On the 70th anniversary of the victory of Stalingrad. Confessions of an enemy.
"There is a living hell." So the soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht describe his position, being in the ring formed by the Red Army at Stalingrad.
In this kind of boiler digested 22 divisions and over 160 individual parts the German 6th Army, and in part of the 4th Panzer Army a total of 330,000 people. Among the spoils of the Soviet troops was also a huge military post of the enemy, as well as diaries and other records of captured German soldiers. Most of them dated November and December 1942 and the first half of January 1943.
Field Post opponent was sent to Moscow in GlavPURKKA (Main Political Administration of the Workers ‘and Peasants’ Red Army), and from there to set up in the beginning of the war in the Institute of Marx, Engels and Lenin in the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) a small special group consisting of scientists who knew German. Workers dismantled the group, were read, and if necessary, translated letters, diaries and other records seized from the soldiers and officers of the German army was prepared based on these publications to the Soviet Information Bureau reports, collections of materials and collections.
The most interesting letters were published in a little book, "The defeat of the Germans at Stalingrad. Confessions of an enemy ", issued by the Military Publishing House of the People’s Commissariat of Defense of the USSR in 1944. Its circulation is not specified, the format of a pocket edition, printed on newsprint very simple and not designed for long-term storage. The book became a rarity.
Its content is priceless. Moreover, to the extent that, as time steadily moves us away from the one of the bloodiest of the war, the meaning of the letters and diaries increases. They help to objectively and historically correct to highlight the nature and significance of the battle on the Volga River has changed the entire course and predetermined the outcome of the Great Patriotic War and the 2nd World War as a whole. Her materials — a storehouse of irrefutable evidence, facts, arguments enemy.
The subtitle of the book "Confessions of an enemy," says that the letters, diaries, records, German soldiers and officers wrote only for himself, his family and friends. They are characterized by frankness, the desire to share with loved ones impressions, weathered, to convey to them the truth about the battle of Stalingrad, their estimate of the strength of the Red Army. These letters and diaries — live and direct testimonies of war who was on the front line, on the other side of the trenches and dugouts.
Introducing the reader to a small part of the "confessions enemy."
"… Equipped with the most modern weapons, Russian causes us the most severe impacts. This is most clearly manifested in the battle of Stalingrad. Here we have a hard battles to conquer every inch of land and make great sacrifices, as the Russian fought hard and furiously, until the last breath … "
From a letter of Corporal Otto Bauer, p / n 43396 B, Herman Kuge. 18.XI.1942 city
"… Stalingrad — it is hell on earth, Verdun, Verdun red, with new weapons. We attack every day. If we can take in the morning of 20 meters, in the evening Russian throw us back … "
From a letter of Corporal Walter Opperman, p / n 44111, brother 18.XI.1942 city
"… When we come to Stalingrad, we had 140 people, and by September 1, after two weeks of fighting, only 16 remained. All others were wounded and killed. We do not have a single officer, and division commanders had to take the non-commissioned officer. Of Stalingrad daily transported to the rear to a thousand wounded. As you can see, we have a lot of loss … "
From the letter of the soldier Henry Malhusa, p / n 17189, Lance Corporal Karl Veyttselyu. 13.XI.1942 city
"… The afternoon because of the shelters can not be displayed, otherwise you get shot down like a dog. The Russian sharp and keen eye. We had 180 people at one time, with only 7. Gunners number one was before 14, now only two … "
From a letter by Adolf gunner mother. 18.XI.1942 city
"… If you have an idea of how fast growing forest of crosses! Every day, many soldiers are killed, and often think, when it’s your turn? Old soldiers almost never left … "
From a letter of non-commissioned officer Rudolf Tihlya, commander of the 14th Company 227th Infantry Division, to his wife.
"… Yes, here we have to thank God for every hour that you stay alive. Here, no one will escape their fate. The worst thing that has to meekly wait for your hour has come. Either the hospital train home, or the immediate and terrible death in the underworld. Only a few lucky ones chosen by God safely survive the war at the front of Stalingrad … "
From the letter of the soldier Paul Boltz Mary Smuda. 18.XI.1942 city
"… I was at the grave of Gillebronda Ehlers, who was killed near Stalingrad. It is located on a large cemetery where lies about 300 German soldiers. From my company 18 people there, too. Such a large cemetery where German soldiers are buried exclusively, found almost every kilometer around Stalingrad … "
From a letter of Corporal August Enders, p / n 41651 A wife. 15.XI.1942 city
Meeting soldiers of the 62nd and 21st armies having joined in Stalingrad.
