The Battle of Stalingrad Seen Through the German-censored Danish Press

Stalingrad’s fall imminent

On 9th of April 1940, Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Denmark and Norway. Denmark surrendered immediately and chose to cooperate with the Germans.

By virtue of family history, we have a unique insight into the German-controlled legal Danish press’s coverage of the battles at Stalingrad via newspaper clippings from Copenhagen dailies, which communist resistance fighters at the time collected and published illegally in the summer of 1943 in a publication entitled “2 aar”. The title, which translates to “2 Years”, refers to the first two years of the war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and this fine jubilee book of a total of 70 pages is printed on thick expensive watercolour paper, beautifully illustrated with several multi-coloured silkscreens. We plan to soon reissue the entire “2 aar” in both a Russian and English version.

We have selected here the pages about the battles at Stalingrad, and we show them in honour of the Soviet people and the fateful victory of the Red Army 80 years ago!

The significance of Stalingrad for the resistance in Denmark

The victory at Stalingrad was the military turning point of the Great Patriotic War, but it also marked the geopolitical turning point of the Second World War. The resistance movements in the occupied countries of Europe felt the Stalingrad effect.

In Denmark, the sabotage intensified in the first half of 1943 and the spread of the illegal press grew, circulation increased steadily.
The many from the political elite, from business, the financial world, the press and the social-democratic trade union bosses, all of whom had felt certain of German victory and had adjusted themselves comfortably thereafter, began to varying degrees to get cold feet and reassess their positions. The population oriented itself increasingly in the direction of the resistance, and in the summer of 1943, Danish workers carried out the first major People’s Strike, from which the strikers emerged victorious.
The government, which until then had subserviently collaborated with the German occupying power, was forced to resign on 29th of August 1943, and the Freedom Council, which had been founded in the autumn of 1943, assumed the character of the country’s actual and legitimate leadership. Little Denmark, the ‘canary in Hitler’s cage’ no longer had to be ashamed!

Conditions for the resistance fighters both became easier because the ‘water they swam in’ improved, but the Germans also introduced the death penalty for sabotage, and resistance fighters were from then on shot or sent to German penitentiaries and concentration camps.

Honour to whom honour is due!

Today, all the political collaborator-parties from that time brag about Denmark’s Freedom Struggle as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
We see various historians, ‘journalists’, opinion makers and so-called cultural and media personalities eagerly participating in the creation of the great propaganda projection, which seems quite to have replaced the historical reality, also in this area.

Not many of those who have today replaced the public space with their own idiocratic emotional vacuum care to remember that none of what saved Denmark’s honour and future in 1943 could have been achieved without the effort of the Danish communists. The very same patriots whom almost everyone today agrees deserve to be looked down upon as unworthy and suspicious.

In particular, no one wants to remember that the events in little Denmark in 1943 unfolded against the background of a much larger context of merciless struggle for survival and death and destruction, and that nothing that was achieved then would have been possible without the immense struggle of the peoples of the Soviet Union and without the extraordinary endurance of the Red Army and the unimaginable sacrifices with which the victory at Stalingrad was won!

Stalingrad viewed from a German perspective

The newspaper clippings we will show here span the period from 22nd of June 1942 to 18th of May 1943, i.e. almost the entire second year of the Great Patriotic War.

Initially, we get a brief introduction to the military situation on the southern front section and then a condensed version of statements about the Battle of Stalingrad. Then follow 8 pages with chronological clippings from 19th of September 1942 onwards. They describe the battles at Stalingrad in more detail, and also cover the situation on other front sections.

The perspective in the coverage is German, and practically exclusively Nazi sources are referenced, mainly official military and political sources, but also various correspondents and writers. Along the way, however, we see that an editor or two takes an interest in what Moscow Radio might have to say about the course of the war.

Nazi propaganda, then and now

It is striking to observe to what extent the German propaganda from that time resembles what we are witnessing today in the Western mainstream media in the coverage of the conflict in Ukraine and the geopolitical situation.

We encounter both the demonization of the Soviet Union and the denigration of the Red Army. At first we are overwhelmed by the Germans’ boasting certainty of victory and later by their many complaints and fanciful explanations. The Germans feel badly treated and taken by the nose by the uncivilized Bolshevik Russians, who both refuse to give up despite the Germans’ repeated proclamations of their destruction and who do not run out of weapons and soldiers, despite the Germans’ persistent predictions and assurances.

