Award Doc. to General der Panzertruppen von Paulus
General der Panzertruppen Paulus Award Document - Acknowledgment of the Croatian Award Document, of the Order of Iron Trefoil First Class with Oakleaves, awarded to General der Panzertruppen von Paulus, dated 1.1.1943. (Only TWO Orders of Iron Trefoil First Class with Oakleaves were known to be awarded, one to Croatian leader A. Pavelic, and the second to General der Panzertruppen von Paulus). Footnote: Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus (23 September 1890 - 1 February 1957) was an officer in the German military from 1910 to 1945. He attained the rank of Generalfeldmarschall (field marshal) during World War II, and is best known for commanding the Sixth Army in the Battle of Stalingrad, including the successful advance toward the city and the less successful attack in 1942 (Case Blue) stopped by the Soviet counter-offensives during the 1942-43 winter. The battle ended in disaster for Nazi Germany when about 265,000 soldiers of the Wehrmacht, their Axis allies, and the anti-Soviet Hilfswillige Russian volunteers were encircled and defeated. Of the 107,000 captured, only 6,000 survived the captivity and returned home by 1955.Paulus surrendered to Soviet forces in Stalingrad on 31 January 1943, a day after he was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall by Adolf Hitler. Hitler expected Paulus to commit suicide, citing the fact that there was no record of a German field marshal ever being captured alive. While in Soviet captivity during the war, Paulus became a vocal critic of the Nazi regime and joined the Soviet-sponsored National Committee for a Free Germany. He moved to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in 1953.