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     Home > GERMAN MILITARIA > WWII German Art, Maps, Photos, Leaflets & Posters

    STADTPLAN von STALINGRAD, City Map of Stalingrad, Wehrmacht situational map dated 19 October [1942].

    STADTPLAN von STALINGRAD, City Map of Stalingrad, Wehrmacht situational map dated 19 October [1942]. Incredible WW2 document.

    Measures 35 " x 27 ". 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 begun.

    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.


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