Fantastic Stalingrad Battlefield Tour
My friend and I have just finished a fascinating 2 day 'Stalingrad battlefield tour' around Volgograd with our excellent tour guide Mikhail from Volgograd Sputnik Travel Company. We arrived on Russian Train from Moscow (the overnight train journey was very comfortable and punctual and I was very impressed with the train operator). Mikhail met us each day at our hotel. On Day 1 we walked around the centre of Volgograd looking at monuments around the Alley of Heroes and 62nd Army embankment as Mikhail explained how the battle for Stalingrad unfolded. He then took us to the bunker (now a museum) under the old department store where General Paulus surrendered. We then made our way up to the Mamayev Kurgan hill the site of some of the fiercest fighting and now the home of 'The Motherland is calling' monument standing 85 metres tall! After lunch at an excellent restaurant Mikhail took us to the 'Battle of Stalingrad' panoramic museum on the banks of the River Volga including the ruins of the grain elevator. For Day 2 we visited the Red October Factory, Barrikady Gun Factory and the Tractor Plant (where T-34 tanks were made) as Mikhail explained the significance of these plants to the strategy of the battle.We then made our way to the banks of the Volga to view Lyudnikov's Island and the ruins of the forward command post as well as see original buildings (still inhabited by local people) which bear the scars of the battle. In the afternoon we visited an area 25km outside the city which was the centre of the encirclement of German forces and this included some moving monuments and a mass cemetery for both Soviet and German soldiers at Rossoshka. Mikhail spoke excellent English and his knowledge of this period of history is outstanding. He was able to add to all this with personal stories about his family members who were involved in the battle and show us photos of ongoing excavations which still uncover remnants of the battle to this day. If you are interested in WW2 then this tour is a must and Mikhail is the perfect guide to help you understand more and show you all the important places relating to the battle.
Date of experience: November 2019