As captured Paulus. The evidence of witnesses about the last days of the majestic battle

As captured Paulus.  Eyewitness accounts of the last days of the great battleSince that time, as the German group was surrounded at Stalingrad, our scouts began to hunt for Paulus, commander of the 6th German Army.

Underground workers reported that its bid was in the village Golubinskaya for 120-150 km from Stalingrad. As recalled later adjutant commander Colonel Adam, shots Russian tanks forced their way into the German rear and trailing Cyclopean encirclement, were to command grouping and Paulus himself quite suddenly. Fearful of being captured, Paulus together with his staff under the guise of tanks NIGHT MODE left the village Golubinskaya. As it became clear later, General Paulus reached Stalingrad, where he hid in the basement of the former department store. "

Friedrich Paulus was a conspicuous figure in the middle of the German generals. Hitler said that Paulus is always accompanied by a victory. Division under his command in 1939, invaded Poland, and in 1940 invaded Belgium and the Netherlands. General Paulus was one of the developers of a terrible plan "Barbarossa", which foresaw a process of "blitzkrieg" the defeat of the Red Army and the embodiment of the complete genocide of the Russian people.

In summer 1942, a powerful group led by Paulus, accelerating on steppes, rushed to the Volga, to Stalingrad, where there have been actions that will shake the whole world later.

It would seem, to the victory of the German troops remained one last shot. But defenders of the town forced the enemy your strategy. Battles were fought street by street, house by house. Division of the Red Army fought, being in an environment where the Volga remained 300-500 meters. General Paulus failed to appreciate the extent of preparation surrounding the German troops. And now, at the end of January 1943, after all proper dazzling victories, he was sitting, pounded into the basement, waiting for their own fate …

At one point, me, war correspondent, called veterans of Stalingrad: "In Moscow, came from Minsk Gen. IA Laskin, who is known for having captured at Stalingrad Field Marshal Paulus. " The name of General Laskin I have often met in the military literature. In the days of heroic defense of Sevastopol, he commanded one of the divisions that marked many feats. In Stalingrad, IA Laskin was a head of the 64th Army, which defended the southern areas of the town. I called the general and soon we met.

"How do we know where Paulus? — Started his own story, IA Laskin. — In war, almost all solves the case. January 30, 1943 staff officer of the 38th Infantry Brigade Fedor Il'chenko arrived at the front edge with another order. Soldiers of the brigade were languishing fighting, moving to the center of town. In one of the houses of captured German major and led him to Il'chenko. After the interrogation, German Major said that General Paulus is near, in the basement of the central square of Stalingrad.

Senior lieutenant Il'chenko immediately radioed the information conveyed to the brigade commander. A few minutes later the text of the message was in the army headquarters. Fedor Il'chenko been given appropriate authority. "

Early morning … January 31, 1943. In the semi-darkness over the area slowly faded missiles, illuminating light lifeless hulk ruins, fallen poles, soot caked on the edges of craters. Senior lieutenant Il'chenko through an interpreter gave a shout: "We offer a complete fire! We offer to start negotiations on the surrender of the German army surrounded! "After some time out from the structure of the department store German an officer with a stick in his hand, which was natseplena snow-white cloth. Senior lieutenant Il'chenko together with Lieutenant Mezhirko, translator and several gunmen crossed the front edge and out of the area. No one could have known what awaited them outside the walls of the structure is immersed in darkness.

General IA Luskin said: "We have a message from Il'chenko. He has met with representatives of the German High Command. But Schmidt, the chief of staff told him that Paulus will only negotiate with senior officers, his equals in rank. I was told to — to go to the basement store. We are in a hurry. After all, every hour of fighting the soldiers took away life.

No one was going to listen to the defeated General Paulus any special conditions of surrender. We felt ourselves favorites.
We had one goal: to make a complete and unquestioning surrender of German troops in Stalingrad.

We drove through the snow-covered road, on roadsides where engineers put panels: "Beware of the mines!" All close gunfire were heard, the sound of machine guns. In the central square, hidden behind a pile of stones, we watched some time. In the windows of the department store, laid bricks and sacks — firing points. How to find out later, the building was defended by three thousand soldiers and officers. Through a translator, we passed through a megaphone that are representatives of the Red Army. But no one came out to meet us. On the area show up one path, other approaches to the building, as we were warned, were mined. We decided not to wait until our engineers will work, and on the same path along which passed Il'chenko, moved to the fascist lair.

There were five of us, along with me — the battalion commander Latyshev translator Stepanov and two gunmen. Gave the order — if useful, to cover us with fire. As we approached the entrance to the building, then saw the tight chain of German officers who, closing the entrance to the basement, sullenly staring at us. Even when our group came to him very tightly, they did not move. What to do? We have removed their shoulders from the entrance. Fearing a shot in the back, began to descend into the black basement. "

Group General Laskin was to accept the surrender on behalf of hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of the town: the Germans broke into Stalingrad as punitive. Bomb attacks and missiles destroyed homes, schools, hospitals, theaters, museums.

