The square to "Those who Fought to Death" is the third part of the immens memorial complex on the Mamayev Kurgan (Mamayev Hill) and has a surface of 4225 square meters. In the center of the square is a water poolwhere, with the central statue "Stand to Death" symbolizing the most difficult period of Stalingrad Battle. At the feet of the statue are a number such as:
"Not a single step back!", "Stand to death!" and "There is no ground for is behind the Volga!"
The Mamayev hill (height 103.0 on military maps) was the highest point in Stalingrad (today: Volgograd) and thus an important objective of the German 6th Army during the battle of Stalingrad. Fighting for this hill began on 13 September 1942, when German troops assaulted the fortified Mamayev, which was defended by elements of the Soviet 62th Army. When the Germans took the hill, they began firing on the centre of Stalingrad. The Soviet 13th Guards-rifle Division (10,000 men strong) retook Mamayev on 16 September 1942, suffering extreme losses. The Germans assaulted the hill an avarage of 12 times a day and the hill changed several times of ownership during the battle. The 6th German Army managed to take half of Mamayev hill on 27 September 1942. This situation remained unchanged untill the defenders's relief by the Sovjet winter offensive on 26 January 1943.
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- Text: Kaj Metz
- Photos: Auke de Vlieger