CC Autumn Lecture: The Lighthouse of Stalingrad
We are delighted to welcome acclaimed author and historian Iain MacGregor as our guest speaker. The subject of Iain’s lecture will be based on his latest book, – The Hidden Truth at the Centre of WWII’s Greatest Battle.
Iain MacGregor has been an editor and publisher of non fiction for over 25 years. He is the author of the acclaimed oral history of Cold War Berlin: Checkpoint Charlie and his writing has appeared in the Guardian, Spectator and BBC History. As a history student he visited the Baltic and the Soviet Union in the early 1980s and has been captivated by Soviet history ever since. He has published books on every aspect of the Second World War on the Eastern Front 1941-45 and has visited archives in Leningrad, Moscow, and Volgograd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives with his wife and two children in London.
On the Lighthouse of Stalingrad:
An enthralling, insightful look into the most decisive battle of the Second World War, shedding new light on the heroic work of those who fought and died as we mark its 80th anniversary. To the Soviet Union, the sacrifices that enabled the country to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II are sacrosanct. The foundation of the Soviets’ hard-won victory was laid during the battle for the city of Stalingrad, resting on the banks of the river Volga.
Within this life-and-death struggle, Soviet war correspondents lauded the fight for a key strategic building in the heart of the city, ‘Pavlov’s House’, which was situated on the frontline and codenamed ‘The Lighthouse’. The legend grew of a small garrison of Russian soldiers from the 13th Guards Rifle Division holding out against the Germans of the Sixth Army, which had battled its away to the very center of Stalingrad. A report about the battle in a local Red Army newspaper would soon grow and be repeated on Moscow radio and in countless national newspapers. By the end of the war, the legend would gather further momentum and inspire Russians to rebuild their destroyed towns and cities.
The Lighthouse of Stalingrad sheds new light on this iconic battle through the prism of the two units who fought for the very heart of the city itself. Iain MacGregor traveled to both German and Russian archives (now likely inaccessible to Western historians for years to come) to unearth previously unpublished testimonies by soldiers on both sides of the conflict. His riveting narrative lays to rest the questions as to the identity of the real heroes of this epic battle for one of the city’s most famous buildings and provides authoritative answers as to how the battle finally ended and influenced the conclusion of the siege of Stalingrad.
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For directions to the School, and a map, please click here. The event will be held in the Centre for Performing Arts – please follow signs upon arrival.
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