These letters, from 7 bags of mail flown out of Stalingrad on the last plane, never reached their destination; they were suppressed and eventually preserved in the army archives in Potsdam, revealing as they do ""a dirge of melancholy unique in literature"". The letters were written by the surviving members of the Sixth German Army which, because of Hitler's ambitious overextension, became a ""legion of the damned"" and like another Grande Armee was trapped to die in the snow like dogs. The letters, addressed to those at home, as their writers faced ""heaven or Siberia"", are the last words of doomed men written in the reality of ""misery, hunger, cold, renunciation, doubt, despair and horrible death"". They serve as a small postscript to the authentic annals of World War II; there is an excellent introduction by General S.L.A. Marshall and the illustrations by Szegedi Szuts have not been seen.