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ULTIMATUM OF SOVIET HQ

January 8, 1943.

To the Commander in Chief of the German Sixth Army, Colonel General Paulus, or his representative and to all the officers and men of the German units now besieged in Stalingrad

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 to Rostov.

The German air transport fleet, which brought you a starvation ration of food, munitions and fuel has been compelled by the Red Army's successful 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 illusory. 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 sanitary conditions.

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 resistance senseless. 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 authorized by us, all members of your armed forces, all war materials and all army equipment in an undamaged condition. 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. All personnel 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 swords. All officers, non-commissioned officers and men who surrender will immediately receive normal rations. 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 to the Konniy siding at Kotluban station. Your representative will be met by fully authorized Russian officers in District B, 500 metres south-east of siding 564 at 10 AM 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 eliminating of the encircled German troops. The responsibility for this will lie with you.


Representing Headquarters Red Army Supreme Command,
Colonel General of the Artillery
Voronov

The Commander in Chief of the Forces of the Don front,
Lieutenant General
Rokossovsky



Special thanks to:
Geert Rottiers

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