to the encircled German 6th Army.
On January 7, 1943 the Russian High Command informed the Commander in
6th Army by wireless that they were sending three officers across the
lines under a
flag of truce. Sixth Army expressed its readiness to receive them.
The time fixed was
ten o'clock, on the morning of 8 January 1943
On the appointed day, acting on behalf of the
Commander in Chief of the Russians troops
on the Don Front, Lieutenant General Rokossovski
sent his emissaries through the northern
sector of the German lines with the following
ultimatum, addressed to the 6th Army :
the Commander in Chief of the German Sixth Army,
General Paulus, or his representative.
The Sixth Army, formations of the Fourth Panzer
Army, and those units sent to reinforce them
have been completely encircled since the 23rd
of November, 1942.
The soldiers of the Red Army have sealed this
German Army Group within an unbreakable
ring. All hopes of the rescue of your troops
by a German offensive from the south or
south-west have proved vain. The German units
hastening to your assistance were defeated
by the Red Army, and the remnants are now redrawing
The German air transport fleet, which brought
you a starvation ration of food, munitions and
fuel has been compolled by the Red Army's succesful
and rapid advance repeatedly to
withdraw to airfields more distant from the encircled
troops. It should be added that the
German air transport fleet is suffering enormous
losses in machines and crews at the hands
of the Russian Airforce. The help they can bring
to the besieged forces is rapidly becoming
The situation of your troops is desperate. They
are suffering from hunger, sickness and cold.
The cruel Russian winter has scarcely yet begun.
Hard frosts, cold winds and blizzards still
lie ahead. Your soldiers are unprovided with
winter clothing and are living in appalling
You, as Commander in Chief, and all the officers
of the encircled forces know well that there
is for you no real possibility of breaking out.
Your situation is hopeless, and any further
In view of the desperate situation in which you
are placed, and in order to save unnecessary
bloodshed, we propose that you except the following
terms of surrender :
1) All the encircled German troops, headed by
yourself and your staff, shall cease to resist.
2) You will hand over to such persons as shall
be authorised by us, all members of your
armed forces, all war materials and all army
equipment in an undamaged condition.
3) We guarantee the safety of all officers and
men who cease to resist, and their return after
the end of the war to Germany or to any other
country to which these prisoners of war
may wish to go.
4) All personell of units which surrender may
retain their military uniforms, badges of rank,
decorations, personal belongings and valuables
and, in case of high ranking officers their
5) All officers, non-commissioned officers and
men who surrender will immediately receive
6)All those are wounded, sick of frost-bitten
will be given medical treatment.
Your reply is to be given in writing by ten o'clock,
Moscow time the 9th of January 1943.
It must be delivered by your personal representative,
who is to travel in a car bearing a white
flag along the road that leads tothe Konny siding
at Kotlubanj station. Your representative
will be met by fully authorised Russian officers
in District B, 500 metres south-east of siding
564 at 10.00hrs. on the 9th of January, 1943.
Should you refuse our offer that you lay down
in your arms, we hereby give you notice
that the forces of the Red Army and the Red Airforce
will be compelled to proceed with
the distruction of the encircled German tropps.
The responsibility for this will lie with you.
Headquarters Red Army Supreme Command,
General of the Artillery Voronov.
Commander in Chief of the Forces of the Don front,