37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 (61-K)
The 37 mm automatic air defense gun M1939 is a Soviet 37 mm calibre anti-aircraft gun developed during the late 1930s and used during World War II. The land-based version was replaced in Soviet service by the ZSU-57-2 during the 1950s. Guns of this type were used throughout the Eastern Front against dive bombers and other low- and medium-altitude targets, it had some usefulness against armoured ground targets. Crews of the 37 mm AD guns shot down 14,657 Axis planes; the mean quantity of 37 mm ammunition to shoot down one enemy plane was 905 rounds. The Soviet Navy purchased a number of Bofors 25 mm Model 1933 guns in 1935, trials of the weapon were successful and it was decided to develop a 45 mm version of the weapon designated the 49-K; the development under the guidance of leading Soviet designers M. N. Loginov, I. A. Lyamin and L. V. Lyuliev was successful, but the army thought that the 45 mm calibre was a little too large for an automatic field weapon. In January 1938 the Artillery Factory Number 8 in Sverdlovsk was ordered to develop a 37 mm weapon based on the same design.
The task was fulfilled by the chief designer of the factory, Mikhail Loginov, his assistant Lev Loktev. Firing trials of the new 61-K were conducted in October 1938. Competitive firing trials were conducted in 1940 between the 61-K and the Bofors 40 mm/56. There were no substantial differences found between them; the weapon was installed as a single-barrel weapon on a four-wheeled ZU-7 carriage, was soon ready for service. An initial order for 900 units was placed; the gun was operated by a crew of eight men. A total of 200 rounds of ammunition were carried. Total Soviet production was around 20,000 units, ending in 1945. However, it has been produced in Poland and North Korea. Armour penetration of the armour-piercing rounds is reported as 37 millimetres of rolled homogeneous armour at 60°at 500 metres range and 28 millimetres of RHA at 90° at 1,500 metres range; the naval mounting was produced as the 70K, had entered service before the German invasion of the Soviet Union replacing the semi-automatic 45 mm/46 21-K on many ships.
It was fitted in large numbers to Soviet ships during the Second World War, including the T301 class minesweeper. The V70K was produced with a total of 3,113 built. One drawback was. To improve on this, a twin-barrel water cooled mount, the V-11, entered service in 1946, was in production until 1957. A total of 1,872 V-11 mounts were built. After this an 85-calibre 100 mm anti-aircraft mounts long version, the 45 mm/85, was developed and accepted into service in 1954, it was deployed in twin and quad turrets on a number of classes of vessels, including the Neustrashimyy and Kotlin class destroyers; however it was replaced with the ZIF-31 twin 57 mm mounting. The 37 mm twin mounting was exported to China where it was manufactured and used extensively, as the "Type 65". A turret based version was produced from the late 1980s called the "Type 76" or H/PJA 76; the ZSU-37 was developed late in the Second World War, it was a single 37 mm gun mounted in a large open turret on the chassis of the SU-76 self-propelled gun.
Recoil length: 150 to 175 mm The cannon fires 37×252SR shells. The shells use brass cases lined with waxed use KV-2U percussion primers. A small piece of lead-tin wire is included in the case to act as a de-coppering agent, to counteract the buildup of copper from the driving bands of the projectiles; the Ammunition is produced in a number of countries including China, Egypt and Yugoslavia. The projectiles themselves are identical to those fired by the NS-37 aircraft cannon; the explosive shells are fitted with point detonating fuzes making them unsuitable for engaging fast moving or small targets. Norinco Type 55 – copy of the single barreled 37 mm M1939 Type 63 – twin 37 mm guns with vertical stabilization mounted on a T-34 chassis. Type 65 – copy of the twin barreled 37 mm. Type 74 – upgraded version of the Type 65 with a greater rate of fire. Type 74SD – Type 74 with servo system removed for operation with Type 800 laser course director system. Type 79-III – upgraded version of the Type 74 with electro-optical director, powered traverse and elevation.
