Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dom Pavlova

A final report from Volgograd:

Dom Pavlova "was a four-story building in the city centre of Stalingrad, built parallel to the embankment of the river Volga and overseeing a large square, the '9th of January Square'. The house was attacked by the German invaders in September 1942. A platoon of the 13th Guards Division was ordered to seize and defend it. The platoon was commanded by Yakov Pavlov, a junior commander replacing his wounded superior. They were successful, although only four men survived the combat. Together they went on defending the building on their own." (from

Dom Pavlova today

The Germans attacked the building several times a day. Each time German infantry or tanks tried to cross the square and to close in on the house, Pavlov's men took them under heavy fire from within the basement, from the windows and from the roof top. Leaving behind a square covered with corpses and steel, the Germans had to retreat again.

Eventually the defenders, as well as the Russian civilians who kept living in the basement all that time, held out during intensive fighting from 23 September until 25 November 1942, when they were relieved by counter-attacking Soviet forces.

The warehouse facing the apartment building remains preserved today on the grounds of a museum that includes panoramas of the Battle of Stalingrad.