Von Paulus

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

Moderator: sniper1shot

Jaywol
Supporter
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:00 pm

Von Paulus

Post by Jaywol » Fri Nov 24, 2006 6:10 pm

Does anyone have any comments on Von Paulus's standard of command during the Kharkov campaign during May 1942? Regards Jaywol.

User avatar
Christoph Awender
Patron
Posts: 2119
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 3:09 am
Location: Austria
Contact:

Post by Christoph Awender » Fri Nov 24, 2006 6:23 pm

Paulus was not a "von". His name is simply Friedrich Paulus.

\Christoph

User avatar
jmark
Contributor
Posts: 211
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2002 4:39 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by jmark » Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:28 pm

Does anyone have any comments on Von Paulus's standard of command during the Kharkov campaign during May 1942? Regards Jaywol.
It must have been good because he was awarded the Knight's Cross for his leadership of 6. Armee at Kharkov.

Jason
Leaping Horseman Books
Specialising in books about Stalingrad and the Eastern Front
*** NEW BOOK! Croatian Legion ***
http://www.leapinghorseman.com.au

User avatar
Rajin Cajun
Banned
Posts: 659
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:02 pm
Location: Utah, United States

Post by Rajin Cajun » Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:56 pm

Kharkov wouldn't be the place where I would question Paulus' command style.

Jaywol
Supporter
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:00 pm

Post by Jaywol » Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:32 pm

I am not criticising Paulus for his actions during the Kharkov campaign. The books I have read, Glantz's in particular, is from the Russian perspective and doesn't really provide an opinion, and others that state that Paulus favoured a more defensive stance, while Kleist and others preferred a more aggressive stance, again don't really give a lot of detail. I'm just trying to form a more accurate opinion. Regards Jaywol.

timobrienwells
Supporter
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:17 pm
Location: australia

Paulus

Post by timobrienwells » Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:10 pm

Hi Jaywol,from what I have read Paulus was highly regarded for his staff work,and he was well liked by his fellow officers.He was elevated to the command of 6th Army after von Reichenua had a heart attack in early 42.The counter attack against Timoshenko around Kharkov was mainly Von Bock's doing,I think.Apparently hitler was so pleased with the victory that he sent a personal letter of congratulations to Paulus.It seems that paulus was regarded as "competent" in the field,rather than gifted.That is,he was able but fairly conservative. Regards Tim Wells
tim wells

User avatar
Richard Hargreaves
Author
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:30 pm
Location: Gosport, England

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:30 am

Bill Russ is writing a book on the May 1942 battles. He's a member either of this forum or the Axis History one, so he might be able to help. His knowledge of the German Army is first-rate; his book on the Polish campaign is little short of a bible...
No-one who speaks German could be an evil man

Jaywol
Supporter
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:00 pm

Post by Jaywol » Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:08 pm

Thanks for your opinions, regards Jaywol.

User avatar
Richard Hargreaves
Author
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:30 pm
Location: Gosport, England

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:25 pm

Bill's a member over at AHF - found a recent post by him.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... t=#1000575

There are a couple of biogs of Paulus; Gorlitz's is rather old and from memory rather uncritical, while Steinkamp's covers the May 1942 battle in a single paragraph.

Here are some edited extracts from von Richthofen's Tagebuch (BA MA N671/9)

12/5/42

Bei Charkow scheinabr riesige Schweinerei, da Russe an 2 Stellen mit Panzern durchgebrochen. Wir müssen 1 Jagd, 1 Stuka and 2 Kampfgruppen angeben. ...
Die Sache bei Charkow stinkt scheint es erheblich. Ich muss weitere Kampfgruppen, 2 Jagdgruppen, und 2 Stukagruppen, aqlso fast alles, abgeben. Führerbefehl. Ich melde, dass mir damit erfolgreicher Abschluss Kertsch durchaus fraglich erscheint. Wird zur Kenntnis genommen.

14/5/42

Die Schlachtgeschwader und eine weitere Kampfgruppe wird genommen. Nun bleibt nichts mehr, ausser 2 Jagd und 2 schwachen Kampfgruppen. Damit kann ich bei dem stets enger werdenden Raum wirksam nicht mehr unterstützen.

