way and up on the hill. Visiting a memorial park like this is much like a cemetery where one is restrained and respectful. I hope this helps you understand how Russians would like for you to join them in memorials to this great war.  As you have an attitude of wanting to learn, and quiet humility, they'll open up and share some of the most moving stories of life as it was when Russia was pushed to the edge of the abyss.

Offline mendeleyev

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Around Volgograd


The train leaves Moscow at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and arrives at Volgograd station the next afternoon.  Our family usually takes second class berths and the ride south is a fun time.  We take food along with our summer things and it's a family time with adults and children spanning a couple of generations.


Here are some photos outside the city of the lovely countryside and the Volga river.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Lots of birch trees.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Dirt roads.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Late afternoon.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Early evening.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Canals and Volga river locks.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Canals control the flow.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Volga is big enough to create it's own beach.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Riverbank dacha with garden & fruit trees.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Dacha bedroom, simple.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Dacha meal.


Meals at the dacha are "earthy" and basic as you're growing a garden and fruits all summer. Our dacha has no modern kitchen.  It was stolen, ripped out, by winter vandals several years ago so we cook out doors on a wood oven. We have one modern electric convenience in the dacha--a refrigerator which is brought out each summer from a storage garage in the city and stored there again at the end of summer.

Running water--when a female member of the family hands a male member of the family a bucket and we run to the well for it.

Toilet--yep, outdoor.  :innocent:

Shower--that is why we're on the bank of the river.  It's efficient to bath and fish at the same time!   :chuckle:

Average cost of a dacha today:  It's a buyers market. You'd be surprised that you can own a little spot of Russia, with a roof and windows, for between $4-10K.

Some dachas are very luxurous.  We have friends of MIL who invite us for a week or weekend each September.  A minister of government formerly, their dacha looks like a plain country house from the outside but once you step inside it's a whole new way to live!



Offline mendeleyev

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The city is becoming more modern every year and has become an exciting place to visit!


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] View from the countryside.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Train station.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Beautiful fountains.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] New apartments.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Volga Mall.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Inside the mall.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] City streets/Sherbank.


Offline mendeleyev

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[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Theatre in daylight.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Theatre at night.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Volgograd University.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Church made from shipping container!



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Volgograd fire truck.



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This electric trolley bus advertises "MacCoffee" the McDonalds very popular coffee concept.

Online shakespear

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The monuments on Mamayev Hill are stirring. Carved on the base of the main monument are the cries "Every house a fortress!" and "not one step back!" One the hill is a sculpture with a woman cradling a dying soldier across her lap.

Actually Mendy, what you've pictured here is a monument dedicated to the Russian soldiers of the FIRST World War.  It's in the city center of Volgograd and actually made it through the Battle of Stalingrad untouched.  It's nowhere near Maymov Hill.  You can see it more clearly in the pictures you posted of the "theatre at night" later in this thread. 

It has an "eternal flame" that is always lit.  It is often times guarded by what we'd classify as high school ROTC candidates.  Local tradition requires newly married couples with their full wedding parties to come to this site, spend a moment in silence at the flame and then walk as a group three times around the monument for good luck.

I know the spot well.  Standing right by the flame is where I proposed to my wife.  The flame representing our eternal love - sorry guys got caught up in an uncharacteristic moment of romantic symbolism.  :-[
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" - Katharine Hepburn

Offline mendeleyev

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You're right in location and I just hadn't noticed the reference to the first world war. Thanks for posting that update!   tiphat


The photo of the stone columns is also in town near the Lenin memorial.

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Here's a link to a Russian blog with lots of photos of Stalingrad, some apparently pre-war, some during the war, and some post-war.  It's amazing how much rubble is piled up, bricks from buildings that were blown up.  And there are several photos of downed German planes lying in the street.
http://englishrussia.com/2011/09/15/the-history-of-volgograd-in-pictures/#more-67789

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  Having been to Volgograd, many of those sites are familiar.   And Larry, thanks for posting that link. It was interesting to see those photo's and of course the color pics at the end.  :chuckle:  Well at least we know Larry likes big guns!  :laugh:

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This whole post is making me nostalgic about my time in Volgograd... and two blondes there that escaped my grasp...  :ROFL: :ROFL:

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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2012, 05:46:34 PM »
[Note by Bill the following photos and narrative are from Pravda]

69 years the Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany
and their allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943


69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
It was the largest battle on the Eastern Front and was marked by brutality and disregard for military and civilian casualties. It is among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare, with the higher estimates of combined casualties amounting to nearly two million. The heavy losses inflicted on the German army made it a turning point in the war


69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
After the Battle of Stalingrad, German forces never recovered their earlier strength, and attained no further strategic victories in the theater
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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 05:48:15 PM »
69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
 The German offensive to capture Stalingrad commenced in late summer 1942, and was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing which reduced much of the city to rubble




69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
The German offensive eventually became mired in building-to-building fighting; and despite controlling over 90% of the city at times, the Wehrmacht was unable to dislodge the last Soviet defenders clinging tenaciously to the west bank of the Volga River.


