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  • Lisa Ketter

    Eastern Front, Army Group Center, july 1944: German NCO prepares dynamite and fuse to blow up the railway tracks near Grodno.

  • Richard La Porta

    German Oberfeldwebel preparing the primer of a dynamite stick. Russia 16. - 17. July 1944

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'Behind Enemy Lines,' Russian cavalry, by Dmitri Baltermants 1941

Soviet snipers 1945

Two Red Army riders pass among the remnants of a German column in the streets of liberated Odessa, Ukraine, 1944.

A group of young children gaze out at the photographer just prior to their execution by an Einsatzkommando. An estimated one million Jewish children died in the Holocaust, most of them in the gas chambers of the death camps. As the Germans swept into Soviet territory, they sometimes turned the task of killing Jewish children over to their Ukrainian allies.

Russian WW2 snipers.

Lonely vigil: German machine gunner on the Eastern Front at his post ready for the enemy.

Eastern Front: German officer consults map along with Romanian lieutenant sporting the trademark Astrakhan woolly cap of the Romanian army. The Romanians were poorly led and equipped and their staying power was minimal. They suffered terrible losses in Russia.

SS-Standartenführer Joachim Peiper (right), serving with SS-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler on the Eastern Front, is photographed in conversation with another officer probably in 1943. Peiper, adjutant to Heinrich Himmler between 1940 and 1941, was Himmler's protege and one of the most aggressive young panzer commanders of WW2. He survived the war and was murdered in France in 1976.

This German vehicle faired somewhat better in the Russian mud than the kubbelwagen (jeep). Winter 1942/43.

SS-Obersturmführer Rudolf von Ribbentrop, the son of the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, received on 15 July 1943 the Knight’s Cross for his actions and determination during the Battle of Kursk. . On 12 July Ribbentrop’s tanks were attacked by a large group of T-34s. As the range reduced to less than 175m (200yd) the effectiveness of the German guns was neutralized. Ribbentrop and his crew succeeded in destroying, for that day alone, 14 Soviet tanks.

German dispatch rider during a pause somewhere on the Eastern Front. The assignment was among the most dangerous, with the dispatch rider crossing often enemy territory away from all friendly presence, easy prey to partisans and enemy soldiers.

The misery of Eastern Front: This German POW, barely dressed for the subzero temperatures, looks at the lens of the Red Army photographer with an expression of utter exhaustion and despair. Few German POWs survived Russian captivity -- which often included a dispatch to Siberia.

Soviet forced laborers swing from the gallows courtesy of the SS at the Cologne-Ehrenfeld concentration camp on Oct 25, 1944. Death was the usual penalty for even the slightest infraction. Note how the young man in the center of the picture has his eyes open looking at the last sight of his life as the rope robs him of his breath.SS officers observe in the background.

Well padded Russian officer, carrying a pair of "requisitioned" German standard issue Zeiss field glasses,in the vicinity of Stalingrad after the end of the battle in Jan 1943. The Russian winter kit was a significant factor in Red Army endurance in contrast to the rather pitiful state of German extreme cold clothing.

A German KIA, still wearing his glasses and Iron Cross, 2nd Class, lies near a pile of dead comrades inside the Stalingrad "Kessel" (cauldron) and was photographed by a Red Army photographer after the end of the battle in Jan 1943.

And the retreat came. German troops trudge across the snowy landscape on their way west and out of the Ukraine in Jan 1944.Horse-drawn carriages doing better than motor vehicles, which break down are are abandoned on the side of the muddy path. During such retreats casualties from the weather, disease, and starvation are usually higher than those due to battle.

Wreckage of a German support column that came within range of Soviet artillery near Bobruisk, Belarus in June 1944. In the foreground is a German KIA -- who's missing his boots, the very first item those who robbed dead bodies snatched.

Wounded and dazed Red Army soldiers taken POW by the Germans near Lake Ladoga, Sept 1943.Hopes of survival for these wretches were very low. The uglier the war in the East became, the fewer POWs both sides were willing to take.

Flak-Kanoniere of the 2. SS-Panzer-Division 'Das Reich' wave a flag to alert the Stuka pilots above them of their position at the frontline in the region of Belgorod, Russia. In the left an Sd.Kfz. 10/5 carried the 2 cm FlaK 30. 3 August 1943.

USAAF burned out bomber B-17, number 297247, after a German raid against the US base in Poltava, Ukraine, on 6/22/1944. In Feb 1944, the Soviet airfield was provided to the USAAF as a heavy bomber staging field, used by the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces for shuttle bombing missions. The concept of operations was for American aircraft to use England (8th Air Force), Italy, and the Ukrainian base as vertices of a triangular bombing campaign against Axis targets in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Panzer Tiger assists another stuck in muddy ground. Russia 1943

Former Russian POW Piotr Palnikov (center, in uniform) looks on as German civilians exhume the bodies of 223 Russian POWs murdered by the SS in Wurfel, Hanover, on Apr 8, 1945. Palnikov alerted the Americans of the mass grave and troops of 35th Infantry Division pressed into service locals to exhume the bodies and give them a proper burial. The local population was ordered to attend the process.Evidence of this atrocity was included in the Nuremberg Trials.

Lauri Allan Törni aka Larry Thorne was a Finnish soldier who fought under 3 flags:Finnish, Nazi Germany,US.Thorne fought against the USSR both as a Finnish soldier and Waffen SS.The Russians put a price on his head during the Finno-USSR war because of his battle feats.Postwar,Thorne entered the US illegally but in 1954 was inducted into the US Army and was among the first to join the Special Forces.Thorne was killed in Vietnam in 1965.He is buried at Arlington Ntl Cemetery.

Troops of the 89th Guards Rifle Division march into liberated Popova upon the conclusion of Operation Rumyantsev launched by the Steppe Front in the Kharkov-Belgorod sector in Aug 1943. The operation aimed to dislodge strong German forces occupying Belgorod as a main pivot for offensive operations. The Red Army prevailed with the German retreating after reportedly suffering 3,200 KIA in three days of fighting.

Weapon Instruction to resistance fighters in the attic at Proost en Brandt, Russia 24-26 street, Amsterdam. This was a "full service" workshop for repairing small arms and helping with all other ordnance needs of the Dutch resistance. The rifle being demonstrated is the British Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk I. Sten SMGs can be seen on the repair bench.