The Battle of Stalingrad (a city in southern Russia, now called Volgograd) was one of the bloodiest and longest battles in history. Over two million soldiers were involved, and more than two million were wounded, killed or captured. Many civilians were killed too. It lasted from August 1942 to February 1943 – five months, one week, and three days. It was also one of the most important battles of the Second World War. The Russians stopped the invasion of their country, and from then on they began to turn the Germans and their allies back.
The destruction of Stalingrad was dreadful, but the Russians rebuilt their city. Yet they kept a memorial of the terrible suffering they had endured. This eerie footage taken by a drone shows the Grudinina Mill, which was almost destroyed during the battle. When Stalingrad was rebuilt the mill was left as it was, as a reminder of the sacrifice the people of Russia had made for their country. You can see the collapsed roof and the empty window frames. In another shot, the empty rooms can be seen from above.
The drone then flies across the surrounding area, and we see an odd fountain with children dancing around a crocodile. This is called the Barmaley Fountain. It commemorates a Russian fairy tale about six children who escape a cannibal named Barmaley, who is swallowed by a crocodile. Inside the crocodile, Barmaley promises to be kind and becomes a baker. During the Battle of Stalingrad, when all the buildings around were burning, this fountain was untouched. The fountain there now is not the original, which was removed in the 1950s. But a replica was built for the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad on August 23rd, 2013.