Forty years ago, the Soviet city of stalingrad,or Volgograd as it is now known, was the scene of a fierce battle with the Germans.
(VISLIB) FEBRUARY 1943 (MUTE)
GV PAN Stalingrad during World War Two. Heavy smoke over city
GV & SV Soviet tanks advance (4 shots)
AV & SV PAN DOWN devastated buildings in city (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO GV Views of modern Volgograd (2 shots)
GV & SV Old mill (3 shots)
GV PAN Stalingrad battle Panorama Museum
GV Square in Volgograd
GV War memorial (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR Stalingrad Battle Panorama Museum with guards around eternal flame (6 shots)
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Background: Forty years ago, the Soviet city of stalingrad,or Volgograd as it is now known, was the scene of a fierce battle with the Germans. the siege which lasted from August 1942 to February 1943, was a decisive victory for the Red Army during World War Two. During the final onslaught, the Germans massed a huge army strongly backed by tanks and a powerful air force. However, the Soviets beat back the invaders with an even greater show of strength -- but at enormous expense. The bitter fighting reduced Stalingrad to rubble, 350,000 Soviet soldiers died, along with a large number of civilians. When the war ended in May 1945, a special committee spent two years designing a new city. Thousands of young workers were sent to Stalingrad to help in the rebuilding programme, and "City of Heroes" was the name of honour awarded to it. The new Stalingrad, with its fine streets and monuments, is a fine example of a modern Soviet city. As a grievous reminder of the war, an old mill was left untouched, currently part of the Stalingard Battle Panorama Museum. To commit the great act to Soviet heroism to people's memory, a war memorial was built on the Mamai Hill, where the battle reached its climax.
At the 22nd Congress of the Soviet Communist Party held in October 1961, the late Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev attacked stalin's "reign of terror". The final disgrace came the next month, when the Soviet newspaper "Pravda" announced that the city of Stalingrad had been renamed Volgograd.