15/5/42

Jeschonnek kommt. Zukunfts- und Grundfragen einig. Zeige ihm Kampfgelände und fliege mit ihm nach Kertsch. Man weiss nicht, ob man weinen oder fluchen soll. Die Roten stehen dicht gedrängt hart an der Küste und fahren übers Meer, wie sie wollen. Infanterie und Panzer kommen gegen die sich verzweifelt wehrenden Roten nicht vor und wir können nichts mehr machen, da nicht genügend und nicht geeignete Kräfte vorhanden. Die Sache wird noch schief gehen. Jeschonnek wieder fort. Ich fliege wütend Trappen schiessen. Mit der Pistole, auch in der Luft, erfolgreich. Ich soll jetzt auch noch bei Charkow führen. Von Reichsmarschall bereits befohlen, von Jeschonnek abgedreht vorerst. Ich protestierte: geht einfach nicht, dass ich einziger sein soll, der führen kann bei der Luftwaffe!

18/5/42

Um 0400 los bnei strahlenden Wetter zur Erkundung Sevastopol. Langs Küste über Jalta-Livadia geflogen, um sie kennen zu lernen. Sehr schön, grossartige Landschaft mit vielen früheren, teils sehr hübschen Villen und Chateaus mit grossen Gärten.

21/5/42

11-12 Mit Jeschonnek geredet. Über nähere Zukunft einig. Über fernere weniger. Luftflotte 4 soll und muss neu besetzt werden. Reichsmarschall will Loerzer, und ihn unter Vorpatent zum Generaloberst machen. Mir egal, Führer und Jeschonnek nicht. Wollen, dass ich soll. Betone dass damit mein Wirkungsgrad stark absinkt. Jeschonnek führt (mit Recht wohl) an, dass die höhere Luftwaffeführung schlecht, ich müsse daher stets dorthin, wo etwas los sei. Ich müsse Schule machen; von seinem Standpunkt hat er zweifellos Rehct, auch wenn mein Spezial-Wirkungsgrad geringer. Ich müsse dann die unterstellten Korps dahin trimmen. ... Zum Führer. Erst andere Vorträge, dann ich kurz über Erfahrungen Kertsch und Erfordernisse Sevastopol. Führer scheint zuzustimmen. Ansichten über Termine in der Zukunft. Das Ganze unter 4 Augen und bei Tisch. Führer sehr nett, nennt mich seinen Spezialisten pp

27/5/42

Frühmorgens in heisser Sonne auf Zentral Gefechtsstand. Ins Gelände eingesehen und - gelebt. Schlafhöhle gefunden. Wenig russ Artillerie und Bewegungen. Dauernd Flugbetrieb, niedrig, über See und Plätzen. Unsere Jäger stolz darüber. Die B-Stellen, Flugmelde- und sonstigen Einrichtungen saumässig. In den letzten Monatenist nichts getan, in den letzten Wochen trotz Befehlen an Fliegerführer Süd auch nichts. ...
No-one who speaks German could be an evil man

User avatar
derGespenst
Associate
Posts: 776
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:12 am
Location: New York City

Post by derGespenst » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:25 pm

The extracts are certainly interesting, but am I missing a connection to Paulus?

User avatar
Richard Hargreaves
Author
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:30 pm
Location: Gosport, England

Post by Richard Hargreaves » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:11 am

Not really. Paulus isn't mentioned in the extracts, but Richthofen was the senior Luftwaffe commander on the southern front at the time. :D
No-one who speaks German could be an evil man

Jaywol
Supporter
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:00 pm

Post by Jaywol » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:49 pm

Could you translate the text to English? Regards Jaywol.

User avatar
william russ
Supporter
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 3:20 pm
Location: Columbia, S.C. USA

Paulus as Commander....

Post by william russ » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:04 am

Hi everyone,
Well, halder has put me on the spot, so I'll put my two cents in. I think what Tim Wells and Jaywol said up above is a good assessment of Paulus' command leadership. He was a darn good staff officer but a so-so field commander. At Kharkov he did not want to attack into the Russian pocket and was pretty much ordered from above to do so. He had good reason to be reluctant though, as the 6th Army was hit by the brunt of the Soviet offensive and was thinking ahead about Operation Blau. He did have an overblown assessment of the Soviet armies ability and that is why (with the two other above reasons) he wanted to remain on the defensive. Luckily, OKH, Army Group South and others saw the chance to deal the Soviets a great blow before the beginning of the summer offensive.

Bill

Carl Schwamberger
Contributor
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:41 pm

Post by Carl Schwamberger » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:13 pm

Jaywol wrote:Could you translate the text to English? Regards Jaywol.
Just in case he is too busy or is otherwise unable to do so. ; )

http://babelfish.altavista.com/

Wolery
Supporter
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:49 am

Post by Wolery » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:38 pm

I've heard of Paulus being a Von too? Any idea where that comes from? It's not like we say Felmarschall Von Rommel or anything.

Post Reply