Keefie wrote:'Stalingrad is no longer a town... Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure'.
.....Here is the longer version. I believe it was said by a soldier from the 24th Panzer Division....."We have fought during 15 days for a single house," writes a
German officer, "with mortars, grenades, machine guns, and
bayonets. Already by the third day 54 German corpses are strewn
in the cellars, on the landings, and the staircases. The front is
a corridor between burnt-out rooms; it is the thin ceiling
between two floors. Help comes from neighboring houses by fire
escapes and chimneys. There is a ceaseless struggle from noon to
night. From story to story, faces black with sweat, we bombard
each other with grenades in the middle of explosions, clouds of
dust and smoke, heaps of mortar, floods of blood, fragments of
furniture and human beings. Ask any soldier what half an hour of
hand-to-hand struggle means in such a fight. And imagine
Stalingrad; 80 days and 80 nights of hand-to-hand struggles. The
street is no longer measured by meters but by corpses...
"Stalingrad is no longer a town. By day it is an enormous
cloud of burning, blinding smoke; it is a vast furnace lit by the
reflection of the flames. And when night arrives, one of those
scorching, howling, bleeding nights, the dogs plunge into the
Volga and swim desperately to gain the other bank. The nights of
Stalingrad are a terror for them. Animals flee this hell; the
hardest stones can not bear it for long; only men endure."