Of course we encounter our old friend General Winter, but also the more unknown General Space comes into play in the role of renegade and, on closer inspection, turns out to be a simple projection of Germany’s lack of ‘strategic depth’.
From the spring of 1943, the newspapers abound with planned front shortenings, well-prepared city evacuations, the establishment of impregnable hedgehog positions and other examples of the linguistic garnish with which the German military retreat from Stalingrad and the Caucasus is served.

The dream of world domination crumbles

Back then, however, it was not possible, as it would be today, for the Germans to completely hide the military facts. In the press coverage we see a growing recognition of the Soviet Union’s combat power – not without awe – and we see how the Nazis’ megalomaniacal notions of crushing the Soviet Union and becoming masters of the world crumbles and is replaced by complaints, doubts and worries for the future.

At this point in time the Blitzkrieg has long since been cancelled and we can now watch how the propaganda undergoes a metamorphosis from an offensive image of the Germans as unstoppable and invulnerable conquerors to an image of nobly bleeding, self-sacrificing defenders of ‘the blissful meadows of Europe’ against the invasive, uncivilized Asian hordes! Coping takes up more and more space; the Germans are increasingly preoccupied with speculation and are fantasizing about upcoming offensives and strategic victories. Did someone say deja vú..

As we humbly salute and with eternal gratitude bow to the brave defenders of Stalingrad, we wish everyone welcome to this little glimpse into the MSM of 1942-43.

– Love and greetings from Zoya & Stanislav


Each page can be enlarged by clicking on it.

22nd of June 1942.

– – – There seems to be no doubt that the Russians have succeeded in evacuating not only the industrial workers, but a large part of the industry in Ukraine to the Volga or Ural regions. From the competent German side, it has previously been mentioned that 10 million industrial workers, each, so to speak, with a machine part in his pocket, have been moved behind the Russian front. This figure was later disputed by the German side, but German correspondents, who describe life and work in the conquered Russian territories, emphasize precisely that the whole of Ukraine seems to be populated entirely by women.

– – – – –

7th of July 1942.

New Russian city has grown up in the east.

– – – – –

Aviograd(1), The City of Airplanes.

– – – – –

– – – it was announced last night that a new city, which can already be described as one of the largest in the Soviet Union, has grown up in the eastern part of Russia during the war. The city is called Aviograd – City of Airplanes – and it grew up around the Soviet Russian Aeroplan.

– – – – –

14th of August 1942.

Next German push goes in the direction of Astrakan(2).

The troops are not expected to face much resistance on the vast Kalmyk Steppe.

– – – – –

14th of July 1942.

– – – The optimism on the German side regarding the continued operations is strikingly high. In military circles, there is already talk of an imminent disaster for Timoshenko. His troops are said be in a chaotic situation. The enemy forces are repeatedly routed and surrounded, and their lines of retreat are sometimes completely blocked by rapid German manoeuvres.

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13th of August 1942

German special report on the annihilation of two Russian armies.

– – – – –

13th of August 1942.

– – – on the other hand, it is stated from German military side that the Russian resistance as well as the quality of the Russian material does not seem to be in any way diminished in striking power.

– – – – –


1) “Aviograd” that is reported in the Danish and German press, is the German code-name for Novosibirsk. The correct Russian spelling would have been “Aviagrad”. Here is what the Library of Siberian Local Knowledge has to say about it: “It is not surprising that aircraft factories, design bureaus, a branch of the Central Aviation Institute, and the rapid formation of a new defence centre as a whole attracted the attention of the German intelligence. In the documents of the Abwehr the concept of “Aviagrad” appeared. The fascists meant Novosibirsk by it…”

2) Astrahan was written as Astrakan in the Danish press, possibly due to the redundant ‘k’ in the ‘kh’ notation of the Russian ‘h’-sound, when some editor omitted the actual “h” thinking it was mute.

22nd of July 1942.

Timoshenko gathers all reserves in front of Rostov, the Caucasus and Stalingrad.

25th of August 1942.

The decisive battle for Stalingrad has begun, the German military says this evening, referring to the announcements of the German army report that German infantry and rapid troops have advanced across the Don and have penetrated strong Russian fortifications on the left bank of the river.

6th of September 1942.

– – – Stalingrad will fall after all, it is believed that this cannot last long, it is a matter of a few days.

10th of September 1942.

regarding the battles at Stalingrad, today the opinion is, that the fate of the city is being finalised slowly, but surely.

15th of September 1942.

From the military side in Berlin, it is declared today, that the fate of Stalingrad is sealed.

16th of September 1942.

– – – it is declared from the German military side that the High Command of the Armed Forces only announces the facts and never makes predictions. A prediction regarding the fall of Stalingrad has therefore never been made.

17th of September 1942.

