The Battle of Stalingrad mini-exhibition published on the 80th anniversary tried to maintain a human angle on the monumental stand-off. Only the human Toll video makes a mention of the numbers. This article is somewhat different in this regard. Here we will take a look at a few pages from the “Journal of combat operations of the Front troops” pertaining to the Battle of Stalingrad.
Such journals were logged in accordance with the military regulations and recorded which units and troops performed which tasks on any particular day; where the units were moved; which losses they suffered; what victory trophies they gained. The journals would sometimes include copies of relevant orders and documents.
All materials from WWII were declassified by Russia several years ago and can be found on the site of People’s Memory. The journal that interests us holds the records from the 1st of January to the 5th of February 1943, over a span of 310 pages. It was logged by the Don Front, and is now archived in Fund 206, File 262, Case 189.
Even such a dry document, logged by scribes, contains glimpses into the emotions and the contemporary realisation of the historical significance of the unfolding event. Let us first take a look at the preface – the very first pages of the journal.
Each page can be enlarged by clicking on it.