The noose tightens around Stalingrad
1 December 1942: Goering's 'airbridge' to the 6th Army is not bringing in enough supplies, whilst the Red Army troops on the front line are remarkably resilient
H had now declared Stalingrad to be a "fortress" and was pinning his hopes on Goering's resupply promises, and the prospect that a relief attack might be made through the Russian lines. But for the men on the ground conditions were rapidly deteriorating.
On the 1st December1 Generalleutnant Schmidt reported to the Fuhrer HQ:
Now we have our ardent all-round defence. I have enough weapons but little ammunition, little bread and spirit, no wood for burning or building materials to go below ground and keep warm, and the men, who remain astonishingly confident of victory, are daily losing their strength.
Conditions for the Red Army soldiers surrounding Stalingrad were only marginally better, even if they were receiving regular rations. But they knew that they held the advantage - and they could see that they only had to hold their positions. Mansul Abdullin2 had arrived on the battlefield in early November, he was still adjusting to life on the front line.
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