OPALEV M.N. V.P. Nekrasov’s Story “In the Trenches of Stalingrad” – The Reality of War and the Artistic Text

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.1.20

Maxim N. Opalev

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Social and Humanitarian Disciplines, Volzhskiy Polytechnic Institute (branch) Volgograd State Technical University,

Engels St, 42a, 404121 Volzhskiy, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The article is devoted to the battle for the Height 102.0 (Mamayev Kurgan), which had a great strategic command in the battle of the Red Army for the city of Stalingrad. One of the outstanding monuments of national literature devoted to the Great Patriotic War is the story of Victor Platonovich Nekrasov “In the trenches of Stalingrad.” It marked the beginning of the genre of the so-called “lieutenants’ prose”, that is, the narrative of events not from a professional literary propagandist, but from a direct participant in hostilities. A significant part of the work takes place in the area of Mamayev Kurgan, where the author of the story actually took part in the battle. The lower chronological boundary of the period is due to the beginning of the battle for the Mamayev Kurgan in September 1942. The upper boundary is defined by the capture of the Red Army Height 102.0 as a key section of German positions near the factory district of Stalingrad.

Methods and materials. The methodology of the research is based on the main methods of historical science (comparative, biographical, problem-chronological). Based on a comparative analysis carried out on the text of Viktor Platonovich Nekrasov’s story “In the trenches of Stalingrad” with the original records of military units, with authentic graphic materials, maps and diagrams, the factual basis of the work’s plot and a high degree of its documentary nature were revealed. The author of the article believes that the study of V.P. Nekrasov’s story as a work of fiction has so far been only an object of analysis for philologists and culturologists. This interdisciplinary historical study will help establish the real picture of the fighting for Height 102.0 over Stalingrad, and sources will confirm or deny the picture of the events described in the story.

Analysis. The conclusions of this work are based on the analysis of military documents of domestic military archives and comparing them with the text of the story, which is considered not as a work of fiction, but as a testimony of a participant in the event.

Results. Due to the conducted research, we have an opportunity to compare the evidence from the military biography of V.P. Nekrasov and his comrades-in-arms, actually confirmed by declassified archive documents, with the peculiarities of the author’s images of the literary characters in the cultural and historical context of the era.

Key words: World War II, battle for Stalingrad, Mamayev Kurgan, engineering troops, fortifications, verification of sources, author's interpretation, testimony of a participant in the event.

Citation. Opalev M.N. V.P. Nekrasov’s Story “In the Trenches of Stalingrad” – The Reality of War and the Artistic Text. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2023, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 222-228. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.1.20.

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Nekrasov’s Story “In the Trenches of Stalingrad” – The Reality of War and the Artistic Text by Opalev M.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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