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Stalingrad, a Soviet city and industrial centre on the river Volga, was bombed heavily by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II.

The raids

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0130-0050-004, Russland, Kesselschlacht Stalingrad.jpg

The aftermath of the bombing raid

At 3:18 pm on 23 August 1942 marked the initial bombing and the beginning of the battle for Stalingrad itself. The advance of the Axis troops was well known, but Stalin resisted the evacuation of civilians, in part due to the importance of the city's factories to the war effort. The virtually unopposed German bombers began bombing the city. The Heinkel 111 aircraft each carrying approximately 4400 lbs (2000 kg) of bombs attacked. The extensive bombing caused numerous fires. In the first few hours of bombing, the headquarters of the city's air defences were bombed. Stalingrad was bombed block-by-block for five days. Many civilians, including women and children were killed in the bombing. The civilians that survived were involved in preparing the defense of Stalingrad.

The defences

There were about 1,000 German bombers, involved in the initial attacks.[citation needed] Only 90 were shot down by the inadequate, yet determined Soviet fighters and 30 were hit by Anti-aircraft fire.


40,000 people were killed, and the city was destroyed. However, the rubble caused by the bombing hampered the progress of the German tanks.

Over the course of the battle, the Germans flew 70,000 sorties dropping over a million bombs.[citation needed]

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