"… Here hell. In the battalions has almost 30 people. Nothing of the sort we have not yet experienced. Unfortunately, I just can not write to you. If fate allows, then I’ll tell you about it sometime. Stalingrad — the grave for the German soldiers. Increasing the number of military cemeteries … "
From the letter of the Chief Corporal Josef Tsimaha, p / n 27800, parents. 20.XI.1942 city
"… December 2. The snow, the snow. Meals dirty. We’re always hungry.
December 6. Portions still cut …
December 8. With food becoming deplorable. One loaf of bread for seven people. Now I have to go to the horses.
December 12. Today I found a piece of an old moldy bread. It was a real treat. We eat only once, when we were distributing food, and then 24 hours starving … "
From the diary of non-commissioned officer Josef Shaffshteyna, p / n 27547.
"… 22-25 November. Russian tanks bypass us and attack from the flank and rear. All are fleeing in panic. We make the 60-mile march through the steppe. We go in the direction of Surovikino. At 11 Russian tanks and "Katyusha" attack us. All over again get away.
December 6. The weather is getting worse. Clothing frozen to the body. Three days of not eating, not sleeping. Fritz tells me he overheard a conversation: soldiers prefer to defect or surrender … "
From the diary field gendarmerie sergeant Helmut Megenburga.
"… Yesterday we got vodka. At this time, we just cut the dog, and the vodka was very handy. Hetty, I have killed a total of four dogs and companions can not possibly eat one’s fill. Once I shot a magpie and boiled her … "
From the letter of the soldier Otto Zehtiga, 1st Company of the 1st Battalion, 227th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division easily, p / n 10521 B, Hetty Kaminski. 29.XII.1942 city
"… December 26. Today, for the sake of the holiday cooked cat. "
From the notebook of Werner Clay, p / n 18212.
Enemy soldier who was captured at Stalingrad.
"… On November 23. After lunch, we incredible fired Russian ai
rcraft. Nothing of the sort we have not yet experienced. A German aircraft is not visible any. Whether it is called air superiority?
November 24. After lunch, creepy fire. Our company has lost half of its members. Russian tanks driving around on our position, planes attacking us. We have killed and wounded. It is simply indescribable horror … "
From the diary of non-commissioned officer Herman Treppmana, 2nd Battalion 670th Infantry Regiment 371 th Infantry Division.
"… On November 19. If we lose this war, we will take revenge for what we did. Thousands of Russian Jews were shot and their wives and children, near Kiev and Kharkov. It’s just incredible. But that’s why we have to go all out to win the war.
Nov. 24 … In the morning got to Gumrak. There’s a real panic. Of Stalingrad move a continuous stream of trucks and carts. Home, food and clothes are burned. They said we were surrounded. Around us are torn bomb. Then comes a message that Kalac, was captured by the Germans again in the hands of the Russian. Against us as if exposed to 18 divisions. Many hung his head. Some have already told that shoot … Returning from Karpovki, we have seen the parts that were burned clothes and documents …
Dec. 12 … Russian aircraft made bolder. Shooting at us from aviapushek, also dropped bombs. Vogt killed. Who’s next?
January 5. Our division is a cemetery at Stalingrad, where more than 1,000 people are buried. It’s just awful. People are now sent out to transport infantry units, can be considered a person sentenced to death.
January 15. Out of the boiler and never will be. From time to time we rush around mine … "
From the diary of an officer FP 8th light small-arms fleet 212th Regiment.
"… How wonderful if we could live, if not for this damn war! And now we have promoted over this horrible Russia, and for what? When I think about it, I am ready to howl in frustration and rage … "
From the letter of the Chief Corporal Arno Beetsa, 87th Artillery Regiment 113th Infantry Division, p / n 28329 D bride. 29.XII.1942 city
"… Often ask myself the question: why all this suffering, not whether humanity descended crazy? But think about it should not be, or else come to mind strange thoughts that would not have to appear in German. But I’m saving ideas about what people think about things like that 90% of the soldiers fighting in Russia. "
From a letter of Corporal Albrecht Otten, p / n 32803, wife. II1943 city
"… On January 15. Front collapsed in recent days. All left to its fate. No one knows where his regiment, his company, each to his own devices. Supply is still nasty, so that the time delay can not be defeat.
