Battle of Stalingrad in the diaries of junior lieutenant Rudnitsky

Abstract

The authors of the article examine the events of the Battle of Stalingrad through the prism of the diary entries of Junior Lieutenant Z.S. Rudnitsky. The authors set themselves a number of tasks for revealing the topic: to show the role of air defense and its contribution to the victory at Stalingrad; evaluate the level of material and technical supply of the Red Army, evaluate the value of front-line diaries as a historical source. The relevance of this topic is explained by the need to understand the processes that resulted in the greatest military victory of World War II, as well as the increased interest in diaries as a historical source, which researchers attribute to the so-called “soft” communicative memory. The novelty of the study is the introduction into the scientific circulation of a previously unknown source – the front-line diary of Z.S. Rudnitsky, which he led throughout the battle of Stalingrad. The value of the present source lies in the display of direct perception of the war through the eyes of a young nineteen-year-old lieutenant. Working with the materials of diary entries allowed to deepen our ideas about supplying and arming the defenders of Stalingrad, their moral condition, domestic problems. The study was carried out as part of the problem field of memory studies using retrospective, comparative historical, interdisciplinary methods.
Based on an analysis of everyday life of the front lieutenant Rudnitsky, who fought on the Stalingrad front as part of the 303 artillery-anti-aircraft regiment, it was concluded that the daily military feat of the anti-aircraft gunners made it possible to block the sky over the city for German aviation, especially during the counteroffensive. The value of this feat becomes even more obvious against the background of an extremely difficult state and a lack of machinery, equipment, household inconveniences. It is concluded that it is necessary to introduce into the scientific circulation diaries that significantly expand the range of historical sources.

About the authors

G. A. Romanova

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9616-1041

Candidate of Historical Sciences, associate professor, head of the Representative Office in Syzran

N. N. Romanov

Branch of the Military Educational and Scientific Center, Air Force N.E. Zhukovsky and Y.A. Gagarin, Air Force Academy in Syzran

Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4539-9310

Candidate of Historical Sciences, associate professor

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