Volgograd, formerly called Tsaritsyn (1589–1925) and Stalingrad (1925-1961), is an important industrial city and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russia.
The city became famous for its stubborn resistance, as well as the extensive physical damage and death toll it suffered during the Battle of Stalingrad against German forces in World War II. It is also well-known for being the place where the Wehrmacht suffered a devastating battle.
Joseph Stalin had the "city of the Tsars" renamed for himself after coming to power. As part of de-Stalinisation, the city was renamed Volgograd after the Volga River. But since February 2013, the city's name is to be commemorated as Stalingrad six days each year to acknowledge the great battle.
In most Harry Turtledovetimelines that involve this city, it is still Stalingrad (or in Joe Steele's ironic WWII scenario, "Trotskygrad"), and is referenced in connection to the great siege. In a few other timelines it is still Tsaritsyn. The name Volgograd rarely appears in Turtledove's works.
The city of Stalingrad was the site of a ferocious battle between the EuropeanAxis and the Soviet Union between late 1942 and early 1943. The battle ended in victory for the Soviets and they dealt the Germans a devastating defeat when they encircled the city and trapped their forces within.
This battle caused the tide of war to turn on the Eastern Front and then turn into a bloody stalemate.
Rob Ferguson thought that one city's multiple names - Tsaritsyn, Stalingrad, Volgograd - might make for a good song for Squirt Frog and the Evolving Tadpoles. The idea came to Ferguson when he thought about how Saigon had gone to Ho Chi Minh City while contemplating the excellent Vietnamese food at the greasy spoon next door.
Several weeks before they were to be married, Kathleen Flannery broke off her engagement to Kyril Lozovsky, the assistant commercial secretary at the Russian ministry in Victoria, when she learned that he was already engaged to another woman in Tsaritsyn.
Patton asked Daniels a hypothetical question: if the Race hadn't come and the Germans broke through the Russian Army and reached city of Stalingrad, "would they have made the same mistake the Race made in Chicago?" Both men agreed the Germans, known for their tactical prowess, wouldn't have been that stupid.