Ministry of Defense revealed the circumstances of the capture of Paulus

Secrets of Operation Uranus: documents about the last stage of the Battle of Stalingrad have been declassified

On the 79th anniversary of the start of the offensive operation, the purpose of which was to encircle and destroy the German group under Stalingrad, the Russian Defense Ministry published on its website declassified archival documents that are directly related to the final events of the grandiose Stalingrad epic.

Photo :, Bild 183-B24575.

This strategic operation of the Red Army, which had the goal of completely destroying the German troops in Stalingrad, was named “Uranus”. It began 79 years ago, on November 19, 1942. And after two and a half months, on February 2, 1943, the encircled enemy grouping of over 300 thousand people was completely defeated. More than 90 thousand Wehrmacht soldiers and officers were taken prisoner, including the commander of the German 6th Army Paulus with his headquarters.

In past years, the RF Ministry of Defense has already provided for public access on its website some of the previously secret documents related to the events associated with the battles of Stalingrad. Now, new materials have been added to them telling about the final of the Battle of Stalingrad.

Army reports, fragments of military operations logs of units of the Don Front, transcripts of interrogations of captured German military leaders, award lists, unique photographs about the surrender of Hitler's troops in “Stalingrad cauldron” …

For the first time, you can see the text of the ultimatum prepared in early January 1943 by the command of the Don Front and sent to the commander of the German group Paulus.

“Representative of the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command of the Red Army on January 8, 1943

< p> To the commander of the German 6th Army encircled at Stalingrad, Colonel-General Paulus or his deputy.

The 6th German army, the formations of the 4th Panzer Army and the reinforcement units attached to them have been in complete encirclement since November 23, 1942 … All hopes for the salvation of your troops by the advance of German troops from the south and southwest did not come true. The German troops hurrying to your aid are defeated by the Red Army and retreat to Rostov … The position of your encircled troops is difficult. The harsh Russian winter is just beginning, severe frosts, cold winds and blizzards are still ahead, and your soldiers are not provided with winter uniforms and are in difficult unsanitary conditions.

You, as the commander, and all the officers of the encircled troops understand perfectly well that you have no real opportunities to break through the encirclement ring. Your position is hopeless and further resistance makes no sense. In the current hopeless situation for you, in order to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, we suggest that you accept the following terms of surrender: 1) All the German encircled troops led by you and your headquarters to stop resistance … “

One of the intercepted texts of the enemy confirms that even in the conditions of a virtually hopeless situation, the German command did everything to postpone surrender, and this entailed new casualties.

From a telegram sent to the Main Political Directorate of the Red Army:

“I am transmitting the text of the order on the 6th German Army, surrounded in the Stalingrad region, signed by Colonel-General Paulus on the attitude towards our parliamentarians and proposals for surrender. The original was captured at the Smolyanov site. Melnikov “.

“The order for the army should be brought to the attention of the companies. In recent years, the Russians have repeatedly tried to enter into negotiations with the army and with units subordinate to it. Their goal is clear: by promises in surrender negotiations, to break our will to resist. We all know what threatens us if the army ceases resistance: most of us will surely die, either from an enemy bullet, or from hunger and suffering in the shameful Siberian captivity. But one thing is certain – whoever surrenders will never see his loved ones again … “

A number of now declassified documents are devoted to the events around the army commander Paulus himself. In particular, a document about the circumstances of his capture is posted on the site.

“The circumstances of the capture of the commander of the 6th German Army, Field Marshal von Paulus, January 31, 1943.

From the morning of 31.1.43 Mr. General-Field Marshal von Paulus was in the house of the Executive Committee (central part of Stalingrad) with the ranks of his headquarters and strong guards. During the battle, it was surrounded by units of the 38th Motorized Rifle Brigade … After the building was surrounded, von Paulus's personal adjutant arrived with a proposal to negotiate.

To conduct negotiations left: Chief of Staff of the Army Major General Laskin, Chief of the Operations Department Colonel Lukin and the commander of the 38th Motorized Rifle Brigade Colonel Burmakov, accompanied by a group of command personnel, who, upon arrival at the headquarters of Field Marshal von Paulus at 10.00 on 31 January 1943, left for negotiations. presented an ultimatum to end resistance and complete surrender of the encircled group of German troops.

The ultimatum was fully accepted. The troops of the southern group under the command of Major General Roske were ordered to lay down their arms. The order began to be immediately carried out … During the negotiations, Field Marshal von Paulus was required to give an order to the troops of the northern grouping to end resistance, this demand was refused by von Paulus.

After instructions were given about the order of delivery and acceptance of personnel and weapons, Field Marshal von Paulus with the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Schmidt and his personal adjutant were brought to the army headquarters. Field Marshal von Paulus surrendered with all the personnel of his headquarters. At the same time, they surrendered and taken to the army headquarters: the commander of the 29th motorized division, Major General Leiser, the chief of artillery of the 51st army corps, Major General Vassol and the commander of the 1st division (Romanian), General Bratescu … “

< p> You can see all these unique wartime evidence in electronic form on the website of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in the multimedia section “Stalingrad Fracture. The battle that changed the course of the Great War. ”


event_note November 19, 2021

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