On the streets of scorched earth burrows people prayed: "If only I did not get to the Germans …"

Coming to the shelter, where he was hiding in the main ladies with babies German soldiers without warning throwing down grenades. The wounded were shot on the spot, live, pushing butts, drove into the steppe. Some fell later in the concentration camps, while others — for forced labor in Germany.

— Once in the basement, filled with Nazis, we do not know — in which direction we should go, — continued to own the general IA Laskin. — We moved silently. Feared that he heard Russian speech, the Germans will shoot out of fear. We walked in the dark, holding on to the wall, hoping that eventually stumble on any door. In the end, grabbed the handle and entered the lighted room. Immediately saw on the uniforms of the military stationed here generals and colonel's epaulettes. I walked over to the table in the center of the room and loudly through the interpreter said to all present, "We — the representatives of the Red Army. Stand up! List a gun! "Some stood, others hesitated. I repeated the command again sharply. None of their resistance does not okazal.Odin by one the Germans began to call their names. In the room were the chief of staff, General Schmidt, commander of the Southern Group of Forces, General Rosskam and other senior military officials.

General Rosskam said the commander Paulus gave him the opportunity to negotiate. I claimed an immediate meeting with Paulus.
"It's unreal — said Schmidt. — Commander built by Hitler to the rank of Field Marshal, but currently does not command the army. In addition, he is not well. " Lightning flashed the idea: "Maybe there is some kind of game, and Paulus had to smuggle in another place?" But gradually in the course of interrogation, the German generals revealed that Paulus is near, in the basement. I claimed, that the Chief of Staff Schmidt went to him and gave him our terms of surrender of German troops. On my orders, followed by Schmidt followed combat Latvians in order to establish our the post office at Paulus. Do not let anyone there and do not produce. At the door stood an ordinary Peter Altukhov.

By the time our group with a mandate to accept the surrender of German troops, greatly expanded. We were joined by Operations Chief of the Army GS Lukin, the head of the intelligence IM Ryzhov, commander of the 38th Infantry Brigade, ID Burmakov and other officers. Also, the group of scouts.

We presented the generals Schmidt and Rosskam requirement — immediately give orders to all troops encircled at Stalingrad complete fire and all resistance.

General Rosskam sat at the typewriter. Meanwhile, our officers have disarmed the German military. In the corner, dumped in a pile of guns, machine guns. It was truly a symbolic picture.

We took control of the telephone network, which was in the headquarters, so watch to see what orders are given in troops.

Gen. Rosskam gave us the text of the order, which he called "farewell." Here are its contents: "Hunger, cold, unauthorized surrender parts made impracticable to continue command and control. To prevent the complete death of their own fighter, we have decided to enter into negotiations to end the fighting. Human Appeal in captivity and allowed to return home after the war, Russian Union guaranteed. That is the end — this is the destiny, which must submit to all the fighters.


Immediately lay down their guns. The soldiers and officers can take all the right things … "

After reading this order, I spoke to General Rosskam that it should be correctly stated: "All the soldiers and officers of the organized surrender." Rosskam he sat down at the typewriter and adding this to the principal indication. But he told us that they have no connection with the Northern Group of Forces, and the fighting there last. Before our eyes the headquarters of the German army began to move. The last time in Stalingrad. On many phones the German signalers husky, hoarse voices passed on to the troops text of the order.

Following aide Adam we came to Paulus.

The basement room was small, like a crypt. His hands behind his back, Field Marshal walking along the concrete wall, like a hunted animal.

I referred to himself and declared it plennikom.Paulyus in broken Russian language said, apparently, long-cooked sentence: "Field Marshal Paulus surrender of the Red Army in captivity." What amazed us then, as it is his own statement on the uniform. In this environment, it is considered likely to tell us that the whole day or two backwards promoted to field marshal. The newest form of odezhki not. Therefore appears to us in the form of Colonel. Paulus said that he was aware the text of the order of surrender and agree with him. We asked him what Hitler's last instructions were passed to it. Paulus said that Hitler gave the order to fight on the Volga and the expected approach tank groups. Since we were told that the headquarters of the German army has no connection with the group's own troops who continue to fight in the northern areas of Stalingrad, I claimed, that Paulus dispatched officers, who will deliver the order to surrender. But Paulus refused, saying that he is now — and the prisoner has no right to give orders to his men.

After the defeat of German forces at Stalingrad in Germany was declared three days of mourning. What a history lesson! Listening to the story, IA Laskin, I suddenly thought about the fate of such different 2-generals — V. Chuikov and F. Paulus.

