First Turret

Aleksandr Zelikov/TASS

During the most difficult days of the Battle of Stalingrad the Germans were able to reach the Volga at several points, including the territory of the present-day central embankment and river terminal. The first turret stands in a square on the embankment on the spot where the front didn't reach the Volga for a few dozen meters. It was here in the autumn of 1942 that the post was held by the 13th Guards Rifle Division. A street nearby is named after the division. Under the command of General Aleksandr Rodimtsev, a Hero of the Soviet Union, the division held down many significant locations. Soldiers defended the legendary Pavlov House and many other sites.

Near the turret is a statue of Marshal Vasily Chuikov. It is the work of his son, Aleksandr Chuikov.

Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov was an extraordinary man. When WWII (known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia and other former Soviet states) began he was in China serving in a military attaché and as chief military advisor, but he did everything he could to get to the front. In 1942 the commander was sent directly from China to Tula, where troops were being formed to be deployed in Stalingrad. In the spring of 1942 he led a task force of the 64th Army in Stalingrad, and in September he was given command of the 62nd Army. The task of defending Stalingrad at all costs was assigned to the marshal.