A group of Russian soldiers fight to hold a strategic building in their devastated city against a ruthless German army, and in the process become deeply connected to two Russian women who have been living there.
Brutal, heartbreaking, & realistic portrayal of the bloodiest battle ever fought.
I first saw Stalingrad about 7 years ago and to this day it still hits me as hard as the first time I watched it. It is the story of Leutnant von Witzland, Unteroffizier Rohleder, Obergefreiter Reiser, and Oberschütze Müller and their desperate fight for survival in the deadliest battle in the history of war: STALINGRAD. The film starts off in Italy in the summer of 1942 where their platoon is resting following heavy combat in North Africa. Soon they are on a train heading for the Eastern Front. The men of 1st Platoon laugh and joke, play games, write letters home, and enjoy the view of western Russia as they head for the Ukraine. This is as light-hearted as the film gets. What follows is a very accurate and graphic portrayal of the infamous battle. It pulls no punches. It's main antagonist is Hauptmann Haller, a field police officer who thinks nothing of allowing his men to abuse and murder Russian and Ukrainian prisoners. At one point he lines up a group of civilians and has them shot saying they were partisans.
The combat scenes themselves are even more horrific. In one scene a German soldier hits a Russian over the head with a shovel as the Russian is trying to kill Ltn. von Witzland. In another scene a German soldier is cut in half by a Russian tank shell. There are many other gruesome scenes in the film, but they are necessary. The world has to see what happened in the Battle of Stalingrad. To see its brutality. To have its heart broken at the horrendous waste of the soldiers' lives. Over 2 million people lost there lives. Only 6000 of Field Marshal Paulus' 250,000-man 6th Army survived the battle. As with the battle, the film itself does not have a happy ending. And that's the way it should be. And as you watch this film, remember one thing, not every German soldier who fought in the war was a criminal. They were mostly decent people caught up in events well beyond their control.
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