The battle of Stalingrad – 200 days of fire!

February 2nd this year marked to 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Fascism at the Battle of Stalingrad.

Harpal Brar, chairman of the CPGB-ML, delivered this outstanding presentation on the military and political significance of the Battle of Stalingrad, on the 70th Anniversary of the Great Soviet victory in that titanic struggle against the marauding Nazi Fascist Armies.

The video has just become available, and we share it with you in this post for the first time.

Stalingrad was the decisive blow that shattered the myth of German, and arguably – for the Germans at least – ‘aryan’ invincibility. Stalingrad was the battle that turned the tide of WW2. Field Marshall Paulus, 26 other generals, 2,500 officers and 300,000 men were captured or killed as the German 6th army was surrounded, harassed and finally capitulated, its morale in ruins.

As well as giving a detailed background and the course of the key events of the battle, Harpal picks out 5 themes that led to the victory of the Soviet forces in WW2, liberated the earth from Nazi imperialism, and changed the shape of our world today.

1. Elimination of the 5th column: Unlike Vichy france, the Moscow trials and the trial of the military block had dealt with the military and political forces that would have turned Russia over to the Fascist forces.

2. Socialism – Economic construction: The tremendous pace of industrialisation in the decade preceding the German invasion of the USSR (Operation Barbarossa), and the intensified tempo of war industry after that time, along with its shift to the east, deep behind the Ural mountains and beyond the reach of the Nazi forces, was a key factor in training the Soviet people in the use of modern machinery as well as the building of adequately equipped and modern Nation and Red Army capable of scoring these monumental victories.

“We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this lag in ten years. Either we do it, or they crush us” — so Stalin had spoken exactly ten years before Hitler set out to conquer Russia. His words, when they were recalled now, could not but impress people as a prophesy brilliantly fulfilled as a most timely call to action. And, indeed a few years’ delay in the modernisation of Russia might have made all the difference between victory and defeat. ” (Deutscher, Ibid. p. 535).

3. The USSR: had replaced the fratricidal strife and oppression that characterised Czarist Russia as a’prison of nations’ with real internationalism, fraternal cooperation between brotherly nations which had built their new socialist paradise together, and fought so valiantly and heroically together to defend it. Some 27,000,000 Soviet citizens gave their lives to defeat Fascism.

4. Communism, and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik): Gave outstanding leadership to the anti-fascist struggle. Members of the Communist Party, trained in the politics and spirit of Marxism-Leninism, always stood in the front ranks, leading by example,and making the greatest sacrifices. The CPSU(B), led by Joseph Stalin, was the key to the unwavering and unflinching morale of the courageous Russian and Soviet people

5. The leadership of Stalin himself, who worked tirelessly and courageously, never loosing faith in the masses, in the Soviet people, in communism and in the possibility of victory, even when the enemy were at the gates of Moscow.

Sleeping only 4-5 hours a day, he viewed the war from the point of view of logistics; building up strategic reserves, transporting them to the key points and concentrating Red army forces at decisive moments, leading to such outstanding military victories as Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin, withstanding the onslaught, turning the tide and finally crushing the fascist hordes, raising the red flag over the Reichstag, while the Fuhrer, cowering in his bunker, and unable to face the enormity of his crimes, took his own life by swallowing cyanide.

The victory of the Red army at Stalingrad, and of the Soviet Union over Fascist imperialism in WW2, is an episode in the history of communism, and our world, that all progressive humanity can and do take pride in.

Long live the memory of Stalingrad! Long live people’s victory over the dark forces of reaction and imperialism!

Henry Metelmann gave a presentation to the Stalin Society in 2003 at which he gave his personal recollections:

http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/may2003/metel.html

And a he can be watched in the video “through hell for hitler” here:

A book review of Antony Beever’s book on Stalingrad can be read here:

http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/jul2005/beevorreview.php

60th anniversary of the defeat of Fascism (pamphlet):
http://www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=books&subName=display&bookId=9

Full text here:
http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/may2005/victory.php

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