69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
In November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus; a two-pronged attack targeted at the inferior Romanian and Italian forces which were protecting the German 6th Army flanks.
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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2012, 05:49:50 PM »
69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
The success of these attacks caused the weakly held flanks to collapse and the 6th Army to be cut off and surrounded inside Stalingrad


69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
As the Russian winter set in, the 6th Army weakened rapidly from cold, starvation and ongoing Soviet attacks


69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
 Command ambiguity coupled with Adolf Hitler's resolute belief in the "power of the will" and the value of "standing fast" further compounded the German predicament.
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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2012, 05:53:10 PM »
69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad

Eventually, the failure to break the encirclement by relieving German forces, coupled with the failure of re-supply by air, caused the final collapse. By early February 1943, German resistance in Stalingrad had ceased and the remaining elements of the surrounded 6th Army had either surrendered or had been destroyed.



69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
The Soviets had enough warning of the Germans' advance to ship virtually all the city's grain, cattle, and railroad rolling stock across the Volga and out of harm's way. This "harvest victory" left the city short of food even before the German attack began. Production continued in some factories, particularly the one producing T-34 tanks.

Before the Wehrmacht reached the city itself, the Luftwaffe had rendered the River Volga, vital for bringing supplies into the city, unusable to Soviet shipping. Between 25 and 31 July, 32 Soviet ships were sunk, with another nine crippled



69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
The Germans inside the pocket retreated from the suburbs of Stalingrad to the city itself. The loss of the two airfields, at Pitomnik on 16 January 1943 and Gumrak on either 25 January or the night of 21/22 January, meant an end to air supplies and to the evacuation of the wounded. The third and last serviceable runway was at the Stalingradskaja flight school, which reportedly had the last landings and takeoffs on the night of 22-23 January.

After daybreak on 23 January, there were no more reported landings except for intermittent air drops of ammunition and food until the end.
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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2012, 06:07:17 PM »
69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
The Germans were now not only starving, but running out of ammunition. Nevertheless, they continued to resist, in part because they believed the Soviets would execute any who surrendered.



69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
The Germans had no usable tanks in the city and those which still functioned could at best be used as makeshift pillboxes. The Soviets did not bother employing tanks in areas where the urban destruction restricted their mobility. A low-level Soviet envoy party (comprising Major Aleksandr Smyslov, Captain Nikolay Dyatlenko and a trumpeter) carried an offer to Paulus: if he surrendered within 24 hours, he would receive a guarantee of safety for all prisoners, medical care for the sick and wounded, prisoners allowed to keep their personal belongings, "normal" food rations, and repatriation to whatever country they wished to go to after the war; but Paulus-ordered not to surrender by Hitler-did not respond



69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
On 30 January 1943, the 10th anniversary of his coming to power, Hitler got Goebbels to read out a proclamation which included the sentence: "The heroic struggle of our soldiers on the Volga should be a warning for everybody to do the utmost for the struggle for Germany's freedom and the future of our people, and thus in a wider sense for the maintenance of our entire continent".

Also on that day Hitler promoted Paulus to Generalfeldmarschall. Since no German Field Marshal had ever been taken prisoner, Hitler assumed that Paulus would fight on or take his own life.



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69 years of the Battle of Stalingrad
However, when Soviet forces closed in on his headquarters in the ruined GUM department store the next day, Paulus surrendered. The remnants of the Axis forces in Stalingrad surrendered on 2 February; 91,000 tired, ill, wounded, and starving prisoners were taken, including 3,000 Romanians (the survivors of the 20th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division and "Col. Voicu" Detachment). To the delight of the Soviet forces and the dismay of the Third Reich, the prisoners included 22 generals. Hitler was furious and confided that Paulus "could have freed himself from all sorrow and ascended into eternity and national immortality, but he prefers to go to Moscow."

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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2012, 06:11:30 PM »
Additional photos




Look at the age of the Russian boys



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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2012, 06:14:34 PM »
More photos







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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2012, 06:15:54 PM »






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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2012, 06:19:25 PM »
additional photos







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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2012, 06:24:21 PM »
additional photos













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The battle of Stalingrad 69 years ago
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2012, 06:38:47 PM »
Additional photos








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