A German prisoner of war escorted by a Soviet soldier, Stalingrad, 1943

In this photo, a Red Army soldier is seen taking a German soldier captive after the Battle of Stalingrad. The goal was being scored before the Germans were put to death. The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest battles ever fought in the history of the war, with over 2 million casualties.

On January 20, 1943, the 65th Soviet Army broke through the German defensive lines around Stalingrad and by January 22 reached Gumrak, the last German airfield equipped with land transport aircraft carrying supplies to the cauldron. and evacuating the wounded.

The fate of the Sixth Army was sealed. Once the Sixth Army was cut off, it was also difficult to remain indifferent to the starvation and suffering experienced by German soldiers.

When Sixth Army men were imprisoned in late January/early February 1943, they were closer to death than life itself. The supply situation of the 6th Army was already difficult since the summer of 1942 due to the low possibilities of transportation during the advance.

Already in September 1942, the daily bread ration was 300 grams, that is, about three thin slices. When the Sixth Army had to supply by air, the daily bread ration sank to 100 grams by Christmas 1942, with only soldiers able to obtain 200 grams.

During January 1943, the situation worsened again - in the end only the fighting men received ration food rations, which amounted to less than 100 grams of bread. The injured and sick were no longer entitled to rations.

The Soviet command offered a very generous surrender to the German general of Stalingrad. Ration, medicine, repatriation to any country chosen after the war. General Paulus denied this. Paulus claimed that he was following Hitler's orders. which was true. Hitler refused to surrender and promised that soon there would be supplies and reinforcements.

So General Paulus organized. He repeatedly asked Hitler for permission to surrender, hoping to save the lives of his soldiers. Hitler refused the request every time. When Hitler promoted Paulus to field marshal, he stated that there was not a single German field marshal who had ever surrendered alive, meaning that General Paulus was ordered to kill himself. Only then was Paulus convinced that Hitler had left the troops, and the next day he surrendered.

After about a month of the 110,000 Germans who had been taken captive, only 35,000 were still alive, and only 5,000 returned home after the war.

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