Military Wiki
Battle of Tsaritsyn
Part of the Southern Front of the Russian Civil War
DateAutumn of 1918
LocationTsaritsyn, Russian SFSR
48°42′N 44°31′E / 48.7°N 44.517°E / 48.7; 44.517Coordinates: 48°42′N 44°31′E / 48.7°N 44.517°E / 48.7; 44.517
Result Decisive Bolshevik victory
Russia White Army Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Red Army
Commanders and leaders
Russia General Anton Denikin Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Joseph Stalin
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Dmitri Zhloba
more than 250,000[citation needed] at least 160,000[citation needed]
Casualties and losses
130,000[citation needed] 80,000[citation needed]

The Battle of Tsaritsyn was a military confrontation between Bolshevik forces and the White Army during the Russian Civil War. It was for control of the significant city and port on the Volga River in southwestern Russia. The battle resulted in a Bolshevik victory.

The battle

Stalin, Voroshilov and Shchadenko in the trenches of Tsaritsyn.

The battle started when White forces under General Denikin laid siege to Tsaritsyn in the autumn of 1918, pushing back the Red Army defenders into areas surrounding the town on the west bank. The local Bolshevik leaders desperately called Moscow for reinforcements and arms, but received nothing other than orders to stand firm. According to Soviet legend, the town was saved by the actions of the local chairman of the military committee, Joseph Stalin. Stalin urged his comrades to continue fighting and disobeyed direct orders from Moscow by recalling forces from the Caucasus, nicknamed Zhloba's 'Steel Division'. These forces were able to attack the White forces in the rear and defeat them, saving Tsaritsyn for the Bolsheviks.


For these and later actions in the city of Tsaritsyn region, the city was renamed Stalingrad in 1925 to honor Stalin and his actions.

The city was renamed in 1961 to Volgograd.


  • R. Overy, Why the Allies Won, London 1996

External links

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