Stalingrad: Deadly Battle of WWII - GERMAN SURRENDER

This image, from the German Federal Archives, depicts Field Marshal Paulus soon after his surrender to Soviet forces on January 31, 1943. Its caption (translated from German into English) tells us: “Russia, Paulus in captivity.” Its description tells us more: “The prisoners of war, Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus (left), former commander of the fascist 6th Army at Stalingrad with his chief of staff, Major General Arthur Schmidt (center), and his aide, Colonel William Adam, meet the staff of the Soviet 64th Army at Beketovka on 01.31.1943.”  The photo was likely taken by Georgi Lipskerov. Online via Bundesarchiv and Wikimedia Commons. Credit:  Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-F0316-0204-005 / CC-BY-SA 3.0


Seeing another alternative for himself and his men, General Paulus followed his own judgment (instead of Hitler's direction). On January 31, 1943 he surrendered.

By February 2, 1943 both the northern and southern parts of Stalingrad were back in Soviet hands. Hitler had sustained a massive defeat from which he would never recover.

Allied supplies helped the Soviets actualize their stunning military reversal. Churchill provided Hurricane fighters and tanks while the Americans contributed jeeps, trucks and food.  But the credit for this extraordinary victory belongs to the Soviet people:

  • Some who endured incredible deprivation for so many months are still alive today.
  • And the men, who pushed the German war machine out of Stalingrad, ultimately caused Adolf Hitler to do what he wanted Friedrich Paulus to do: Commit suicide.

As an ultimate affront to the man who caused so much anguish, soldiers of the Red Army (it is said) took part of Hitler's skull (plus other body parts and his personal possessions) back to Russia at the end of the war. Giving explicit orders to burn his body, so no conquering soldier could find any of his remains, Hitler's last order was not carried out.

There wasn't enough time for his body to completely combust before the Red Army stormed his bunker.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: Jul 07, 2019

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"GERMAN SURRENDER" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2007. Dec 08, 2019.
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