Type 76 – Naval version of the twin 37 mm. P793 – Advanced twin-barrel version, with electro-optical predicting sight and higher rate of fire and lengthened barrels giving a higher muzzle velocity. Operated by a crew of 5 or 6. North Korea Self-propelled version Current operators Former operators Janes, Ammunition Handbook 2003–2004 Janes, Land Based Air Defense 2005–2006 Shunkov V. N. – The Weapons of the Red Army, Mn. Harvest, 1999 ISBN 985-433-469-4 Koll, Christian. Soviet Cannon - A Comprehensive Study of Soviet Arms and Ammunition in Calibres 12.7mm to 57mm. Austria: Koll. p. 377. ISBN 978-3-200-01445-9
Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is defined by NATO as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action". They include surface based and air-based weapon systems, associated sensor systems and control arrangements and passive measures, it may be used to protect naval and air forces in any location. However, for most countries the main effort has tended to be'homeland defence'. NATO refers to airborne naval air defence as anti-aircraft warfare. Missile defence is an extension of air defence as are initiatives to adapt air defence to the task of intercepting any projectile in flight. In some countries, such as Britain and Germany during the Second World War, the Soviet Union, NATO, the United States, ground-based air defence and air defence aircraft have been under integrated command and control. However, while overall air defence may be for homeland defence including military facilities, forces in the field, wherever they are, invariably deploy their own air defence capability if there is an air threat.
A surface-based air defence capability can be deployed offensively to deny the use of airspace to an opponent. Until the 1950s, guns firing ballistic munitions ranging from 7.62 mm to 152.4 mm were the standard weapons. The term air defence was first used by Britain when Air Defence of Great Britain was created as a Royal Air Force command in 1925. However, arrangements in the UK were called'anti-aircraft', abbreviated as AA, a term that remained in general use into the 1950s. After the First World War it was sometimes prefixed by'Light' or'Heavy' to classify a type of gun or unit. Nicknames for anti-aircraft guns include AA, AAA or triple-A, an abbreviation of anti-aircraft artillery. NATO defines anti-aircraft warfare as "measures taken to defend a maritime force against attacks by airborne weapons launched from aircraft, ships and land-based sites". In some armies the term All-Arms Air Defence is used for air defence by nonspecialist troops. Other terms from the late 20th century include GBAD with related terms SHORAD and MANPADS.
Anti-aircraft missiles are variously called surface-to-air missile and pronounced "SAM" and Surface to Air Guided Weapon. Non-English terms for air defence include the German FlaK, whence English flak, the Russian term Protivovozdushnaya oborona, a literal translation of "anti-air defence", abbreviated as PVO. In Russian the AA systems are called zenitnye systems. In French, air defence is called DCA; the maximum distance at which a gun or missile can engage an aircraft is an important figure. However, many different definitions are used but unless the same definition is used, performance of different guns or missiles cannot be compared. For AA guns only the ascending part of the trajectory can be usefully used. One term is "ceiling", the maximum ceiling being the height a projectile would reach if fired vertically, not useful in itself as few AA guns are able to fire vertically, maximum fuse duration may be too short, but useful as a standard to compare different weapons; the British adopted "effective ceiling", meaning the altitude at which a gun could deliver a series of shells against a moving target.
