Tour to the Pitomnik Airfield and Gumrak railway station - main supply nodes of the German 6th army in Stalingrad.
Perhaps today Pitomnik Airfield is one of the most effective and unspoiled places after the Battle of Stalingrad where is still possible literally to touch the history of this great event.
The Pitomnik airfield was the main transport airfield of encircled German 6th Army in Stalingrad. It was the primary of seven airfields used by German Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe from September 1942-January 1943 during the Battle of Stalingrad.
Flights originating from Pitomnik generally had two main initial destinations outside the pocket, Tatsinskaya and Morozovskaya.
Pitomnik airfield was established by the German 6th Army when it linked up there with 4th Panzer Army on 3 September 1942 near Stalingrad.
The airfield at Pitomnik was one of seven airfields within the Stalingrad Pocket after the 6th Army was encircled and the only one properly equipped to handle large amounts of air traffic. The field was equipped with lights for night operation and situated in the middle of encircled pocket.
Along with anti aircraft guns, the airfield was protected by fighter planes of Jagdgeschwader 3, elements of which were based there (the remainder of JG 3 was stationed outside the pocket). In mid-January, the remaining planes of the group were ordered to leave the pocket.
The airfield was used to fly out the remaining female hospital staff of the 6th Army, when the hopelessness of the situation became apparent. Male medical staff was not permitted to leave. The edges of the runway were filled with wounded German soldiers whose conditions were deemed not serious enough for evacuation, and only ambulatory cases were actually evacuated by air.
From 15 January, Pitomnik came under artillery fire of the Red Army and two days later, the airfield was captured, leaving the 6th Army with Gumrak as its only supply airfield. Karpovka had already fallen on 13 January and alongside Pitomnik, four other airfields fell on 17 January. Gumrak eventually fell on 23 January, leaving the 6th Army without any means of direct support
What looks like the airfield Pitomnik today?
Today Stalingrad German Pitomnik Airfield situates on Volgograd steppe in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the farmlands and could be reached by 4x4 transport during the off season of bad roads (warm period of year April-October).
Today the airfield surrounded by thousands of bunkers, trenches and other German shelters built by soldiers and officers of 6th Army to survive in the period of November 1942-January 1943. During the warm period here work excavation teams and black non-official diggers searching for the treasure of German doomed Sixth Army. All area is literally covered by different military junk which could be collected for souvenirs. Here amongst of thousands bullets, magazines, grenades, pieces of shrapnel, shoes, belts, buttons from uniform of German soldiers and officers, rusted barbed wire not make much effort to find unexploded artillery and mortar shells, thousands of conserve cans the Germans recieved by airlift and eaten right here, the items of personal hygiene, remains from military equipment of German soldiers, equipment related to German airfield and service stuff, jerrycans, tools, fuel barrels, empty bottles from French wine and cognac brought by Germans from occupied France and drank here during the Christmas 1942, other things with inscription in German clearly indicating the location of a major military groups in the area of the deserted places. Most lucky tourists may find coins with swastika, buckles and other precious things.Here you can also see the remains of a dam and wells built by German soldiers to collect and store drinking water in this waterless area in the hot weather.
Uncounted bomb craters and the horse bones of eaten animals by hungry and frozen German soldiers around silently tell about the doom of the German army at Stalingrad.
Also during the tour on the way to Pitomnik Airfield we will visit the main railway station Gumrak used by Germans to supply their army by railways before encirclement - 23 November 1942 and as bonus visit of memorials and two mass graves of Russian/Soviet soldiers in nearby villages.
The tour to Pitomnik Airfield may be combined with other 3-4 hour tours on the same day.
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3 steps to book tour with visit to the Pitomnik airfield near Stalingrad: