The silence that fell on 2 February in the ruined city felt eerie for those who had been used to destruction as a natural state. Grossman described mounds of rubble and bomb craters so deep that the low angled winter sunlight never seemed to reach the bottom, and 'railway tracks, where tanker wagons lie belly up, like dead horses.' Some 3,500 civilians were put to work as burial parties. They stacked frozen German corpses like piles of timber at the roadside, and although they had a few carts drawn by camels, most of the removal work was accomplished with improvised sleds and handcarts. The German dead were taken to bunkers, or the huge anti-tank ditch, dug the previous summer, and tipped in. Later, 1,200 German prisoners were put to work on the same task, using carts, with humans instead of horses pulling them. 'Almost all members of these work parties,' reported a prisoner of war, 'soon died of typhus.' Others, 'dozens each day' according to an NKVD officer in Beketovka camp - were shot on the way to work by their escorts. The grisly evidence of the fighting did not disappear swiftly. After the Volga thawed in spring, lumps of coagulated blackened skin were found on the river bank. General de Gaulle, when he stopped in his Stalingrad on his way north to Moscow in December 1944, was struck to find that bodies were still being dug up, but this was to continue for several decades. Almost any building work in the city uncovered human remains from the battle. More astonishing th
StalingradList of Illustrations and Maps
Part One. 'The World Will Hold Its Breath'
1. The Double-Edged Sword of Barbarossa
2. 'Nothing is Impossible for the German Soldier!'
3. 'Smash in the Door and the Whole Rotten Structure Will Come Crashing Down!'
4. Hitler's Hubris: The Delayed Battle for Moscow
Part Two. Barbarossa Relaunched
5. General Paulus's First Battle
6. 'How Much Land Does a Man Need?'
7. 'Not One Step Backwards'
8. 'The Volga is Reached!'
Part Three. 'The Fateful City'
9. 'Time is Blood': The September Battles
11. Traitors and Allies
12. Fortresses of Rubble and Iron
13. Paulus's Final Assault
14. 'All For the Front!'
Part Four. Zhukov's Trap
15. Operation Uranus
16. Hitler's Obsession
17. 'The Fortress Without a Roof'
18. 'Der Manstein Kommit!'
19. 'Christmas in the German Way'
Part Five. The Subjugation of the Sixth Army
20. The Air-Bridge
21. 'Surrender Out of the Question'
22. 'A German Field Marshall Does Not Commit Suicide with a Pair of Nail Scissors!'
23. 'Stop Dancing! Stalingrad Has Fallen'
24. The City of the Dead
25. The Sword of Stalingrad
Appendix A: German and Soviet Orders of Battle, 19 November 1942
Appendix B: The Statistical Debate: Sixth Army Strength in the Kessel