Red Christmas
The Tatsinskaya Airfield Raid 1942


Written by Robert Forczyk
Illustrated by Johnny Shumate and Mark Stacey

This 80 page book is number 30 in Osprey’s ‘Raid’ series.

The Tatsinskaya Airfield Raid of 1942 was a daring and unparalleled Soviet mechanized operation behind enemy lines. The Soviet’s 24th Tank Corps was committed to destroying this airfield and stop the Germans from air lifting supplies to Stalingrad. Although this Soviet raid was effective, it came at the extreme expense of losing their entire 24 Tank Corps. The author details this operation from the Soviet’s attack to the German’s counter-attack.

In November, 1942 the Tatsinskaya Airfield served as the main base for transport planes and was used to airlift supplies to the trapped German 6th Army in Stalingrad. At this time, this was their only lifeline after the 6th Army was encircled and all other routes had been severed. On Christmas Eve, the 24th Tank Corps succeeded in eliminating many Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground, and significantly damaging the airfield’s operational status. However, the Soviets later found themselves facing two German panzer divisions that took out the entire Tank Corps in retaliation.

The author includes colorful illustrations, detailed maps, a birds-eye-view, and many period photographs which help to convey the experience of war.

The contents of this book are;

  • Introduction
  • Origins
  • Initial Strategy
  • The Plan
  • The Raid
    • The Approach March, 16-23 December 1942
    • The Attack, 24 December
    • The German Reaction, 24 December
    • Last Stand, 25-27 December
    • Exfiltration, 28 December
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography

Red Christmas is a book about an obscure Soviet battle that was pivotal in the Russian success in recapturing Stalingrad. The author provides a great amount of detail packed into this 80 page book. You can see the strategy that the Russians tried to employ with a deep penetration strike and the failures that they encountered. Red Christmas is a book that will be especially enjoyable for the Eastern Front historian as well as the wargamer looking to recreate this critical moment in history.

This book is available from Osprey Publications.

This book is available in three formats and they are;

Paperback Book


ePub eBook


PDF eBook