Paulus, a sharp contrast to his previous reputation, decided to reduce the city to rubble to take it as soon as possible hoping this would lead to collapse of Soviet resistance. Big mistake!, The opposite happened. Paulus preferred this before cutting the lines of communications and Russian supplies across the Volga. The ruins provoded natural hiding places for Russians everywhere. Soon, the Germans realized that instead of undermining the morale of Russians, it was boosting it.
By late September, the Germans did not take any Stalingrad. Paulus smiled every time German journalists asked him if the city would fall. By October almost 90% of Stalingrad was in German hands and it seemed that one more offensive would finally give them the victory.
The Russians seemed quite fresh, and lively, while the Germans were suffering from lack of food reserves, tired and on the edge.
It was on 19 November 3500 when Soviet guns fell on the German positions. Six days later the encirclement was complete and then on the Germans experienced hunger, torture, despair. This was the beginning of the end of the 6th Army, a fact that would culminate in February 1943. The Russians, mockingly, cooked near the German lines.
These are hooves and horseshoes of Hungarian cavalry. The hungry starving Germans ate up the horses.
On February 2 the last bullet was fired in the city. It was the end of everything.
Saddles of the above mentioned horses
Helmets of the Germans
Not some Gothic horror movie. These are pitiful remains of the Wehrmacht in Stalingrad
German POW accept a smoke from a Russian soldier
The assignment of keeping the first diary was given to a soldier in the 2nd Battalion, 201st Panzer Regiment by a commanding officers and the author never saw fit to include his own name. This diary covers the period from April 1942 to March 1943, the momentous year when the tide of battle turned in the East. It first details the unit's combat in the great German victory at Kharkov, then the advance to the Caucasus, and finally the brutal winter of 1942-43.
The second diary's author was a soldier named Rolf Krengel, and the diary was the original, handwritten copy. It starts with the beginning of the war and ends shortly after the occupation. Serving primarily in North Africa, Krengel recounts with keen insight and flashes of humor the day-to-day challenges of the AfrikaKorps. During one of the swirling battles in the desert, Krengel found himself sharing a tent with Rommel at a forward outpost.
Neither of the diarists was famous, nor of especially high rank, and no books have been written on their military careers. However, these are the brutally honest accounts written at the time by men of the Wehrmacht who participated in two of history's most crucial campaigns.
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