Sunday, September 12, 2010


This is coolbert:

From the wiki entry for Stalingrad, here is the sort of thing that catches my attention right away:

"According to the German documentary film "Stalingrad", over 11,000 soldiers refused to lay down their arms at the official surrender, presumably believing that fighting to the death was better than a slow end in Soviet camps. They continued to resist, hiding in cellars and sewers, but by early March 1943, the remaining small and isolated pockets of resistance had surrendered. According to Soviet intelligence documents shown in the documentary, 2,418 of the men were killed and 8,646 captured."

We have to fully understand this. Even in the aftermath of the official surrender of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, 91,000 German soldiers going into captivity, there WERE STILL POCKETS OF RESISTANCE - - up to 10,000 or so Axis troops continuing the fight!!

NOT necessarily German soldiers however? What were called Hiwis? Russian and Soviet citizens and nationals who had joined forces and fought with the German? Those individuals who for a variety of circumstances collaborated with the German invader and fought on the side of the fascists!

"Hiwi is a German abbreviation: 'voluntary assistant' (Hilfswilliger, literally one willing to help)"

And constituting a goodly portion of the "German" front line troops at Stalingrad! Much more than I would have ever thought possible! Amazingly so even!

"the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, where they added up to about 25% (50,000) of the front-line strength. Some German divisions had a higher ratio—for example, the 71st and 76th Infantry had parity between German and 'Hiwi' manpower."

"It is disturbing that we are forced to strengthen our fighting troops with Russian prisoners of war, who are already being turned into gunners. It's an odd state of affairs that the 'Beasts' we have been fighting against are now living with us in closest harmony." - - German Colonel Groscurth

The Hiwi preferred death to surrender. And was able to survive under the harshest circumstances as well and even continue to fight. I can imagine Hiwi donning civilian clothes or Soviet uniforms and passing for the "enemy". Hell, the Hiwi WERE for the most part Soviet soldiers!! Able to scrounge, forage, speak the language, etc.

And death was preferable to surrender. ONLY 5,000 of those 91,000 Germans captured at Stalingrad emerged alive from captivity. Death WAS better than surrender!


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