Stalingrad Airlift 1942-43

76f47c70-d2e5-4401-af00-fb140472a5d6

02 June 2023
|
Stalingrad Airlift 1942-43 Stalingrad Airlift 1942-43
WILLIAM E HIESTAND

Number 34 in the Air Campaign series looks at the doomed attempt to resupply the trapped 6th Army at Stalingrad by air. This particular story is a little different from the usual ones in the series, being less about inflicting defeat on the opposition with a strategic view, and more about keeping the 6th Army going after Hitler refused to let Paulus attempt a breakout. However, the same structure as the others in the series is applied, so it looks at the capabilities of the Luftwaffe and of the Soviet airforce first. Then there's the campaign objectives and the actual, 77 days of air lift itself.

For all the colourful artwork, photos and strategic maps, perhaps the most telling element is the small chart listing how much tonnage was delivered and how many days it was delivered for, The bare minimum for the 6th Army was 300 tonnes, which the Luftwaffe managed on only four days. While the initial emphasis was for fuel, later on this switched to rations to simply keep the soldiers alive. Even so, thanks to how little got through, roughly a third of what was promised, by the end the soldiers still alive were starving and malnourished. Of the 91,000 that were taken captive, only 6,000 survived into the 1950s to return home to Germany.

As the book makes clear, the cost to the Luftwaffe for even attempting the airlift was disasterous anyway, losing planes that it could ill-afford. With the overall Stalingrad campaign losing half a million men from the German, Hungarian and Rumanian armies, it truly was a disaster on an epic scale, and one that the airlift simply contributed to.

  • Osprey Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-4728-5431-5
  • 98 pages. Softcover. £16.99

 

**************************************************************

Can't get to the newsagents for your copy of The Armourer? Order it online (now with free postage!) or take out a subscription and avoid the general public for the next 12 months entirely. And if you're confined to quarters, stock up on some bookazines to keep you entertained.

Buy the latest copy or any back issues, either in print or digital editions by clicking on The Armourer.

Content continues after advertisements

They were the mightiest of ships, able to project power around the world courtesy of fearsome armament. Now, a new 132 page bookazine, Battleships of WWII, brings their story to life with 85 battleships from seven nations. Here is your guide to why they were built, how they were armoured and fitted out with equipment and weapons, and what action they saw in WWII, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. With colour photos and blueprints, statistic tables and key production details, it’s the ultimate guide to the greatest ships of World War II. Order your print or digital copy here.

 

 

Military Collectables of WWIGet your WWI collecting fix here. It's Military Collectables of WWI, a special digital magazine from the archives of The Armourer, for only £4.99. Covering Badges of Kitchener’s New Army; Anzac uniforms; shoulder titles; Wound stripes; East Africa uniforms; ID signs; Sweetheart brooches. Then there are medals; Photography in WWI; The black art of propaganda; Great War comic postcards; American Liberty Bonds; Trench art; Princess Mary Christmas box; Canadian recruiting posters. Don't forget weapons, battles and equipment from the Battle of the Somme; Trench mirrors; Collecting the Kaiser’s Battle; Military bugles; Collecting the Battle of Arras.  Click here for your digital copy.

 

How about Tanks of WWII, a 164-page guide to the tanks, commanders and battles of WWII. With over 170 tank prototypes, variants, models from the Axis and Allied nations, plus blueprints, rare photos and 3D illustrations. This collector's bookazine can be yours for just £9.99. Click here for your copy.

Or how about a copy of the Collecting German Militaria bookazine for £7.99? Click here to buy this.

 

Content continues after advertisement