Stalingrad Volga Crossings Tour
The Volga was a crucial means of transportation during World War II. Its importance grew dramatically during the Battle of Stalingrad. The German Command’s main goal in advancing towards Stalingrad was to stop oil traffic moving on the Volga. Germans used mining and artillery shelling along the Volga. The Soviet Volga Military Fleet carried out minesweeping operations and escorted oil and dry-cargo convoys. Steamships were equipped with antiaircraft armaments. Many observation posts were set up along the river and great attention was paid to river crossings. A number of ships from the Middle and Upper Volga as well as from other steamship lines were transferred to the Lower Volga. The Volga river transportation facilities suffered enormous damage during World War II.
The Lower Volga Shipping Company had to organize crossings for livestock and agricultural machinery, state farms and collective farms. By August 4, on the west bank of the Volga, at various points, about 200 thousand head of cattle, loads of fifty machine-tractor stations and twenty state farms had accumulated. Another 600 thousand head of cattle and a large number of agricultural machinery were on the way to the crossings. Crossings were constantly hit by enemy aircraft, but the transfer of livestock and goods did not stop. In two months, 1,874,000 livestock, 3529 agricultural vehicles, 5102 vehicles, 8245 carts were transported on the river banks to the east bank of the Volga.
In the second half of July, the number of wounded to Stalingrad increased. The rivermen began mass evacuation of hospitals, child care facilities, women and children from the right (west) to the left (east) bank.
With the advance of German troops to the Volga north of Stalingrad, all railway connections between the city and the country on the right bank of the river were cut. Transit shipping on the Volga was discontinued. Now all the goods for the front and the city were transported across the Volga by river crossings. The river crossings had acquired exceptional importance in protecting the city and evacuating the population. In Stalingrad itself and on the approaches to the city, up to 30 different crossings were organized.
During the Battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943), thousands of Red Army troops were ordered to cross the Volga river under heavy enemy fire towards the besieged city. Many of them were killed during the crossings.
During this special tour, which commemorates these brave Soviet soldiers and workers of the Stalingrad Volga crossings, you will learn about the work of Volga waterways during the days of the Battle of Stalingrad, the work of Volga Military Flotilla and visit the most significant Stalingrad river crossings, memorials and landmarks.
The Stalingrad Volga Crossings Tour can be perfectly combined with other 3-4 hour city tours on the same day.
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