Victory on the Volga
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The Soviet victory over the Germans at Stalingrad was decisive for the war on the Eastern Front and for the Second World War as a whole, and the story of the long, bitter battle on the banks of the Volga has fascinated historians ever since. While it has been the subject of countless histories, memoirs and eyewitness accounts, the gruelling reality of the battle on the ground, in the shattered streets and buildings of the city, has rarely been recorded photographically. And this is the great strength of Nik Cornish's selection of unforgettable images. He documents every aspect of the fighting - the dreadful conditions endured by the soldiers, the jagged outline of the ruined city, the harrowing daily routine of street fighting and close-quarter combat, the casualties and the dead, and the battle behind the lines - the tremendous effort made by the Germans and the Soviets to sustain their men in what had become a fight to the death. But perhaps most memorable of all, the photographs give us glimpses of the lives and deaths of soldiers on both sides who participated in one of the most terrible battles in history.