By the late 1930s the British definition was "that height at which a directly approaching target at 400 mph can be engaged for 20 seconds before the gun reaches 70 degrees elevation". However, effective ceiling for heavy AA guns was affected by nonballistic factors: The maximum running time of the fuse, this set the maximum usable time of flight; the capability of fire control instruments to determine target height at long range. The precision of the cyclic rate of fire, the fuse length had to be calculated and set for where the target would be at the time of flight after firing, to do this meant knowing when the round would fire; the essence of air defence is to destroy them. The critical issue is to hit a target moving in three-dimensional space; this means that projectiles either have to be guided to hit the target, or aimed at the predicted position of the target at the time the projectile reaches it, taking into account speed and direction of both the target and the projectile. Throughout the 20th century, air defence was one of the fastest-evolving areas of military technology, responding to the evolution of aircraft and exploiting various enabling technologies radar, guided missiles and computing (initially electromechanical analogue computing from the 1930s on, as with equipment describ
Military districts are formations of a state's armed forces which are responsible for a certain area of territory. They are more responsible for administrative than operational matters, in countries with conscript forces handle parts of the conscription cycle. Navies have used a similar model, with organizations such as the United States Naval Districts. A number of navies in South America used naval districts at various points in time. Algeria is divided into six numbered military regions, each with headquarters located in a principal city or town; this system of territorial organization, adopted shortly after independence, grew out of the wartime wilaya structure and the postwar necessity of subduing antigovernment insurgencies that were based in the various regions. Regional commanders control and administer bases and housing, as well as conscript training. Commanders of army divisions and brigades, air force installations, naval forces report directly to the Ministry of National Defence and service chiefs of staff on operational matters.
Algeria had formed France's tenth military region. Military region commanders in 2003 included Brahim Fodel Chérif, Kamel Abderrahmane (2nd Military Region, Abcène Tafer, Abdelmadjid Sahed (4th Military Region, Chérif Abderrazak and Ali Benali. There were 76 northern military districts or military regions, or war areas, which were the largest formations of the National Revolutionary Army, under the Military Affairs Commission, chaired by Chiang Kai-shek during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. During the Second Sino-Japanese War the National Revolutionary Army organized itself into twelve Military Regions; the military regions of the People's Liberation Army were divided into military districts and military sub-districts, under the command of the Central Military Commission. In February 2016, the 7 military regions were changed to 5 theater commands: Eastern Theater Command Southern Theater Command Western Theater Command Northern Theater Command Central Theater Command Under the Third Republic, a military region comprised several departments which supported an army corps.
For many years up to 21 military regions were active. With the evolution of administrative organization, France was divided into regional administrative districts; the military organisation combined the administrative organization and in each CAR corresponded a territorial military division. On the defence side, these military divisions have been grouped into military regions, their number varied depending on the period. The current number is six. During World War II, Germany used the system of military districts to relieve field commanders of as much administrative work as possible and to provide a regular flow of trained recruits and supplies to the Field Army; the method they adopted was to separate the Field Army from the Home Command and to entrust the responsibilities of training, conscription and equipment to that command. The Commander of the Infantry Corps with the identical number commanded the Wehrkreis in peacetime, but command of the Wehrkreis passed to his second-in command at the outbreak of war.
In peacetime, the Wehrkreis was the home to the Infantry Corps of the same number and all subordinate units of that Corps. Until 2013 the German Armed Forces had four military districts – Wehrbereichskommando as part of the Streitkräftebasis or Joint Service Support Command; each WBK controlled several Landeskommandos due to the federal structure of Germany who have taken over functions carried out by the Verteidigungsbezirkskommandos or Military Region Commands as. These command authorities are in charge of all military facilities. Now the Landeskommmandos are led by the National Territorial Command called Kommando Territoriale Aufgaben der Bundeswehr; the Indonesian Army uses military districts, known as Komando Daerah Militer or KODAM. It was created by General Soedirman as a system called "Wehrkreise", adapted from the German system during World War II; the system was ratified in "Surat Perintah Siasat No.1", signed by General Soedirman on November 1948. Military regional commands functioned as a means of circles of defense, or regional defense, to defend the designated islands/provinces under Indonesian territory.
