Should we give Stalingrad the George Cross?

Extract from a letter from the Soviet ambassador in London, Ivan Maisky, to British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden

Catalogue ref: FO 371/37021

I do not think that such an approach is justified.
Stalingrad is not just one more of the Soviet towns which require restoration. Stalingrad is Stalingrad. Stalingrad is one of the greatest landmarks in human history - as an unsurpassed example of heroism and endurance, and as a turning point in the present war.

Indeed, suppose for a moment that Stalingrad in the autumn of 1942 would have fallen: what would have been the consequences? In this case the Germans most probably would have been able to move north up the Volga, as Marshal Stalin indicated in his speech on the 6th November, 1942, with the most appalling consequences for our defence. At the same time if Stalingrad had fallen the Germans would have moved down the Volga, swept through the Caucasus to the Caspian Sea, occupied Baku, penetrated Iran, and moved towards the Persian Gulf and India. Simultaneously they would have overrun the whole Middle East and established their rule in Africa. Such would have been the vista of events that would have followed the fall of Stalingrad.