On This Day

Friedrich Paulus

German Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus

Profession: German Field Marshal

Nationality:
Germany
German

Why Famous: Paulus was the only German field marshal to surrender during World War II, at the battle of Stalingrad. He led the 6th Army, which was totally destroyed in the battle, and spent several years in captivity.

He refused Hitler's implied order to commit suicide instead of surrender (saying he had no intention of dying for the "Bohemian corporal") and capitulated on January 31, 1942. Hitler was enraged and vowed never to appoint a field marshal again, though he appointed seven more before the war was over.

After the war he spent time in Soviet captivity before being released and dying in Dresden in 1957. Only around 6,000 people of his army of nearly 250,000 survived the war.

Born: September 23, 1890
Birthplace: Guxhagen, German Empire

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Libra

Died: February 1, 1957 (aged 66)
Cause of Death: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Articles and Photos

Events in the Life of Friedrich Paulus

  • 1942-08-19 World War II: General Friedrich Paulus orders the German 6th Army to conquer Stalingrad
  • 1943-01-30 Adolf Hitler promotes Friedrich Paulus, commander of the 6th Army, to Field Marshal in the hope that he will not surrender
  • 1943-01-31 Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus surrenders to Soviet troops at Stalingrad

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