Each MRC commander had full authority to begin operations with assets available in the district. MRC commanders have autonomy over its military structures and organizations. Current Indonesian Military Regional commands are: Kodam Jaya HQ in Jakarta Kodam Iskandar Muda HQ in Banda Aceh Kodam I/Bukit Barisan HQ in Medan Kodam II/Sriwijaya HQ in Palembang Kodam III/Siliwangi HQ in Bandung Kodam IV/Diponegoro HQ in Semarang Kodam V/Brawijaya HQ in Surabaya Kodam VI/Mulawarman HQ in Balikpapan Kodam IX/Udayana HQ in Denpasar Kodam XII/Tanjungpura HQ in Pontianak Kodam XIII/Merdeka HQ in Manado Kodam XIV/Hasanuddin HQ in Makassar Kodam XVI/Pattimura HQ in Ambon Kodam XVII/Cenderawasih HQ in Jayapura Kodam XVIII/Kasuari HQ in Sorong A Regional Command in Kazakhstan operates in a similar fashion to Russian military dis
Bofors 40 mm gun
The Bofors 40 mm gun referred to as the Bofors gun, is an anti-aircraft autocannon designed in the 1930s by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors. It was one of the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft systems during World War II, used by most of the western Allies as well some captured systems being used by the Axis powers. A small number of these weapons remain in service to this day, saw action as late as the Persian Gulf War. In the post-war era, the original design was not suitable for action against jet-powered aircraft, so Bofors introduced a new model of more power, the 40 mm L/70. In spite of sharing nothing with the original design other than the calibre and the distinctive conical flash hider, this weapon is widely known as "the Bofors". Although not as popular as the original L/60 model, the L/70 remains in service as a multi-purpose weapon for light armoured vehicles, as on the CV 90. Bofors has been part of BAE Systems AB since March 2005; the Swedish Navy purchased a number of 2-pounder Pom-Poms from Vickers as anti-aircraft guns in 1922.
The Navy approached Bofors about the development of a more capable replacement. Bofors signed a contract in late 1928. Bofors produced a gun, a smaller version of a 57 mm semi-automatic gun developed as an anti-torpedo boat weapon in the late 19th century by Finspång, their first test gun was a re-barreled Nordenfelt version of the Finspong gun, to, added a semi-automatic loading mechanism. Testing of this gun in 1929 demonstrated that a problem existed feeding the weapon in order to maintain a reasonable rate of fire. A mechanism, strong enough to handle the stresses of moving the large round was too heavy to move enough to fire rapidly. One attempt to solve this problem used zinc shell cases; this proved to leave heavy zinc deposits in the barrel, had to be abandoned. In the summer of 1930 experiments were made with a new test gun that did away with controlled feed and instead flicked the spent casing out the rear whereafter a second mechanism reloaded the gun by "throwing" a fresh round from the magazine into the open breech.
This seemed to be the solution they needed, improving firing rates to an acceptable level, the work on a prototype commenced soon after. During this period Krupp purchased a one-third share of Bofors. Krupp engineers started the process of updating the Bofors factories to use modern equipment and metallurgy, but the 40 mm project was kept secret; the prototype was completed and fired in November 1931, by the middle of the month it was firing strings of two and three rounds. Changes to the feed mechanism were all that remained, by the end of the year it was operating at 130 rounds per minute. Continued development was needed to turn it into a weapon suitable for production, completed in October 1933. Since acceptance trials had been passed the year before, this became known as the "40 mm akan M/32". Most forces referred to it as the "Bofors 40 mm L/60", although the barrel was 56.25 calibres in length, not the 60 calibres that the name implies. The gun fired a 900 g high explosive 40 × 311R shell at 2,960 ft/s.
The rate of fire was about 120 rounds per minute, which improved when the barrels were closer to the horizontal as gravity assisted the feeding from the top-mounted magazine. In practice firing rates were closer to 80–100 rpm, as the rounds were fed into the breech from four round clips which had to be replaced by hand; the maximum attainable ceiling was 7,200 m. The gun was provided with an advanced sighting system; the trainer and layer were both provided with reflector sights for aiming, while a third crew-member standing behind them "adjusted" for lead using a simple mechanical computer. Power for the sights was supplied from a 6V battery. In spite of the successful development, the Swedish Navy changed its mind and decided it needed a smaller hand-traversed weapon of 13 mm-25 mm size, tested various designs from foreign suppliers. With the 40 mm well along in development, Bofors offered a 25 mm version in 1932, selected as the Bofors 25 mm M/32; the first version of the 40 mm the Navy ordered was intended for use on submarines, where the larger calibre allowed the gun to be used for both AA and against smaller ships.
