stalingrad breakout :fact or fiction?

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by barbed wire, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. barbed wire

    barbed wire Junior Member

    I've read it in several books that in the latter stages of the encirclement german soldiers were allowed to attempt to breakout of the kessel; and that one german soldier actually made it to friendly lines; only to be killed by russian mortar fire - twenty four hours later. fact or fiction ?
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I dont know about the individual concerned but it was a long way for German Forces to break out, especially weakened by a lack of food and proper winter clothing.
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I cannot say that I have come across that. As far as I am aware, but stand to be corrected, Hitler had directed a stand to the last man.

    Units were attempting to break through to relieve the siege, but non succeded.

  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I dont have any references to the break out attempt (von Mellenthin gives a god account of his participation in it in his memoirs) but they did get to about 25 miles of the perimeter. Even so that is a virtually impossible journey for an emaciated, cold, weak soldier and we arent even factoriing in Soviet forces yet.
  5. barbed wire

    barbed wire Junior Member

    This is the reference I was referring to in Paul Carrell's 'Stalingrad' he states the following (pg 209)...

    Many set out: staff officers with entire companies, like those from the headquarters of XI Korps & the 71st Infantry Division. Lts & Sgts set out with platoons under cover of night. Corporals & privates stalked out of the rubble in twos & threes or even alone. isolated groups were spotted in the steppe by pilots as late as mid-February. Then they lost track of them. Only one man, an NCO with a Flak Battery, Uffz Nieweg, is reported to have got through. But 48 hours after reaching safety he was killed by a stray mortar round at a dressing station of the 11th Panzer Division.
  6. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    Paul Carell's books suck for various reasons - his bio is one.
    BADHAK and Roxy like this.
  7. barbed wire

    barbed wire Junior Member

    Thanks for the link just read it. Perhaps this author (Charles Winchester - Ostfront - hitler's war on russia 1941-45) might be of better character, refers to the actual division in question (71st infantry division) on page 81.

    The author states that personnel from this division along with others were seen by german aircraft moving away from stalingrad and concludes interestingly that none survived.
  8. JohnOTT

    JohnOTT Junior Member

    I am writing a feature script that alludes to this attempted breakout, so it would be good know the facts and dates. I'll try and keep an eye on this thread! : )
  9. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    John, ze thread voz dead for the reasons mentioned. As said above, there were no survivors therefore literally no one to tell the story. Finito. Kaput.
  10. Stig O'Tracy

    Stig O'Tracy Senior Member

    This individual breakout is also mentioned in William Craig's Enemy at the Gates and Antony Beevor's Stalingrad. I suspect that Craig is repeating Carrel's claim whereas Beevor is more critical. I'd have to look at the book again to see exactly what he says about it.

    Although I agree that Carrel's pedigree is suspect if not downright corrupt, his style of writing and the details included in Hitler moves East and Scorched Earth were I believe ground breaking (for subject matter available in English) at their time of writing. I remember finding these in our library at my High School in the early 70's. I believe that they were the books that got me started reading military history.
  11. If I were trying to find evidence of German soldiers escaping I check the PoW who survived to return to Germany. They might have left some testimony about this.
  12. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Although the database is not complete there is one Nieweg listed in Volksbund who was KIA in December 1942 (and only 2 Nieweg's listed as KIA in the whole of 1942) in a place near Kotchkanow, although I have no idea where this place is...

    Nachname: Nieweg
    Vorname: Rudolf Wilhelm Ludwig
    Dienstgrad: Obergefreiter
    Geburtsdatum: 23.03.1908
    Geburtsort: Lage
    Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 20.12.1942
    Todes-/Vermisstenort: Höhe nördl. Kotchkanow

    There is no listing for anyone called Nieweg being KIA in 1943.
  13. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Liar

    OK im in the middle of reading.. Voices of stalingrad, By John Barnstable... its a collection of first person accounts by the German and Russian soldiers and civilians involved in the battle. The 6th Army was encircled in an area called the "kessel" or cauldron in english. Anyhow they were forbade to break out and to await a relief effort by General Hoth. The link up and rescue was a failure... Hitler Forbade any escape he wanted to turn stalingrad into a citadel and fight to the last man... he promoted General Paulus the commander of the german 6th army to field marshall in the hopes he would fight to the last man seeing as no german field marshall ever surrendered his army, in the history of the German army.. also the enemy troops and distance and lack of supplies would have made a break out by smaller units incredibly hard. i wont say a few got out but not many at all.
  14. Stig O'Tracy

    Stig O'Tracy Senior Member

    I re-read the bit about this in Beevor's book and he claims that 9 or 10 groups of German soldiers attempted to escape the pocket towards the end of the encirclement. By this time the outside German forces had been pushed back over the Donets River, over 200km away. He states that several German officers, including a lieutenant colonel were caught in Russian uniforms, after they were cornered by a Russian tank officer who was wounded in the event. No names are given though. Beevor refers obliquely to the Neuweg story and he says it's "unconvincing and undocumented" which I believe were his words.
  15. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Sorry I can't resist this :D ...... the most uniformed and fictional source of the lot - Sven Hassel - he has 800 men being led West by an "SS General" and a few men every week walking to German lines.
    ( I picked a copy up in local charity shop and was glancing over the end chapter to recapture my long lost youth.).
    The chances of anyone getting out alive - a snowball entering hell would get better odds.
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  16. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Liar

    Lord knows Old sven is a great source of ww2 facts that are true LOL.... too funny
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  17. Tadas

    Tadas New Member

    The 7th Lithuanian battalion commanded by captain Jonas Semaska after getting permit from Arthur Schmidt (chief of staff of Sixth Army) made attempt to break out from Staliningrad. 400 out of 700 Lithuanian soldiers succeeded in breaking through three lines of encirclement. As the result 23 Lithuanian soldiers (including captain Semaska) were awarded by Crosses for War Merits with Swords.

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