Friedrich Paulus

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Paulus, Friedrich


Born Sept. 23, 1890, in Breitenau, Hessen; died Feb. 1, 1957, in Dresden. Fascist German field marshal (1943).

Paulus joined the army in 1910. He fought in World War I and then remained in the regular army (Reichswehr). From 1935 to 1939 he was chief of staff of the panzer troops. At the beginning of World War II, during the aggression against Poland, he was chief of staff of the Fourth Army. During the operations against France in 1940 he was chief of staff of the Sixth Army. From September 1940 to January 1942 he was chief quartermaster of the General Staff for land forces and one of the principal drafters of Operation Barbarossa. In January 1942 he took command of the Sixth Army on the Eastern Front and was in charge of the offensive on Stalingrad. After his army was surrounded by Soviet troops near Stalingrad, he proposed a plan for breaking out of the encirclement, which was rejected by Hilter.

On Jan. 31, 1943, Paulus surrendered to Soviet troops with part of his army. While he was a Soviet prisoner, he joined the antifascist Union of German Officers in 1944 and later the National Committee of Free Germany. He appeared as a witness for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials of the main war criminals. In 1953 he took up residence in the German Democratic Republic.


Ich stehe hier auf Befehl. Frankfurt am Main, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.