The barrel was shorter at 42 calibers long, with the effect of reducing the muzzle velocity to about 700 m/s. When not in use, the gun retracted into a watertight cylinder; the only known submarines that used this arrangement was the Sjölejonet-class boats. The guns were removed as the subs were modified with streamlined conning towers; the first order for the "real" L/60 was made by the Dutch Navy, who ordered five twin-gun mounts for the cruiser De Ruyter in August 1934. These guns were stabilized using the Hazemeyer mount, in which one set of layers aimed the gun, while a second manually stabilized the platform the gun sat on. All five mounts were operated by one fire control system. Bofors developed a towable carriage which they displayed in April 1935 at a show in Belgium; this mount allowed the gun to be fired from the carriage with no setup required, although with limited accuracy. If time was available for setup, the gunners used the tow-bar and muzzle lock as levers, raising the wheels off the ground and thereby lowering the gun onto supporting pads.
Two additional legs folded out to the sides, the platform was leveled with hand cranks. The entire setup process could be completed in under a minute. Orders for the land based versions were immediate, starting with
Volgograd International Airport
Volgograd International Airport is an airport located 15 km northwest of the city of Volgograd Stalingrad, in Russia. It comprises a civilian airport built on top of an older military runway, now demolished; the terminal area parks 42 medium/large aircraft and 91 small aircraft. A military training unit was present at Gumrak as late as 1994, the 706 UAP, using Aero L-39 aircraft; however a more recent report puts 706 UAP at Beketovsk until 1997. Volgograd Airport served as base for Air Volga; when the airline went bankrupt in April 2010, its aircraft and most of the routes were taken over by RusLine. In 2012 it was announced that Volgograd airport would have a new terminal and runway built which would bring the airport up to European standards, it is being built and will be complete sometime in 2017; the airport named Gumrak Airport, was used by the German 6th Army as fuel and supply depot during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942-43. After the fall of Pitomnik on 17 January 1943, Gumrak was the only one of seven airfields around Stalingrad still in German hands.
On 22 January, a last He 111 aircraft left the airfield with 19 wounded soldiers, the last flight out of Stalingrad for the 6th Army. Gumrak was recaptured by the 293rd Rifle Division on 23 January, leaving the 6th Army without any means of direct support. In 2016, the new terminal of the airport was opened for international flights. Straight after opening, the first terminal building was demolished to give more space for a new terminal extension, planned to be equipped with air-bridges; the construction is planned to finish before 9 May, where the terminal will open for passenger service and will integrate with terminal C. The current Soviet-built building is planned to convert into a bus terminal. On 8 May 2018, the new terminal B for domestic flights was opened for passengers; the new runway was opened on that day. The last third stage of the airport re-construction, will be integrating terminals B and C with the walking gallery and construction of air-bridges; the works will commence after FIFA-2018 finishes.
The current soviet-built terminal, after terminal B commences its operations in May, will be converted to the bus terminal. It was planned to do before FIFA World Cup 2018, but due to technical reasons, it will commence its services later; the railway station is integrated with Terminal A. The construction of the line was finished in April 2018, tested with the first train on 11 May and commenced the first journey on 17 May 2018; the train goes to Railway Terminal Volgograd-1 and the journey takes 30 minutes. The train to and from Volgograd City Zone travels daily. List of the busiest airports in the former USSR Media related to Gumrak Airport at Wikimedia Commons Volgograd International Airport official website
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest confrontation of World War II, in which Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in Southern Russia. Marked by fierce close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians in air raids, it was the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. After their defeat at Stalingrad, the German High Command had to withdraw vast military forces from the Western Front to replace their losses; the German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, using the 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing; the fighting degenerated into house-to-house fighting. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones along the west bank of the Volga River. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanian and Hungarian armies protecting the German 6th Army's flanks.
