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  главная / The Stalingrad battle


The heroic city of Volgograd stands on the bank of the Great Russian River Volga. It was founded in 1589 as the fortress of Tsaritsyn. In 1925 the city got the name of Stalingrad.

One of the decisive battles of World War II (the Great Patriotic War as it was called in Russia) took place there. The battle lasted from August 21, 1942 to February 2, 1943. The German armies planned to capture Stalingrad. As a major industrial centre, Stalingrad was a very important prize for the fascists. 200 days and nights the bitter fighting went on. Stalingrad defenders fought for each street, for each house, for each floor of the house.

During the Stalingrad battle a German army group of 300,000 men was annihilated. Official Russian military historians estimate that 1,100,000 Soviet soldiers lost their lives in the campaign to defend the city. The city was completely ruined but after the war it was totally rebuilt. On the Mamayev Hill, the scene of the fiercest fighting, there is a monument commemorating the Soviet soldiers who perished there. The Stalingrad Battle Panorama Museum was also opened in the city. It shows the most important and heroic events of the battle of Stalingrad.

For the heroism shown during the battle, Stalingrad was awarded the title of Hero City in 1945, and King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the citizens of Stalingrad a jewelled sword in appreciation of the bravery that they had shown. A memorial complex commemorating the battle, dominated by an immense allegorical sculpture of Mother Russia, was erected on the Mamayev Kurgan, a hill that saw some of the most intense fighting during the battle. A number of cities around the world (especially ones that had suffered particularly badly during the war) established sister/friendship links with the city of Volgograd. Coventry, Cleveland and Hiroshima are among them.

In 1961 the city got its present name of Volgograd. Now it's a big beautiful city with the population of more than 1 million people. It is a great industrial centre. The main industries are: mechanical engineering, metallurgy, ferrous metal and non-ferrous metal industry, chemical, oil chemical industry, woodworking and food industries. It is a big transportation centre, too. There are electric trains, metro, trams, buses, trolley-buses and a lot of taxis in the city. It is also a great port. Soon after the war, in 1952 the Volga-Don Ship Canal was opened which made the city the port of five seas. Volgograd is a great cultural and educational centre. There are quite a number of colleges, institutes and universities in the city. In 1980 Volgograd State University was opened. There are many theatres in Volgograd: the New Experimental Theatre, the Puppet Theatre, the Theatre for Young Spectators, the Musical Theatre, the Central Concert Hall, the Circus. There are also a number of museums in the city.

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