STRIZOE A.L. The Origins of the Stalingrad Victory: Psychological Aspect


Aleksandr L. Strizoe

Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy), Professor, Head of Department of Sociology,

Volgograd State University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The article points out the need for a special study of psychological aspects of the reasons for the victory of the Red Army at Stalingrad, which for a long time remained undervalued due to the traditional attention of researchers paid to the role of ideological factors. These aspects are revealed in the process of radical change in the moods of soldiers and commanders of the Red Army in the period between the issuance of Order No. 227 in July 1942 and the formation of new urban combat tactics in the winter of 1942-1943. The author notes the need to evaluate measures of command and practices of soldiers’ and commanders’ behaviour in war, taking into account the achievements of modern psychology.

Methods. The author presents a methodological scheme for analysing the process of changing moods, the transition from confusion and panic to the formation of readiness for active defence and attack. Its elements include studying adaptation to the everyday difficulties of war, interpersonal trust and rational organization of various aspects of life in war as prerequisites for a psychological break in the moods of soldiers and commanders.

Analysis and results. The article emphasizes the role of formation of self-organization and liberation of personal initiative of soldiers as one of the manifestations of positive psychological changes. These changes are conceptualized in a new understanding of courage. Along with the ‘courage of self-sacrifice’ characteristic of archaic culture and traditional society, the ‘courage of self-affirmation’, which is rooted in the values of the Renaissance and the early modern period and focused on success in military confrontation and preservation of the lives of soldiers and commanders, arises and spreads. The emergence and spread of new psychological attitudes and orientations during the Stalingrad battle can be assessed as the beginning of moral and psychological break in the Red Army, the beginning of the formation of the ‘psychology of victory’ as a powerful mobilizing factor.

Key words: The Battle of Stalingrad, psychological factors of victory, courage, self-sacrifice, self-affirmation, adaptation, trust, rational organization.

Citation. Strizoe A.L. The Origins of the Stalingrad Victory: Psychological Aspect. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2019, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 155-164. (in Russian). DOI:

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Military Collaboration and Nazi Printed Propaganda on the Territory of Crimea in 1941-1944 (Based on the Materials of Newspaper Golos Kryma) by Romanko O.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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