The stalingrad grain elevator.

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Jones
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The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by Jones » 25 Aug 2007 13:42

Hello everyone.

Ive been looking for info about the battle inside and around the grain elevator.
Furthermore i would like some descriptions or pictures on how the inside of the building looked like.

Ive been googling for a while but havent been able to find any detailed pictures, nor interior pictures. Just the usual shots from afar.

Hope someone can help.

Cheers :)
Jonas
Last edited by Jones on 27 Aug 2007 23:34, edited 1 time in total.

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doogal
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Post by doogal » 27 Aug 2007 16:06

Look in alan clarks Barbarossa although no pictures there are some very good first hand accounts by russian soldiers, inc, a captured sea marine, who got to the elevator in the middle of the battle and was part of the final attempt to escape.
Also some good first hand accounts by german soldiers.

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Jones
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Post by Jones » 27 Aug 2007 23:34

Thank you mate. I will check it out.

Cheers

Jonas

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Kunikov
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Post by Kunikov » 28 Aug 2007 03:52

I think Craig's "Enemy at the Gates" has some info on that, the recently released "Stalingrad" by Michael K. Jones might have what you're looking for as well.

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Jones
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Post by Jones » 29 Aug 2007 14:49

No one knows any sites, german or english dedicated to this small but yet facinating battle? :)

bethpage89
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by bethpage89 » 10 Feb 2013 23:29

There's a video on YouTube showing some of the inside. "First Brit Inside the Stalingrad Grain Elevator....."

will_b
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by will_b » 11 Feb 2013 04:18

I forget where I learnt this information, some I believe was from Antony Beevors 'Stalingrad' and some from a story I read by one of the defenders.

The Elevator was defended by around 50 Russians from a penal unit. There was little water and ammunition, and the air was thick with dust as the Germans were firing at the walls with tanks and anti-tank guns. The Germans sent someone (of somewhat importance) along with a Panzer towards the tower to discuss the Russians surrender. A Russian went out to them, the Germans told them if they did not surrender or leave the building they would 'Bomb them into extinction'. The Russian said no, and that he couldn't leave with his Tank. As the Tank started to back away it was hit by a volley of Anti-Tank rifle fire. I'm not sure if they left it or not.

This Russian also talked about the fighting on the lower levels. He spoke about how there was so much smoke and dust around that your could not see your enemy. I think I recall him saying they could 'sense' and hear the Germans breathing. They then decided to leave the Grain Elevator at night, and after crossing closer to the Russian lines they were captured.

I can't say much about how valid his account is, but it was an interesting read, I'll try find where I read it.

You can see some of the combat around the elevator in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLZDl ... ge#t=3794s

I have marked the time it starts

will_b
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by will_b » 11 Feb 2013 04:28

Here we go I found it, boy my memory surprises me sometimes!

http://weaponsandwarfare.com/?p=1704
While the German drive into central Stalingrad was being halted, Chuikov asked an aide, “What’s the situation like on the left wing of the southern city?” In fact, that situation could hardly have been worse. Only one Soviet defensive line remained unbroken, and it was anchored to the huge grain elevator, still filled with wheat. By September 16, a vicious fire fight centered around the elevator.

A German soldier named Wilhelm Hoffmann later wrote, “Our battalion, plus tanks, is attacking the elevator, from which smoke is pouring-the grain in it is burning, the Russians seem to have set light to it themselves. The battalion is suffering heavy losses. There are not more than 60 men left in each company.”

Two days later, Hoffmann noted: “Fighting is going on inside the elevator. The Russians inside are condemned men. The battalion commander says, ‘The commissars have ordered those men to die in the elevator.’ If all the buildings of Stalingrad are defended like this, then none of our soldiers will get back to Germany.”

September 20: “The battle for the elevator is still going on. The Russians are firing on all sides. We stay in our cellar; you can’t go out into the street. Sergeant Major Nuschke was killed today running across a street. Poor fellow, he’s got three children.”

September 22: “Russian resistance in the elevator has been broken. Our troops are advancing toward the Volga. We found about 40 Russians dead in the elevator building. Half of them were wearing naval uniforms-sea devils. One prisoner was captured, seriously wounded, who can’t speak, or is shamming.”
Remarkably, that one prisoner, Andrei Khozyainov, who was a member of a marine infantry brigade, survived to tell the Russian side of the battle for the grain elevator.

“I was called to the battalion command post,” he wrote, “and given the order to take a platoon of machine gunners to the grain elevator and, together with the men already in action there, to hold it come what may. At dawn a German tank carrying a white flag approached from the south. We wondered what could have happened. Two men emerged from the tank, a Nazi officer and an interpreter. Through the interpreter the officer tried to persuade us to surrender to the ‘heroic German army,’ as defense was useless and we would not be able to hold our position any longer. ‘Better to surrender the elevator,’ affirmed the German officer. ‘If you refuse you will be dealt with without mercy. In an hour’s time we will bomb you out of existence.’

“‘What impudence,’ we thought, and gave the Nazi lieutenant a brief answer: ‘Tell all your Nazis to go to hell!’”
Throughout that day, the beleaguered Russians managed to beat back the German attacks, but conditions inside the grain elevator were becoming worse. Khozyainov recalled, “The grain was on fire, the cooling water in the machine guns evaporated, the wounded were thirsty, but there was no water nearby.”

