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Historama, February 2

Published time: February 07, 2010 20:02
Edited time: February 07, 2010 20:02

Tuesday’s Historama marks the 67th anniversary since Soviet troops defeated Nazi forces at the Stalingrad Battle. World War Two Veterans paid tribute to the fallen Soviet defenders of the city, now called Volgograd.

The battle that changed the course of history

The German offensive was launched in 1942 and gained ground rapidly – while an aerial bombardment turned most of the city to rubble.

Despite controlling over 90 per cent of the city, the Nazis were unable to dislodge the last Soviet defenders.

The battle was one of the turning points of the war, marking the beginning of the Soviet counter-offensive that resulted in the eventual surrender of Nazi Germany. Lasting 200 days and nights – it's also the longest and bloodiest battle in history.

The start point of the Baltic fleet

On February 2, 1701 Emperor Peter I ordered the building of six battleships in Ladoga, which was the beginning of the Baltic fleet.

While on his secret trip to Europe, Peter worked as a carpenter at the shipyard in Holland and studied ship building in Amsterdam so he could build ships himself.

He then set up a construction sight on Lake Ladoga and by 1701 six  battleships were ready.

The fleet had its first victory two years later in a sea battle against Sweden.

Legendary Russian test pilot’s birthday

Valery Chkalov, a legendary Russian aircraft test pilot and a Hero of the Soviet Union, was born on this day in 1904.

He conducted nearly 800 test flights and developed new feats of aerobatics. In 1937 he was the first pilot to fly a direct 63-hour flight from Moscow to Vancouver via the North Pole.

However, Chkalov was killed in 1938 while testing a newly developed fighter jet which turned out to be defective.