The final battle for Stalingrad

Army-report of the victorious

– – – – –

– – – the victorious assault at Stalingrad by the German troops, superbly supported by the forces of the Air Force, gains further ground. –


30th of September 1942.

Stalingrad’s fall imminent

– – – in the usually well-informed German circles, on Tuesday afternoon, on the basis of the High Command’s latest report from Stalingrad, they now definitively count on the Volga-city’s impending fall.

19th of October 1942.

Battle for the Russians’ last position in Stalingrad’s iron and steel mills “Red October”.

25th of November 1942.

– – – it is admitted, however, that the offensive at Stalingrad is conducted with strong forces and that the defensive battles are fierce.

18th of November 1942.

The Battle of Stalingrad
is considered over –
following Hitler’s statements.

10th of December 1942.

– – – the Russian activity is heaviest in the section north of Stalingrad, where the Russians attack at seven different locations, but are still repulsed. It is in itself illogical that the Russians halt their attack on Stalingrad south of the city and continue north, but, as stated in the military circles, it looks as if the Russian major offensive has lost its breath altogether.

4th of February 1943.

– – – Führer Headquarters announces:

The battle for Stalingrad is over


19th of September 1942.

Objectives of the German Offensive

– – – – –

– – – The goal of the German summer offensive was today summarized as follows: The intention was to conquer the entire Don-region, the so-called black soil, and thus the rest of Ukraine. Furthermore, the Russians would be deprived of the raw material supplies in the areas between Kharkov and Stalingrad and south of the Don, so that the Bolshevik armaments could thereby be dealt a tangible blow. Finally, the Caucasus region would be cut off from the rest of the Soviet area, especially with the oil in mind. With the fall of Stalingrad, the latter task is considered to be essentially solved.

– – – – –

21st of September 1942

– – – It is not known to what extent, while in peacetime, the Russians succeeded in carrying out the second five-year plan’s forward-looking relocation of heavy industry from west to east; it is not known what stocks of raw materials and foodstuffs the Soviet Union possesses; it is not known to what extent the plans to turn Kazakhstan behind the Ural mountain range into a new Ukraine have been realized, partly before the war, partly after the conquest of Ukraine; it is not known whether it they succeeded in developing a traffic network east of the Volga, what capacity the traffic east and north of the Caspian Sea and in Siberia has reached, or how rich the ore beds are in the Urals.

22nd of September 1942.

– – – On the occasion of some announcements sent out from the British side, which could give the appearance that a turning point in the battle in favour of the Russians was about to occur, it is stated from the German military side that if there at the moment should be any talk of some turning point, then it is surely a turning point in favour of the Germans.

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2nd of October 1942.

The newspapers today are completely dominated by the People’s Assembly and Hitler’s speech(1); we quote the following full-page headlines: “No one can wrestle the victory from us” – “The Führer: Victory is ours, The price of victory is the real People’s State”. “This year’s goal to the east: The opponent must be cut off from wheat, coal, oil, Volga-traffic. – Towards a glorious victory”. “The Führer: – No bourgeois state will survive this war.”

– – – – –


1) The quotes are from the speech given in the Sportpalast Berlin on the 30th of September 1942.

2nd of October 1942.

– – – on the German side, it has been clear for over a year that the Soviet Union’s will to resist did not allow itself to be paralyzed by a series of the hardest defeats, but that it will continue the war as long as it is in possession of soldiers and material. On the other hand, it has caused astonishment that, after the loss of the main armament centers, the Soviets were still able to produce airplanes, armored cars, and weapons in such quantity that the Russian deployment of equipment at certain areas of the front exceeded what had been seen so far.

– – – – –

2nd of October 1942.

In Berlin today there has been lively interest in an announcement, according to which 100 British and American tanks are to have been deployed against the Germans in the northern part of Stalingrad in relief attacks carried out by the Russians. The German reports state that 65 of these tanks were destroyed in close combat and 35 at longer range. – These messages, which testify to the Allied aid to Russia, are interpreted in Berlin as proof not only of the superiority of German weapons, but also of the Russian lack of material.

– – – – –

20th of October 1942.

Deliveries of winter equipment to the German troops, which have been in progress since the middle of September, are now essentially completed, so that the German armies on the Eastern Front are this time secured against all surprises.

– – – – –

15th of November 1942.

A lot has changed since last year

– – – From the military side, the view is expressed that the winter will soon bring the operations to a halt, and an interesting comparison is made with the situation at the same time last year, when the winter stopped the fighting. At that time, the German High Command was surprised by an unusually hard winter, which set in earlier than expected, while the German offensive movements were still in full development on almost all front sections. When the Russians launched their winter offensive at the same time, the German armies were set into a difficult position.

