February 2 1943 year folded weapons The last group of Nazis, who fought in the north of Stalingrad. The battle of Stalingrad was completed by the brilliant victory of the Red Army. Hitler blamed the defeat of the Luftwaffe command. He shouted at Goering and promised to put him under execution (the Führer had high hopes for the "air bridge", which was supposed to supply the surrounded troops. Another scapegoat was Paulus. The Fuhrer promised after the end of the war to betray Paulus and his generals to a military tribunal, since he did not fulfill his order to fight to the last bullet.
In the German Empire, a three-day mourning was announced for the dead. People were crying in the streets when they announced on the radio that the 6 Army had to surrender. 3 February Tippelskirch noted that the Stalingrad catastrophe "shook the German army and the German people ... There was something incomprehensible, not experienced from 1806 year - the death of the army surrounded by the enemy." The Third Reich not only lost the most important battle, lost the army tested in battles, suffered huge human losses, but also lost the glory that it gained at the beginning of the war and which began to fade during the battle for Moscow. It was a strategic turning point in the Great Patriotic War.
The central square of Stalingrad on the day of the surrender of German troops in the Battle of Stalingrad. Soviet people go to the square Tanks T-34
6-I German army was surrounded during the implementation of the strategic offensive operation "Uranus". 19 November 1942 began the offensive of the troops of the South-Western and Don fronts. November 20 on the offensive went part of the Stalingrad Front. November 23 in the area of the Soviet united part of the South-Western and Stalingrad fronts. The encirclement included units of the 6 th field army and the 4 th tank army (22 divisions totaling 330 thousand people).
November 24 Adolf Hitler rejected the proposal of the commander of Paulus’s 6 Army to go for a breakthrough before it was too late. The Fuhrer ordered to hold the city at all costs and wait for outside help. It was a fatal mistake. 12 December Kotelnikovsky German grouping launched a counteroffensive with the aim of unlocking the army of Paulus. However, by December 15, the enemy offensive was stopped. 19 December, the Germans again tried to break through the corridor. By the end of December, the German forces that were trying to unblock the Stalingrad group had been defeated and were driven further away from Stalingrad.
As the Wehrmacht drove farther west, Paulus’s troops lost hope of salvation. The chief of staff of the ground forces (OKH), Kurt Zeitzler, unsuccessfully persuaded Hitler to allow Paulus to break through from Stalingrad. However, Hitler was still against this idea. He proceeded from the fact that the Stalingrad grouping binds a significant number of Soviet troops and thus prevents the Soviet command from launching an even more powerful offensive.
At the end of December, a discussion of further actions was held at the State Defense Committee. Stalin proposed to transfer the guide for the defeat of the surrounding enemy forces into the hands of one person. The rest of the GKO members supported this decision. As a result, the operation to destroy the enemy troops was headed by Konstantin Rokossovsky. Under his command was the Don Front.
The Germans, surrounded by Stalingrad at the start of the “Ring” operation, were still a serious force: about 250 thousand people, more than 4 thousand guns and mortars, up to 300 tanks and 100 aircraft. December 27 Rokossovsky presented a plan of operation to Stalin. It should be noted that the Headquarters practically did not strengthen the Don Front with tank and rifle formations. The front had fewer troops than the enemy: 212 thousand people, 6,8 thousand guns and mortars, 257 tanks and 300 aircraft. Due to the lack of forces, Rokossovsky was forced to order the cessation of the offensive and the transition to defense. Artillery was to play a decisive role in the operation.
