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The Pitomnik airfield ( , lit. plant nursery) was an airfield in Russiamarker, the primary of the seven airfields used by the Germanmarker Wehrmacht during the Battle of Stalingradmarker within the city.

From Pitomnik, flights went to the two main airfields outside the pocket, Tatsinskayamarker and Morozovskaya.

Overview

Pitomnik was captured by the German 6th Army when it linked up there with the 4th Panzer Army on 3 September 1942.

Map of the Stalingrad pocket, showing Pitomnik in its centre
The airfield at Pitomnik was one of seven airfields within the Stalingrad pocket and the only one properly equipped to handle large amounts of traffic. It was equipped with lights for night operation.

Alongside with anti aircraft guns, the airfield was protected by fighter planes of the first group of the Jagdgeschwader 3, its other groups being stationed outside the pocket. In mid-January, the remaining planes of the group were ordered to leave the pocket.

The airfield was used to fly out the female hospital staff, when the hopelessness of the situation became apparent. Of the male medical staff, none were allowed to leave, and none left. The edges of the runway were filled with wounded German soldiers whose conditions were deemed not serious enough. Only the ambulant were flown out.

From 15 January, Pitomnik came under artillery fire of the Red Army and two days later, the airfield was captured, leaving the 6th Army with Gumrak as its only supply airfield. Karpovka had already fallen on 13 January and alongside Pitomnik, four other airfields fell on 17 January. Gumrak eventually fell on 23 January, leaving the 6th Army without any means of direct support.

As of 2009, the location of the Pitomnik Airfield is used as farmland.

Battle of Stalingrad airfields

Pocket airfields

Seven airfields were used inside the pocket to supply the 6th Army:

External airfields

Eleven airfields were used to supply the 6th Army from outside of the pocket:

See also



External links



Sources



References


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