Pavlov's House

Pavlov's House

Pavlov's House ( _ru. дом Павлова—"dom Pavlova") became the name of a fortified apartment building during the Battle of Stalingrad in 19421943. It gained its popular name from Sergeant Yakov Pavlov, who commanded the platoon that seized the building and defended it throughout the long vicious battle.

The Building

The house was a four-story building in the city centre of Stalingrad, built parallel to the embankment of the river Volga and overseeing the "9th January Square", a large square named for Bloody Sunday (1905). The house was attacked by the German invaders in September 1942. A platoon of the 13th Guards Division was ordered to seize and defend it. The platoon was commanded by Yakov Pavlov, a junior commander replacing his wounded superior. They were successful, although only four men survived the combat. Together they went on defending the building on their own. After several days, reinforcements finally arrived, equipping the defenders with machine-guns, anti-tank rifles and mortars. The men, now a garrison of twenty-five, surrounded the building with barbed wire and minefields, and established anti-tank and machine-gun posts at the windows. For better internal communications and supplies they breached the walls in the basement and upper floors, and dug a communications trench to Soviet positions outside. Supplies were brought in via the trench or by boats crossing the river, defying German air raids and shelling.

Nevertheless food and especially water was in short supply. Lacking beds, the soldiers tried to sleep on insulation wool torn off pipes, yet usually the Germans kept shooting at the house with deafening machine-gun fire day and night. The Germans attacked the building several times a day. Each time German infantry or tanks tried to cross the square and to close in on the house, Pavlov's men put them under heavy fire from within the basement, from the windows and from the roof top. Leaving behind a square covered with corpses and steel, the Germans had to retreat again.

Eventually the defenders, as well as the Russian civilians who kept living in the basement all that time, held out during intensive fighting from 23 September until 25 November 1942, when they were relieved by the counter-attacking Soviet forces.

ymbolic meaning

Pavlov's House became a symbol of the stubborn resistance of the Soviet Union in the Battle of Stalingrad, and in the Great Patriotic War in general. It stands out prominently because the German armies had previously conquered cities and entire countries within weeks; yet they were unable to capture a single half-ruined house, defended most of the time by just over a dozen soldiers, in spite of trying for two months. It is reported that the building at the "9th January Square" was marked as a fortress in German maps.

Chuikov, the defender of Stalingrad, was later heard to comment that Pavlov's men killed more Germans than were lost in the "Battle" for Paris.

Pavlov's "House" was rebuilt after the battle and is still used as an apartment building today. There is an attached memorial constructed from bricks picked up after the battle on the East side facing the Volga.

Pavlov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union for his actions.


*In the computer game "Call of Duty" there is a level in which the player, as a conscripted Russian peasant, must participate in capturing and defending this structure from multiple waves of German soldiers and armor until Soviet reinforcements arrive. Your squad leader in this mission is named Sgt. Pavlov, most likely based on the real-life Yakov Pavlov. There is also a multiplayer map of Pavlov's House (mp_pavlov).
*In early versions of the "Red Orchestra" modification for the game "Unreal Tournament 2004" there was a level that recreated the fighting between the Soviet and German forces for the control of the building.
*In Forgotten Hope, a Battlefield 1942 modification, there is a level where Soviet and German forces fought for control of the building.
* "Pavlov's House" is a structure in the first mission of , with it starting in German control. However, this is in a battle that takes place in the Ukraine during Operation Barbarossa, and does not represent the actual Pavlov's House (the game also has other structures and scenery played for laughs, like crop circles on a field).

ee also

* Sihang Warehouse

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