The Axis forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Adolf Hitler ordered that the army make no attempt to break out. Heavy fighting continued for another two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition and food; the remaining units of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted one week and three days. By the spring of 1942, despite the failure of Operation Barbarossa to decisively defeat the Soviet Union in a single campaign, the Wehrmacht had captured vast expanses of territory, including Ukraine and the Baltic republics. Elsewhere, the war had been progressing well: the U-boat offensive in the Atlantic had been successful and Erwin Rommel had just captured Tobruk. In the east, they had stabilized their front in a line running from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. There were a number of salients, but these were not threatening. Hitler was confident that he could master the Red Army after the winter of 1942, because though Army Group Centre had suffered heavy losses west of Moscow the previous winter, 65% of its infantry had not been engaged and had been rested and re-equipped.
Neither Army Group North nor Army Group South had been hard pressed over the winter. Stalin was expecting the main thrust of the German summer attacks to be directed against Moscow again. With the initial operations being successful, the Germans decided that their summer campaign in 1942 would be directed at the southern parts of the Soviet Union; the initial objectives in the region around Stalingrad were the destruction of the industrial capacity of the city and the deployment of forces to block the Volga River. The river was the Caspian Sea to central Russia, its capture would disrupt commercial river traffic. The Germans cut the pipeline from the oilfields; the capture of Stalingrad would make the delivery of Lend Lease supplies via the Persian Corridor much more difficult. On 23 July 1942, Hitler rewrote the operational objectives for the 1942 campaign expanding them to include the occupation of the city of Stalingrad. Both sides began to attach propaganda value to the city, based on it bearing the name of the leader of the Soviet Union.
Hitler proclaimed that after Stalingrad's capture, its male citizens were to be killed and all women and children were to be deported because its population was "thoroughly communistic" and "especially dangerous". It was assumed that the fall of the city would firmly secure the northern and western flanks of the German armies as they advanced on Baku, with the aim of securing these strategic petroleum resources for Germany; the expansion of objectives was a significant factor in Germany's failure at Stalingrad, caused by German overconfidence and an underestimation of Soviet reserves. The Soviets realized, they ordered that anyone strong enough to hold a rifle be sent to fight. If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny I must finish this war. Army Group South was selected for a sprint forward through the southern Russian steppes into the Caucasus to capture the vital Soviet oil fields there; the planned summer offensive, code-named Fall Blau, was to include the German 6th, 17th, 4th Panzer and 1st Panzer Armies.
Army Group South had overrun the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1941. Poised in Eastern Ukraine, it was to spearhead the offensive. Hitler intervened, ordering the Army Group to split in two. Army Group South, under the command of Wilhelm List, was to continue advancing south towards the Caucasus as planned with the 17th Army and First Panzer Army. Army Group South, including Friedrich Paulus's 6th Army and Hermann Hoth's 4th Panzer Army, was to move east towards the Volga and Stalingrad. Army Group B was commanded by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock and by General Maximilian von Weichs; the start of Case Blue had been planned for late May 1942. However, a number of German and Romanian units that were to take part in Blau were besieging Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. Delays in ending the siege pushed back the start date for Blau several times, the city did not fall until early July. Operation Fridericus I by the Germans against the "Isium bulge", pinched off the Soviet
Volgograd Tsaritsyn, 1589–1925, Stalingrad, 1925–1961, is an industrial city and the administrative centre of Volgograd Oblast, Russia. The city lies on the western bank of the Volga River; the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II was one of the largest and bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. Known locally as the "Hero City", it is home to The Motherland Calls, an 85 meter statue dedicated to the heroes of the battle; the city has many tourist attractions, such as museums, sandy beaches, a self-propelled floating church. Its population was 1,021,215 at the 2010 Census, growing from 1,011,417 in the 2002 Census. Although the city may have originated in 1555, documented evidence of Tsaritsyn at the confluence of the Tsaritsa and Volga rivers dates only from 1589. Grigori Zasekin established the fortress Sary Su as part of the defences of the unstable southern border of the Tsardom of Russia; the structure stood above the mouth of the Tsaritsa River on the right bank. It soon became the nucleus of a trading settlement.
