In 1942 Volgograd was Stalingrad. And it was here in a desolate winter that the Soviet Army inflicted the first strategic defeat on Hitler’s ground forces. We now know it was the beginning of the long road back across Eastern Europe to Berlin and peace.
It was the turning point in World War II against the Germans just as the Battle of Midway earlier in the same year was the turning point against the Japanese.
In the center of Stalingrad was a statue of children dancing around a crocodile known as the Children’s Round Dance that somehow survived the German siege and death of the city in 1942.
I noticed yesterday that the same rebuilt statue survived the bombing of Volgograd’s (f/k/a Stalingrad) train station.
Hard to imagine an attack on an icon more likely to enrage Russians. Certainly hope our intelligence agencies are helping our ally from 1942 fight our mutual enemy in 2013.