In the last few days is this: we are bombarded with six or nine "SB-2" or "IL-2" with two or three fighters. Do not have time to disappear, as the following swim and dash down to our own bombs. On each machine, two or three things (heavy bomb). This music can be heard constantly. At night, as if should be quieter, but does not stop buzzing. These guys sometimes fly at an altitude of 50-60 m, our anti-aircraft guns can be heard. Ammunition expended entirely. Well done shooting aviakatushek of our bunkers and sweep off the face of the earth.
Driving through Gumrak, I saw a crowd of our retreating soldiers, they are weaved in a variety of uniforms, winding over all kinds of garments, if only to keep warm. Suddenly one of the soldiers in the snow falls, the other indifferently pass by. No comment!
January 18. In … Gumrak along roads and in fields, dugouts and bunkers lie about who died of starvation, and then frozen German soldiers … "
From the diary of a liaison officer, lieutenant Gerhard Rumpfinga, 96th Infantry Regiment, 44th Infantry Division.
"… In our battalion in the last two days we lost in killed, wounded and frostbitten 60 people, more than 30 people escaped, ammunition remained only until the evening, the soldiers three days entirely without food, many of them frostbitten feet. The question arose: what to do? January 10 morning, we read the leaflet, which was printed ultimatum. It could not affect our decision. We decided to surrender to those thus save the lives of our soldiers … "
From the testimony of the captured captain Kurt Mandelgelma, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 518th Infantry Regiment, 295th Infantry Division, and his adjutant, Lieutenant Charles Gotshalta. I5.I.1943 city
The Germans at Stalingrad captives.
"… All of the battery — 49 people — read the flyer-Soviet ultimatum.
At the end of reading, I told comrades that we humans are doomed and that the ultimatum presented by Paulus — is a lifeline thrown us a generous enemy … "
From the testimony of the prisoner Martin Gander.
"… I have read the ultimatum, and burning anger boiled over on our generals in me. They seem to have decided to finally ditch us in this damn place. Let the generals and officers themselves are at war. I’ve had enough. I’m fed up with the war … "
From the testimony of the captured Corporal Josef Schwarz, the 10th company of the 131st Infantry Regiment, 44th Infantry Division. II.I.1943 city
"… November 21, we are surrounded by. The situation is hopeless, but our leaders do not want to admit it. Except for a couple of spoons of soup made of horse meat, we do not get anything … "
From a letter of non-commissioned officer R. Schwartz, p / n 02493 C wife. 16.I.1943 city
"… Russian superiority in artillery, tanks, aircraft, munitions and human resources — that’s the most important reason for the disaster of the German troops at Stalingrad.
Russian tanks acted very well, especially the T-34 tanks. Large caliber guns mounted on them, good armor and high speed give this type of tank superiority over the German tanks. Russian tanks tactically in these last fights were used well.
Artillery functioned well. One could say that she had an unlimited amount of ammunition, this testimony is strong and very dense fire attack artillery and heavy mortars. Heavy mortars have a strong moral influence and cause great damage.
Aircraft operated in large groups and often bombed our convoys, ammunition depots and transport … "
From the testimony of a prisoner of Major General Maurice Drebber, commander of the 297th Infantry Division.
"… Until tomorrow, we the people’s mourning — fighting in Stalingrad was over. This is a devastating blow to the start of the war, and now and in the western Caucasus heavy fighting. Now, are encouraged, it seems, the last remnants! … "
From a letter of Helga Shteynkogler (Matte) doctor Albert Poppy, p / n 36572. 5.II.1943 city
"… Now, all the soldiers are terribly afraid to get into the environment, as was the case with the German parts of the Caucasus and Stalingrad …
The last time … increased the number of soldiers who do not believe in the victory of Germany …
Most of all … the soldiers were impressed death of the 6th Army at Stalingrad … "
From the testimony of a captive chief corporal Gottfried Tsyulleka, 1st Company 317th Infantry Regiment, 211th Infantry Division. 22.II.1943 city
"… The operation to encircle and eliminate the German 6th Army is a masterpiece of strategy. The defeat of German forces at Stalingrad will have a major impact on the future course of the war. To make up for the huge loss of life, technology and military materials incurred by the German armed forces as a result of the death of the 6th Army will require a huge effort and a lot of time … "
From the testimony of the prisoner Lieutenant General Alexander von Daniel, commander of the 376th German Infantry Division.