In 1607 the fortress garrison rebelled against the troops of Tsar Vasili Shuisky for six months. In 1608 the city acquired St. John the Baptist. At the beginning of the 17th century, the garrison consisted of 350 to 400 people. In 1670 troops of Stepan Razin captured the fortress. In 1708 the insurgent Cossack Kondraty Bulavin held the fortress. In 1717 in the Kuban pogrom, raiders from the Kuban under the command of the Crimean Tatar Bakhti Gerai blockaded the town and enslaved thousands in the area. In August 1774 Yemelyan Pugachev unsuccessfully attempted to storm the city. In 1691 Moscow established a customs-post at Tsaritsyn. In 1708 Tsaritsyn was assigned to the Kazan Governorate. According to the census in 1720, the city had a population of 408 people. In 1773 the city became a district town. From 1779 it belonged to the Saratov Viceroyalty. In 1780 the city came under the newly-established Saratov Governorate. In the 19th century Tsaritsyn became commercial center; the population expanded increasing from fewer than 3,000 people in 1807 to about 84,000 in 1900.
The first railway reached the town in 1862. The first theatre opened in 1872, the first cinema in 1907. In 1913 Tsaritsyn got its first tram-line, the city's first electric lights were installed in the city center. During the Russian Civil War of 1917–1923, Tsaritsyn came under Soviet control from November 1917. In 1918 White troops under the Ataman of the Don Cossack Host, Pyotr Krasnov, besieged Tsaritsyn; the Reds repulsed three assaults by the Whites. However, in June 1919 the White Armed Forces of South Russia under the command of General Denikin captured Tsaritsyn, which they held until January 1920; the fighting from July 1918 to January 1920 became known as the Battle for Tsaritsyn. The city was renamed Stalingrad after Joseph Stalin on April 10, 1925; this was to recognize the city and Stalin's role in its defense against the Whites between 1918 and 1920. In 1931, the German settlement-colony Old Sarepta became a district of Stalingrad. Renamed Krasnoarmeysky Rayon, it became the largest area of the city.
The first institute was opened in 1930. A year the Stalingrad Industrial Pedagogical Institute, now Volgograd State Pedagogical University, was opened. Under Stalin, the city became a center of heavy industry and transshipment by river. During World War II, German and Axis forces attacked the city, in 1942 it became the site of one of the pivotal battles of the war; the Battle of Stalingrad had the greatest casualty figures of any single battle in the history of warfare. The battle became a titanic struggle between Hitler and Stalin as both saw it of great propaganda value, each keenly aware of the namesake of the city, each poured hundreds of thousands of men into the battle; the battle began on August 23, 1942, on the same day, the city suffered heavy aerial bombardment that reduced most of it to rubble. By September, the fighting reached the city center; the fighting was of unprecedented intensity. By early November, the German forces controlled 90 percent of the city and had cornered the Soviets in two narrow pockets, but they were unable to eliminate the last pockets of Soviet resistance before Soviet forces launched a huge counterattack on November 19.
This led to the encirclement of the German Sixth Army and other Axis units. On January 31, 1943 the Sixth Army's commander, Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, by February 2, with the elimination of straggling German troops, the Battle of Stalingrad was over. In 1945 the Soviet Union awarded Stalingrad the title Hero City for its resistance. Great Britain's King George VI awarded the citizens of Stalingrad the jeweled "Sword of Stalingrad" in recognition of their bravery. A number of cities around the world established sister and twinning links in the spirit of solidarity or reconciliation. One of the first "sister city" projects was that established during World War II between Stalingrad and Coventry in the United Kingdom – both suffered extensive devastation from aerial bombardment. On 10 November 1961, Nikita Khrushchev's administration changed the name of the city to Volg