– – – – –


25th of November 1942.

– – – by an enormous concentration of men and material, the Russians have succeeded in a few places in breaking through the German defense lines, and some of their tanks are still driving around behind the lines. However, it is emphasized that it will be possible at any time for an enemy who puts such great effort into it to break through a sufficiently strong defensive line.

– – – – –

25th of November 1942.

– – – this attack, the aim of which is to break through the German defensive front and cut off the two main railway lines which lead into Stalingrad from the west and respectively from Kalach and Abganarovo, and then, if possible, to enclose the German forces which, in the Stalingrad zone, are holding their “Choking grip on the Volga connection”, is advanced by a total of 3 Russian armies. The attacking forces, according to Moscow Radio, are set up at night under cover of long-range artillery fire. After the operations in the adversary’s minefields, the break-in followed, and now the battles are predominantly defined by the armoured vehicle clashes.

– – – – –

29th of November 1942.

– – – on the German side, they do not at all hide the fact that they expect a fierce and embittered Russian combat activity during the winter. The Eastern Front will, as the SS magazine “Das schwarze Korps” writes, certainly become the scene of very tough battles in the coming months, and from the military side it is pointed out again that the Russians have indeed shown to be in possession of terrifying amounts of military equipment.

– – – – –

7th of December 1942.

– – – The “Essener Nationalzeitung” depicts today the life of the German troops during the terrible cold on the Moscow Front. The soldiers dig deep holes in the frost-hardened ground, drive the armoured vehicles over the holes as a kind of roof and then light small fires in the holes in the ground, the motor vehicles are well equipped with snow chains, radiator hoods, heating plates and antifreeze coolant, but several times during the night the drivers still have to climb out of the holes and start the engines so they can be warm for the morning’s operations. In this way, the correspondent writes, it has been possible to continue to carry out the attacks.
The correspondence is of course a few days old, and at the time it was written it was “only” 25 degrees below zero. Now it seems as if the last 10 degrees of frost have at least temporarily proved stronger than the drivers’ ingenuity.

– – – – –


3rd of December 1942.

– – – The situation as a whole does not seem to have changed significantly since yesterday. It is declared in Berlin that the offensives around and in Stalingrad and in the great Don arc have been brought to a standstill, and that the initiative is increasingly passing into German hands.

– – – – –

5th of December 1942.

– – – even at Stalingrad, the German Army report in the last days no longer speaks of offensive undertakings, but of “Fending off Russian counter-attacks and thrusts”.

– – – – –

6th of December 1942.

According to the German view, the Russians will not reach Rostov. In the previous offensives, the Russians have only managed to advance a maximum of 80 km on a width of 60 km.

– – – – –

9th of December 1942.

German tactics of silence before taking precautions against the Russian offensives.

– – – – –

11th of December 1942.

– – – how does the War-leadership of the Soviet Union manage to stamp so much materiel on its feet at a time when, for example, Stalingrad, which was once generally considered to be a centre of the tank industry, for over 1/3 of a year has been put out of action?

– – – – –

21st of December 1942.

– – – it is also emphasized that the Russian winter has caused difficulties in connection with the accommodation of the German troops in Russia. These difficulties exceed the problems that have had to be solved in the occupied areas of Western Europe and the Balkans, since the Russians have, to the greatest extent possible, razed the territories that the Germans have conquered.

– – – – –


4th of January 1943.

– – – in a German depiction from the Russian front, it is declared, among other things, that the Germans certainly do not have the same attitude or the same methods as the Russians, but that Bolshevik military leaders are capable of constantly introducing new tactical methods, of instinctively adapting to new situations, of course without rules, but very effectively, to take advantage of significant happenstances.
    Their tanks have metre-wide tracks now this winter and a damn wide “chest” says the German author. They have good skiers for long distances and their speciality is everywhere, even through the deepest snow, “to drag grenade launchers with them”. Their aviators with the red star fly in curves and dart about like devils, and when at last they are set on fire, they throw themselves with their last strength into the German supply road.

17th of January 1943.

– – – the German leadership decided to tap into the strategy of leaving large garrisons in hedgehog positions as far as possible and thus enabling German counter-attacks in the enemy’s flank and rear or against his lines of communication, plus they can possibly become significant starting bases for new German operations in the spring.

25th of January 1943.

Any tendency to underestimate the Russians has now completely disappeared from the German press – it is recognized that the war is now being waged “between the powers of approximately equal strength”.

29th of January 1943.

