Out of the barren steppes behind the Ural Mountains more than a decade ago Soviet workers wrested a city of iron: Magnitogorsk. They paid for it with blood and sweat and countless rubles. They built it with modern tools and with their naked hands, and they are still building it today. The reward for them, and for those who built other great industrial centers in the Urals, was nothing less than the salvation of their country from the Germans.

On Christmas Day, 1943, Magnitogorsk had a celebration. The first red rivulet of molten...

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