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Made to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the greatest and bloodiest battle in military history, Joseph Vilsmaier's 20-million-dollar feature film follows the tradition of Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot (1981). Vilsmaier's panoramic epic draws on photos, films, war documentation, and eyewitness accounts to tell the story of Germany's defeated 6th Army from the standpoint of the common foot soldier.
In the bombed-out city of Stalingrad, in the Winter of 1942, the Germans are encircled by almost 600,000 men. Bullets and rocket launchers are only part of the sheer madness faced by soldiers Fritz, Hans, Rollo, and GeGe. As their comrades lose the battle against hunger and extreme cold, the Fuhrer's orders to hold out suddenly lose all meaning.