Policy of Soviet Commander: "Hugging the Enemy"

Policy of Soviet Commander:

Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov, Commander of the USSR’s 62nd Army, was at Stalingrad during one of the world’s most-deadly battles.  He had some interesting nicknames, including:

  • The Man of Iron Will
  • The Stone

In late September, of 1942, General Chuikov - seen on the right in this photo with Generals Gurov (left) and Krylov (middle) - issued an order to his troops.  He had an interesting strategy, called "hugging the enemy," intended to endanger Germans on the ground if Germans in the air continued to drop bombs on Stalingrad:

…Get close to the enemy’s positions: move on all fours, making use of craters and ruins: dig your trenches by night, camouflage them by day; make your build-up for the attack stealthy, without any noise; carry your Tommy Gun on your shoulder; take ten to twelve grenades. 

Timing and surprise will then be on your side. …Two of you get into the house together – you, and a grenade; both be lightly dressed – you without a knapsack, and the grenade bare; go in grenade first, you after; go through the whole house, again always with a grenade first and you after…

There is one strict rule now – give yourself elbow room!  At every step danger lurks. No matter - a grenade, then on again!  Another room - another grenade!  A turning -  another grenade!  Rake it with your Tommy Gun! And get a move on! …Inside the Object of attack, the enemy may go over to a counterattack. Don’t be afraid! You have already taken the initiative; it is in your hands.

Act more ruthlessly with your grenade, your Tommy Gun, your dagger, your spade! Fighting inside a building is always frantic.  So, Always be prepared for the unexpected.  Look Sharp!... (Quoted by John Alan English and Bruce I. Gudmundsson in their book, On Infantry, at page 93.)

Later in his life, Chuikov was named Marshal of the Soviet Union.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5184stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 09, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Apr 12, 2019

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy the Russian State Archives.


The full names of the other two Soviet generals are:


  • Kuzma Akimovich Gurov (who served as a political commissar during the Battle of Stalingrad); and
  • Nikolai Ivanovich Krylov (who was chief of staff, of the 62nd Army, during the Battle of Stalingrad).



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"Policy of Soviet Commander: "Hugging the Enemy"" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 09, 2016. Jul 21, 2019.
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