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Pavlov’s House – “Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943” – Antony Beevor

February 29th, 2012 · No Comments · Criticism, Humour, War, WW2

During the huge battles for the northern industrial sector of the city, house-fighting, with local attacks and counter-attacks, had continued in the central districts. One of the most famous episodes fo the Stalingrad battle was the defence of ‘Pavlov’s House’, which lasted for fifty-eight days.

At the end of September, a platoon from the 42nd Guards Regiment had seized a four-story building overlooking a square, some 300 yards in from the top of the river bank. Their commander, Lieutenant Afanasev, was blinded early in the fighting, so Sergeant Jakob Pavlov took over command. They discovered several civilians in the basement who stayed on throughout the fighting. One of them, Mariya Ulyanova, took an active part in the defence. Pavlov’s men smashed through cellar walls, to improve their communications, and cut holes in the walls, to make better firing points for their machine-guns and long-barrelled anti-tank rifles. Whenever panzers approached, Pavlov’s men scattered, either to the cellar or to the top floor, from where they were able to engage them at close range. The panzer crews could not elevate their main armament sufficiently to fire back. Chuikov later liked to make the point that Pavlov’s men killed more enemy soldiers than the Germans lost in the capture of Paris.

One of the better sledges on French Military prowess…

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