One of the most important tasks that Konstantin Konstantinovich had to solve after encircling the enemy was the liquidation of the “air bridge”. German airplanes supplied the German group with ammunition, fuel, and food. Reichsmarschall German Goering promised to transfer up to 500 tons of cargo daily to Stalingrad. However, as Soviet troops advanced westward, the task became more complicated. I had to use more and more remote airfields from Stalingrad. In addition, Soviet pilots under the command of the generals Golovanov and Novikov who arrived near Stalingrad actively destroyed enemy transport aircraft. A large role in the destruction of the air bridge "played and anti-aircraft gunners. Between November 24 and January 31, 1942, the Germans lost about 500 vehicles. After such losses, Germany was no longer able to restore the potential of the military transport aviation. Very soon, German aircraft could transfer only about 100 tons of cargo per day. From January 16 to 28, only about 60 tons of cargo were dumped per day.
The position of the German grouping has deteriorated dramatically. Ammunition and fuel was not enough. Hunger began. The soldiers were forced to eat horses, left over from the defeated Romanian cavalry, as well as horses, which were used for transport purposes in the German infantry divisions. Ate and dogs. The shortage of food was noted even before the encirclement of the German troops. Then it was found that the food ration of soldiers is no more than 1800 kilocalories. This led to the fact that up to a third of the personnel suffered from various diseases. Hunger, excessive mental and physical stress, cold, lack of medicines were the causes of high mortality among the Germans.
Under these conditions, the commander of the Don Front, Rokossovsky, suggested sending an ultimatum to the Germans, the text of which was agreed with the General Headquarters. Given the hopeless situation and the futility of further resistance, Rokossovsky suggested that the enemy lay down his arms in order to avoid vain bloodshed. The prisoners were promised normal food and medical care. 8 January 1943 was attempted to deliver an ultimatum to German troops. Previously, on the radio, the Germans were notified of the appearance of parliamentarians and ceased firing at the site where the ultimatum was to be given to the enemy. However, no one came out to meet the Soviet parliamentarians, and then they opened fire on them. The Soviet attempt to show humanity towards the defeated enemy was not successful. Roughly violating the rules of war, the Nazis shot at the Soviet parliamentarians.
However, the Soviet command still hoped for the reasonableness of the enemy. The next day, January 9, made a second attempt to give the Germans an ultimatum. This time, the Germans met the Soviet parliamentarians. Soviet parliamentarians offered to hold them to Paulus. But they were told that they knew the content of the ultimatum from the radio program and that the command of the German troops refused to accept this demand. The Soviet command tried to bring to the Germans the idea of the senselessness of resistance through other channels: hundreds of thousands of leaflets were dropped onto the territory of the surrounded German troops, German prisoners of war appeared on the radio.
On the morning of January 10, 1943, after a powerful artillery and air strike, the Don Front troops launched an offensive. German troops, despite all the difficulties with the supply, put up fierce resistance. They relied on a fairly powerful defense, organized on equipped positions, which the Red Army occupied in the summer of 1942. Their battle formations were tight due to the shrinking front. The Germans made one counterattack after another, trying to hold their positions. The offensive took place in severe weather conditions. Frost and snowstorms hampered the movement of troops. In addition, the Soviet troops had to attack in an open area, while the enemy kept the defense in trenches, dugouts.
However, the Soviet troops were able to penetrate the enemy's defenses. They were eager to free Stalingrad, which became a symbol of the invincibility of the Soviet Union. Every step was worth the blood. A trench for a trench, fortifications for strengthening took the Soviet fighters. By the end of the first day, Soviet troops had penetrated 6-8 km in a number of sectors into the enemy defenses. The greatest success was the 65-I army of Pavel Batov. She was advancing in the direction of the Kennel. The 44-i and 76-i German infantry and 29-i motorized divisions defeated in this direction suffered great losses. The Germans attempted to stop our armies at the second defensive line, which mainly passed along the middle Stalingrad defensive line, but did not succeed. The Don Front 13-14 January made a regrouping of forces and January 15 resumed the offensive. By the middle of the day, the second German defensive line was broken. The remains of the German troops began to retreat to the ruins of the city.
January 1943. Street fights.
