STADTPLAN von STALINGRAD, City Map of Stalingrad,
Wehrmacht situational map dated 19 October .
Incredible WW2 document.
Measures 35 ¼" x 27 ¼ ". German units involved are
identified and their known positions as of that date are
marked in blue pencil. This map is impressive and the
quality of its printing is in keeping with other tactical
maps we have had, particularly those produced early in the
war. Not inclined to let valuable paper go to waste, the
cartography branch of the German army regularly printed new
maps on the blank reverses of earlier maps. In this case,
the reverse shows a major portion of an earlier map of the
region around the town of Rechitsa (west of Gomel,
Belorussia). The map details each of the units involved,
and their precise positions, including the Soviet front
lines marked in red, as far as German military intelligence
was aware. Of note are the various Panzer regiments
involved in street fighting for which they were not suited.
Some of the bitterest fighting of the entire battle has now
Excellent condition, showing only the normal folds
encountered on military situational maps. There are no
stains or significant tears.
Besides the terse, official reports of the field commanders,
maps such as this (plus larger, strategic maps of the
overall Stalingrad region that were prepared from it) were
the main views of the battle that Hitler and his commanders
studied on a daily basis. On the ground of course, things
were not so neat and tidy as the sweeping arrows seen here
would indicate. German General von Paulus, armed with
replacement troops, had renewed the German assault on
Stalingrad three days before, and the city itself had become
an inferno of close quarters armor and infantry fighting
under a nearly constant artillery barrage.
In the previous few days, the Germans had pretty much
completed the capture of the Tractor Factory and effectively
split the Soviet bridgehead in two. The day this map was
drawn up, they were still on the offensive. They had made
inroads into the Barrikady and Krasnyj Oktjabr (Red October)
factories, and pushed the remainder of the Soviet 62nd Army
to the very edge of the Volga. There was another major
effort under way by the 94th Infantry Division assisted by
elements of the 16th Panzer Division to the north, marked by
a blue arrow pointing toward Spartakowka.
Winter was seriously closing in, however, and the Wehrmacht
was losing momentum - a fact probably not immediately
apparent to the soldiers in the Red Army. It is worth
noting that two days earlier, on 17 October, the Soviet
Commander Gorokhov asked General Chuikov for permission to
abandon the west bank of the Volga for Sporny Island in the
middle of the river - and was told by Chuikov that he would
be treated as a deserter if he tried to leave the city.
With hindsight, what see here is not a German Army about to
seize victory but an army poised on the brink of disaster -
a disaster that would end any possibility of a Thousand Year
Reich. Considering Stalingrad was the point of no return
for the Third Reich, and the most costly battle in human
history, the historical significance and research potential
of this map is clear.