– – – after the withdrawal from Voronezh itself, the Germans thus seem, according to the military information, to continue their withdrawal with the aim of reaching a so-called “Shortened line”, which has apparently been prepared behind the troops.

6th of February 1943.

The old Winter-line and its advantages.

– – – – –

In the Voronezh sector, the Russians have again extended the front in a northern direction. Thus, the front approaches the locations that are still remembered from last year’s winter war and the then German “Winter-line”, to which the German armies fell back when the cold aborted the attack on Moscow.
   West of Voronezh, the Russians have succeeded in penetrating the German ranks, it is further stated from the military side in Berlin, but the Germans are still masters of the situation, all the more so as they have an ally in the meter-high snow.


13th of February 1943.

– – – and that the Russians have 4 – 5 million men at their disposal on the Southern Front, all of whom have the natural innate prerequisites for waging winter war.

15th of February 1943.

– – – it is announced from the German side that Rostov and Voroshilovgrad have been evacuated by the German troops. The evacuation is said to have taken place within the framework of the major shortening of the southern section of the Eastern Front, which has been under development since the fall of Stalingrad.

16th of February 1943.

– – – on the one hand, completely new forces have also been deployed, which have not previously been in the line of fire, their equipment is still impeccable, and the tanks, which in the last days have rolled forward in still undiminished numbers towards the German positions, are brand new, freshly delivered from the Russian weapons-smithies, whose capacity seems quite surprising.

17th of February 1943.

– – – from the German side, it is claimed here that the Germans are exploiting the size of the Russian space as a weapon against the Russians. Until now, they have referred to “General Space” as Russia’s ally. But that is not the case at all, the German side now says.

24th of February 1943.

Germany calculates Russian losses at 18.2 million men.

25th of February 1943.

– – – What has happened is, it is said, that as a result of the still continuing “Front-shortening” the German resistance has become more concentrated and therefore stronger and can show more positive results. The planned movements in a westerly direction in the Donets basin continue.


20th of February 1943.

– – – However, in this connection it is also pointed out that it is not certain that the impending labour mobilization will necessarily lead to a renewed immigration to Germany of foreign workers. On the contrary, there now seems to be an increasing tendency to employ as many foreign workers as possible in the execution of armour orders which are assigned to factories and companies in their own respective countries.

26th of February 1943.

From the German military side, the offensive thrusts that the Russians have launched in the last day on all sections of the Eastern Front are described as the absolute utmost effort by the Soviet Union to try to force a decision this winter.


– – – Such losses, it is said tonight from the German military side, a nation cannot bear at all. There is therefore every reason to believe that, militarily, the Soviet Union must be close to exhaustion, and these are the last efforts of strength that are being experienced on the Eastern Front these days.

6th of April 1943.

The mud-period over –
the offensive can commence

20th of April 1943.

– – – In the magazine “Das schwarze Korps” some considerations are made about the defensive strategy and it is opinioned that people in general are inclined to believe that the initiative must lie with the attacker. This seemingly understandable view, according to the magazine, often leads to notions that the defender has absolutely no opportunity to claim victory, but these views are, it is explained, completely “erroneous and populistic”. The fact that one party is forced into the defensive is, it is said, not always proof that it will be the defender who loses the war, and just as little is the offensive strategy proof of overwhelming strength.


12th of May 1943.

– – – One could e.g. imagine the possibility of a German summer offensive directed at Vologda. If the Germans succeed in carrying out this operation, essentially the entire Finnish-Russian military problem would be cleared out of the way with one blow, since the Finnish front – except for its very northern section – would thereby disappear.
   Based on such a theory, the bombardment of Leningrad can perhaps be seen as the prelude to the German summer offensive.

– – – – –

13th of May 1943.

” An almost clearly pronounced lack of camaraderie in everyday life “, writes a German newspaper.

– – – – –

13th of May 1943.

Russian superiority in the air

  Quite surprisingly, this evening comes the announcement that the Red Air Force is currently claiming considerable superiority over the entire Kuban section, and under these circumstances, the prospects for a successful completion of the otherwise very dangerous landing operation in the lagoon area of the Sea of Azov must naturally be significantly greater than one has so far been able to assume.

– – – – –

17th of May 1943.

– – – However, one must disregard a number of areas to the east, it is said, – in Ukraine, the grain comes up late.

– – – – –

18th of May 1943.

– – – No one knows when the war will end, no one knows whether the burdens we carry on our shoulders today will perhaps become even heavier, but one thing we know: Victory does not go to the one who possesses the most external aids.

– – – – –


As it is sung in the “Sacred War” – the anthem of The Great Patriotic war – “For the dregs of humanity, we’ll make a solid coffin!”