January 24 Paulus reported on the deaths of the 44, 76, 100, 305 and 384 infantry divisions. The front was torn apart, the strong points remained only in the area of the city. The catastrophe of the army became inevitable. Paulus offered to rescue the remaining people to give him permission to surrender. However, Hitler did not give permission to capitulate.
The plan of the operation, developed by the Soviet command, provided for the dismemberment of the German group into two parts. 25 January 21-I army of Ivan Chistyakov made its way into the city from the western direction. From the eastern direction, the 62-I army of Vasily Chuikov was advancing. After the 16 days of brutal 26 battles of January, our armies united in the area of the Krasny Oktyabr village and Mamayev Kurgan. Soviet troops dismembered the German 6 th army into the northern and southern groups. The southern group, sandwiched in the southern part of the city, included the remnants of the 4, 8 and 51 army corps and the 14 tank corps. During this time, the Germans lost up to 100 thousand people.
It must be said that a rather long operation period was associated not only with a powerful defense, dense enemy defensive orders (a large number of troops in a relatively small area), and a shortage of tank and rifle formations of the Don Front. It was important and the desire of the Soviet command to avoid unnecessary losses. German resistance knots were crushed by powerful fire strikes.
The rings of the environment around the German factions continued to shrink. Fighting in the city continued for several more days. 28 January, the southern German group was torn into two parts. January 30 Hitler produced Paulus to field marshals. In the radiogram sent to the commander of the 6 army, Hitler hinted to him that he should commit suicide because not a single German field marshal had been captured. 31 January Paulus surrendered. The South German grouping capitulated. On the same day, Field Marshal was taken to the headquarters of Rokossovsky. Despite the demands of Rokossovsky and the commander of the Red Army artillery Nikolai Voronov (he took an active part in the development of the “Ring” plan) to order the surrender of the remnants of the 6 army and save soldiers and officers, Paulus refused to give such an order, under the pretext that he was a prisoner of war , and his generals are now personally subordinate to Hitler.
The imprisonment of Field Marshal Paulus.
The northern grouping of the 6 Army, which was defending itself in the area of the tractor plant and the Barricades plant, lasted somewhat longer. However, after a powerful February 2 artillery strike, she also capitulated. The commander of the 11 Army Corps, Karl Streiker, surrendered. In total, 24 General, 2500 officers and about 90 thousand soldiers were captured during the operation “Ring”.
Operation Ring completed the success of the Red Army at Stalingrad. The whole world saw how not long ago “invincible” representatives of the “higher race” were tattered by ragged mobs sadly captive. During the offensive, the troops of the Don Front in the period from January 10 to February 2 completely destroyed the Wehrmacht 22 divisions.
German prisoners from the 11 Infantry Corps of Colonel-General Karl Strecker, who surrendered in February 2 1943. District of the Stalingrad Tractor Plant
Almost immediately after the elimination of the last foci of resistance of the enemy, the troops of the Don Front began to load into echelons and move to the west. Soon they will form the south face of the Kursk bulge. The troops that passed the battle of the Stalingrad battle became the elite of the Red Army. In addition to combat experience, they felt the taste of victory, were able to withstand and win up over the enemy's selective troops. In April-May, the armies participating in the Battle of Stalingrad received the rank of guards. 21-Army Chistyakov became 6-th Guards Army, 24-Army Galanin - 4-Guards, 62-Army Chuikov - 8-Guards, 64-I Shumilova army - 7-Guards, 66-I Zhadova - 5-th Guards.
The defeat of the Germans at Stalingrad became the largest military and political event of the Second World War. The military plans of the German military-political leadership failed completely. In the war there was a radical change in favor of the Soviet Union.
The best fighters of the 95 Infantry Division (62-I army) after the liberation of the plant "Red October" were photographed at the shop, which was still burning. Soldiers rejoice at the thanks received from Supreme Commander J. V. Stalin, addressed to parts of the Don Front. In the first row to the right is the division commander, Colonel Vasily Akimovich Gorishniy. Source: http://waralbum.ru/