Stalingrad Academy of Street Fighting

A Soviet assault group on the move. Lieutenant General Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov (February 12, 1900 - March 18, 1982) ordered his 62nd Army to "hug the enemy." Since his men had little or no heavy weapons compared to the Germans, he ordered them to dig in close to German positions. Favored positions were burned out buildings, which had little combustible material. Often these strongpoints were behind German lines. Starting in late September, Chuikov formed assault groups that were armed with grenades and submachine guns. The Soviets called grenades "pocket artillery." These groups would storm a German position, then call for reinforcements. The reinforcements would set up mortars, machine guns, and anti-tank rifles to fortify the new Soviet position. Then they would dig trenches around the new position to get closer to the next objective. Cuikov called this the "Stalingrad Academy of Street Fighting." These tactics would later serve the Soviets in the streets of Berlin. The photographer, Yakov Ryumkin (1913-1986), worked for Pravda during the war.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Wednesday, September 16, 1942
Stalingrad Oblast
Soviet Union