On September 20, a dozen German tanks shelled the elevator. “The explosions were shattering the concrete; the grain was in flames. We could not see one another for dust and smoke, but we cheered one another with shouts. German submachine gunners appeared from behind the tanks. There were about 150 to 200 of them.

They attacked very cautiously, throwing grenades in front of them. We were able to catch some of the grenades and throw them back. On the west side of the elevator the Germans managed to enter the building, but we immediately turned our guns on the parts they had occupied. Fighting flared up inside the building. We sensed and heard the enemy soldiers’ breath and footsteps, but we could not see them in the smoke. We fired at sounds.”

At last the Russians realized they could not hold their position much longer. On the night before the elevator fell Khozyainov and others attempted to break out-and stumbled onto an enemy mortar battery. “We overturned the three mortars and a truckload of bombs,” said Khozyainov . “The Germans scattered, leaving behind seven dead, abandoning not only their weapons, but their bread and water. And we were fainting with thirst. ‘Something to drink! Something to drink!’ was all we could think about. We drank our fill in the darkness. We then ate the bread we had captured from the Germans and went on. But alas, what then happened to my comrades I don’t know, because the next thing I remember was opening my eyes on September 25 or 26. I was in a dark, damp cellar, feeling as though I were covered with some kind of oil. I had no tunic on and no shoe on my right foot. My hands and legs would not obey me at all; my head was singing.

“A door opened, and in the bright sunlight I could see a submachine gunner in a black uniform. I had fallen into the hands of the enemy.” The Russian defense of the elevator had blunted the Fourth Panzer Army’s drive in the south. But on September 27, the fighting flared up again in central Stalingrad. Assorted German infantry units of the Sixth Army drove to the top of Mamayev Hill, and the battered defenders-including 2,000 Siberian reinforcements of the 284th Rifle Division- were forced to retreat and dig in on the northeastern slope.

Meanwhile, Paulus renewed his offensive in the northern industrial area. After a Stuka bombardment, German units stormed across a Russian minefield, taking heavy casualties but advancing about 2,000 yards. “One more such day,” Chuikov later remarked, “and we would have been thrown into the Volga.”

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John Hilly
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by John Hilly » 11 Feb 2013 13:13

Thanks for the story Will!

Greets, J-P :milsmile:
"Die Blechtrommel trommelt noch!"

will_b
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by will_b » 11 Feb 2013 23:12

No problem

I still have interest in what happened with the Elevator from there. From images we have seen it was very badly damaged, but I have not read anything after its capture. Surely the Germans could use this excellent high vantage point for a number of uses, recon, looking for targets for artillery ect. And then what of re-capture by the Russians? Was it defended by the Germans?

If anyone has any information about what happened after its initial capture by the Germans It would be most appreciated.

Cheers

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Russ Schulke
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by Russ Schulke » 14 Feb 2013 17:47

No penal units fighting in the GE!
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Pictures from the "Straw Dogs" movie Set. GE 1/285 model.
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http://members.boardhost.com/stalingrad ... 75009.html

Russ

http://www.fireonthevolga.com

will_b
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by will_b » 14 Feb 2013 18:52

Ah yes there is indeed no mention of any Penal unit in Beevors book, Not sure where I got that from!

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igor_verh
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by igor_verh » 15 Feb 2013 18:47

Before the war, the elevator was the tallest building at that area. It was built in 1940.
From elevator was a good view on central and south parts of Staingrad, it was a good point for
gun-layers, snipers and machine-gunners.
September 14, 1942 the Nazis came to the area of ​​the elevator.Here they were met by soviet units of the 35th Guards and the 131st Division and other units of the 62nd Army. Heavy fighting began. September 18 to the elevator arrived 92nd Separate Rifle Brigade, consisting of the Northern Navy sailors. In continuous counter-attacks, melee and fiery duels sailors completely liberated the coastal zone from the Tsaritcina River to the Cannery, burst into the streets KIM, the Raboche-Krestyanskaya, Barricadnaya, Kozlovskya, and some groups engaged in battle with the germans at the train station Stalingrad-II. However, the forces were too unequal. Nazis injected in fight more and more units.
September 19th, they are surrounded the elevator and with a support of 7 tanks twice gone in attack. But 45 Soviet soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Polyakov and politruk Mikhailov began a counterattack and pushed germans to their original positions.
September 21 Nazis undertook offensive. With 16 tanks, the Germans opened heavy fire at the windows of the elevator. At that day soviet soldiers repelled seven attacks. Nazis, not having succeeded in this battle, retreated.
But at September 22 situation in the elevator deteriorated. Ammunition and food finished, many soviet soldiers in the elevator had been killed or wounded. Several hours garrison continued to fight hard, then at night left their positions. Germans captured an elevator.
At 24-25 January 1943 soviet troops of 154th Naval Rifle Brigade attacked the elevator's area and took it back.
From: http://www.miroznai.ru/Trip/Pages/ShowS ... emplId=132
Some photos of Stalingrad at February-March 1943:
http://www.stena.ee/blog/film_online/st ... videokadry
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will_b
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by will_b » 15 Feb 2013 22:33

Thank you for that information!

bethpage89
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Re: The stalingrad grain elevator.

Post by bethpage89 » 28 May 2013 18:18

An October 1942 German newsreel (635) showed a picture of the inside of the grain elevator building.

Look on YouTube at "Battle for Stalingrad Nov 1942"--about 3:54 in the video.

Mark

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