The Hungarian Second Army (Második Magyar Hadsereg) was one of three field armies (hadsereg) raised by the Kingdom of Hungary (Magyar Királyság) which saw action during World War II. All three armies were formed on March 1, 1940. The Second Army was the best-equipped Hungarian formation at the beginning of the war, but was virtually eliminated as an effective fighting unit by overwhelming Soviet force during the Battle of Stalingrad, suffering 84% casualties. Towards the end of the war, a reformed Second Army fought more successfully at the Battle of Debrecen, but, during the ensuing Siege of Budapest, it was destroyed completely and absorbed into the Hungarian Third Army.
It’s quite sad knowing most of the men in that photo won’t survive the captivity that awaits them.
Officially named the Children’s Khorovod, literally ‘Children’s Round Dance’, the fountain initially installed in 1939 was one of the symbols of the city formally known as Stalingrad.
The statue of six children dancing around a crocodile became famous worldwide due to several pictures that a Soviet photographer took after the German army’s devastating bombings. The black-and-white snapshots showed children playing happily, with a ruined city in the background.
Witnesses recall numerous bombs hitting the city, making it resemble one huge fire, with burning neighborhoods, streets, ships and even the Volga River.
Amid massive destruction, the fountain survived and stood only partly damaged by shell fragments.