Man: Europe. 1940. Hitler's ruthless quest to extend Germany's borders has his people at war with the world. The mobilization of armies in Britain and France prove no deterrent as the Nazi's invade their European neighbors to the north and west, while extending their reach eastward towards Russia's critical oil fields. By Fall, Germany's lightning war to soften England is launched, and America increases production, racing to aid the British. By 1941, the battle for North Africa is on, as Rommel's Afrika Korps arrives in Tripoli. On the Eastern Front, an impatient Hitler breaks his pact with the Soviets. Stalin responds with a Scorched Earth policy, intent on leaving only ruins for the Nazi invaders, but one by one his cities fall. Now, in 1942, massive German air raids commence against Stalingrad, and the battle for this noble city turns vicious. The Red Army refuses to retreat, and a counter-offensive is launched against a force that now stretches from the Volga to the Atlantic, and deep into the African desert. Against impossible odds, millions come forward to answer the call of their countries, their families, their lives.
The scene changes.
Sokolov: My name is Aleksandr Sokolov. I thought I was safe. As a watchmaker's apprentice I would learn the business and open a shop of my own. Maybe get married, have children, start a life. But now, our cities are under attack, and Stalingrad will put an end to those dreams. We should have known the Germans would turn on us, break the treaty. They have no honor. The commissars rounded us up so quickly, speaking of the Motherland, the sacrifices of our brothers, our duty. I am only 20, but I am ready to fight to the death. The sight of my home Stalingrad infuriates me. It is as if Hell itself were burning.
[October 3rd, 1942]
[Stalingrad, Soviet Union]
Russian soldiers are in a boat, paddling towards land. Sokolov and Durasov sit on opposite ends of the boat.
Durasov: Welcome to Stalingrad. You're about to begin the greatest moment of your life. The Germans have lost hundreds of tanks and planes. Hitler's brutalized hordes are now advancing towards Stalingrad over mountains of their own dead bodies. Our Bolshevik Party, our nation, our great country, have given us the task not to let the enemy reach the Volga and to defend the city of Stalingrad. Forward against the enemy!
Artillery falls around the boat, causing waves that rock the boat around.
Durasov: Up into the unremitting battle, comrades, for Stalingrad, for our great country! Not one step back!
Planes fly around the boat and soldiers jump out. Durasov cocks a pistol.
Durasov: Cowards and traitors will be shot!
Durasov fires at the fleeing soldiers.
Durasov: Do not count days, do not count miles, count only the number of Germans you have killed. Kill the German - this is your mother's prayer. Kill the German - this is the cry of your Russian earth. Do not waver! Do not let up! Kill! Death to the German invader!
Russian Soldiers: Death to the German invader!
The boat reaches the dock.
Durasov: Let's move! Go, go!
The soldiers inside exit the boat and enter a line-up for weapons. A commissar repeats an announcement over a megaphone.
Commissar: The first man in line gets a rifle. The second, ammunition. When the first is killed, the second takes the rifle and shoots!
Sokolov gets an ammunition clip from the line-up.
Puskov: You, over here!
Sokolov goes up to Puskov.
Puskov: Alright comrade, you're with me. Pay attention and follow my orders or I will shoot you myself! Come quickly, we're expected at the front lines.
Sokolov follows Puskov.
Puskov: The fascists have reached the park and are about to cut Stalingrad in half. We must stop them at all costs!
They go through a trench.
Puskov: They've stopped shelling the boats. Be ready for anything! If you hear the incoming whistle of the artillery, the explosion will not be far off.
An artillery whistle is heard.
Puskov: Incoming! Get down!
They continue moving, and stop in a crater.
Puskov: Wait here. Stay close to me.
The two wait for a moment.
Puskov: The artillery has stopped. Now's our chance! Let's go!
They enter a trench and walk through.
Puskov: They're firing again! Get down!
They wait a moment.
Puskov: Go! Quickly!
They take cover behind a sandbag as the German gun fires on them.
Puskov: Watch it! They have reloaded!
The gun stops firing.
Puskov: Go now!
They move up the hill and take cover behind a destroyed brick wall.
Puskov: The machine guns have started again!
After shooting a while, the guns stop firing.
Puskov: Get moving!
They move up the hill and take cover behind debris.
Puskov: Get down! Incoming fire!
The gun stops firing.
Puskov: Go now!
The two move back and through large pipes to the refinery.
Puskov: The fascists are here in the refinery! We need to flush them out before we get to the park. Follow my lead!
The two move up and take cover.
Puskov: Wait here!
A Russian soldier runs out of cover.
Russian Soldier: Die, Nazi devil!
The soldier is shot and killed.
Puskov: You, over here! Pick up his rifle.
Sokolov picks up the dead soldiers rifle. He and Puskov fight into a building and see Germans running away.
Puskov: The invaders are retreating!
The Russian soldiers shoot at the retreating Germans.
Puskov: Yes comrades, victory! Watch my back while I clear out this rubble.
Puskov sets an explosive on rubble.
Puskov: Explosive! Stand back!
The explosive detonates, clearing the way.
Puskov: This way, comrades!
The group heads out of the building and see a group of Russian soldiers with a commissar.
Commissar: Forward, comrades!
Russian Soldiers: Forward!
Commissar: Defend your motherland!
Russian Soldiers: Ahhhh!
Commissar: Get the German invaders!
The soldiers enter through a gate and are mowed down by a German machine gun.
Puskov: It's a mass attack. They're headed straight for the machine guns. I know a better way in - follow me!
Sokolov and Puskov go left through the refinery and enter the building with the machine guns.
Puskov: Take out the machine guns! Kill them all!
They take out the soldiers inside the building.
Puskov: You're still alive, comrade. I'm impressed. Follow me.
The two head deeper into the building.