VI Chuikov commanded the 62 th Army. While all the days of defense in the dugout on the Volga slope he shared many of the soldiers' hardships. He told me at the meeting:

— What were the languid days of? They are even hard to distinguish in a string of incessant attacks. At one point, the Germans set fire to oil tanks, which stood on the banks of the Volga. Burning oil gushing down the steep slope, sweeping away everything in its path. We just popped out of the dugout. Took refuge in the side, in the gully. And I have what is known as the hair on his head began to move, what if in this situation, command and control is broken? Steel on the radio cause the commanders of divisions and brigades, that they knew the command of the army remains in place and controls the fighting. Our shelters that housed the headquarters of the army, there were only one or two kilometers from the foot of the Mamaev Kurgan. Sometimes, the German machine gunners broke so close that security staff entered the fray.

It must be said frankly that I, Chief of Staff of the wings and a member of the military council Gurov were sitting with pistols in their hands, ready to commit suicide. Do not give up a prisoner!

General Chuikov, commanding the 8th Guards Army, goes to Berlin. It so happened that his command post near the Reichstag, the first time released envoy of the Nazi Reich Chancellery. He says the willingness of German troops to surrender, and that Hitler committed suicide. VI Chuykov will marshal, twice Hero of the Russian Union. He left a will: to bury him on Mamaev Hill, near the mass graves of their own fighter.

Field Marshal Paulus in Russian captivity to go through a dramatic way. In 1944, he joined the movement of German officers "Free Germany". Even before the war, Paulus will sign a statement to the German people: "For Germany, the war is lost. Germany must renounce Adolf Hitler and install the latest municipal authority, which will end the war and create the conditions for our people, life expectancy and the establishment of a peaceful, even friendly relations with our present-day opponents. " At the Nuremberg trials Paulus acted as a witness, citing facts, denouncing the leaders of the Third Reich. By unusual coincidence, he left this world 17 years after the war in yet another anniversary of the defeat of the German army in Stalingrad.

"We climbed out of the basement — said I. Laskin. — Paulus and a group of captured generals we have had to take him to the placement of the 64th Army. But then I sent a note to the environment. How's it changed while we were in the Fascist headquarters. German security around the building was gone. She captured our warriors under the command of Colonel I. Burmakova. The surrounding streets were Red Army. " Then Colonel Adam wrote in his memoirs:

"Appearance of the Red Army soldier struck me as symbolic — it was kind of favorites. Our fighter is not thrashed and not shot. Russian soldiers in the middle of the destroyed town pulled out of the pockets and hungry prisoners were given pieces of bread. "

The War in the town of empty eye sockets stared bedroom houses, each of the funnel, with the snow-covered hillocks mass graves. How to understand this mercy of our soldiers to the prisoners, who yesterday took aim at them?

These feelings of human advantages shown by Russian soldiers — also part of our history that is as significant as the memory of the majestic victory in Stalingrad.

In those days of radio stations around the world broadcast messages about the victory on the Volga. In the address of military control of the country and come to Stalingrad, many congratulations to:

"One hundred and sixty two day or epic defense of the city, is also a decis
ive outcome, which all Americans are celebrating now will be one of the most beautiful chapters in this war of peoples united against Nazism. "

Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States.

"Thankful hearts of the peoples of the world are fighting and ecstatically greet soldiers of the Red Army, who won at Stalingrad."

Of the Yugoslav newspaper "Borba".

"The victorious defense of Stalingrad is one of the feats of which history will always say with the greatest respect." Writer Thomas Mann.

"Stalingrad — the Order of Courage on the chest of the planet."

The poet Pablo Neruda.

Lord of England sent endowment blade, on which was inscribed:

"The citizens of Stalingrad, strong as steel — from King George VI in the symbol of the deepest admiration of the British people."

And … the pictures made in Stalingrad on the winning day today and stored in museums around the world have remained moderate and besprityazatelnye drawings. Perched on the slug box, soldier writes a letter. The men gathered around the accordion. Of land slots make their own babies surviving inhabitants. They stretch from the pots to the field kitchen that smokes on a background of the destroyed wall. The snow fighters huddled asleep, clutching a rifle for himself. For the first time in six months is not uhayut guns, bombs are not torn. Silent eerie sounds of war. Quiet is the first merit of the victorious soldiers of the town. Wounded Stalingrad vorachivalsya to life.

PS Not long ago I read in the "Arguments and Facts", which Paulus in recent years, his life has apologized people of Stalingrad. It's amazing to me to read a similar message. Only one in our family suffered a terrible loss of Stalingrad — the bombings and shelling killed fourteen people. I remember their faces and voices. I beheld, with both aircraft dropped bombs on the streets of our burning house. Paulus apology came just as our troops finally drove him to Stalingrad basement and forced to surrender. And according to another commander, and this would be further strained their efforts in the implementation of the brutal plan "Barbarossa". It was later, after returning from captivity, he often repeated: "Russian people do not beat anybody!"

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