Chronicles of the Second World War: Eastern European Front

In the CIS countries, the war on the Eastern European Front, which became the site of the largest military confrontation in stories, called the Great Patriotic War. Over the 400 military units of the German and Red Army during the 4 years fought at the front, which stretched over more than 1600 km. Over the years, about 8 million Soviet and 4 million German soldiers have laid their heads on the Eastern European front. The hostilities were particularly violent: the largest tank battle in history (the Battle of Kursk), the longest siege of the city (almost 900-day blockade of Leningrad), scorched earth policy, the total destruction of thousands of villages, mass deportations, executions ... The situation was complicated by the fact that inside Armed forces there was a split. At the beginning of the war, some groups even recognized the fascist invaders as liberators from the Stalin regime and fought against the Red Army. After a series of defeats for the Red Army, Stalin issued an order No. XXUMX “Not one step back!”, Prohibiting Soviet soldiers from retreating without an order. In the case of disobedience of military leaders, the tribunal was waiting, and the soldiers could immediately receive punishment from their fellow soldiers, who were supposed to shoot at everyone who would run from the battlefield. This collection contains photos of 227-1942 years, covering the period of the Great Patriotic War from the blockade of Leningrad to the decisive Soviet victories at Stalingrad and Kursk. The scale of the hostilities of that time is almost impossible to imagine, much less illuminate in one photo essay, but images that have preserved for the descendants scenes of hostilities on the Eastern European front are offered to your attention.

Soviet soldiers go into battle over the ruins of Stalingrad, autumn 1942 of the year. (Georgy Zelma /

The squad leader oversees the advancement of his troops in the Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian SSR, 21 June 1942. (AP Photo)

The German anti-tank gun is preparing for battle on the Soviet front, the end of 1942 of the year. (AP Photo)

Residents of Leningrad take water during the almost 900-day siege of the Soviet city by the German occupiers, winter 1942 of the year. The Germans could not capture Leningrad, but surrounded it with a blockade ring, damaged communications and fired upon the city for more than two years. (AP Photo)

Funeral in Leningrad, spring 1942 year. As a result of the blockade, famine began in Leningrad, and because of the lack of medicines and equipment, people quickly died from diseases and injuries. During the siege of Leningrad, 1,5 killed a million soldiers and civilians, as many of Leningraders were evacuated, but many of them died on the way due to famine, disease and bombing. (Vsevolod Tarasevich /

The scene after a fierce battle on Rostov street during the occupation of the Soviet city by the German invaders in August 1942. (AP Photo)

German motorized artillery is shipped across the Don River on a pontoon bridge, 31 July 1942. (AP Photo)

Soviet woman looks at the burning house, 1942 year. (Nara)

German soldiers shoot Jews near Ivangorod, Ukrainian SSR, 1942 year. This picture was mailed to Germany and intercepted at a post office in Warsaw by a member of the Polish resistance who collected evidence of Nazi war crimes. The original photo belonged to Tadeusz Mazur and Jerzy Tomaszewski, and is now stored in the historical archive in Warsaw. Signed by the Germans on the back of the photograph: "USSR, 1942 year, the destruction of the Jews, Ivangorod."

A German soldier participates in the battle of Stalingrad, spring 1942. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv / German Federal Archive)

German soldiers cross the river in a tank, 3 August 1942. (AP Photo)

In 1942, the Red Army soldiers entered the village near Leningrad and found there 38 bodies of Soviet prisoners of war, tortured to death by German occupiers. (AP Photo)

The plane drops bombs on Stalingrad, September 25 1942. (AP Photo)

Soviet war orphans stand near the ruins of their home, the end of 1942 of the year. German invaders destroyed their house, and parents were captured. (AP Photo)

German armored car rides among the ruins of the Soviet fortress in Sevastopol, USSR, August 4 1942. (AP Photo)

Stalingrad in October 1942. Soviet soldiers fighting in the ruins of the factory "Red October". (Deutsches Bundesarchiv / German Federal Archive)

The soldiers of the Red Army are preparing to shoot from anti-tank guns in the approaching German tanks, October 13 1942. (AP Photo)

The German dunk bomber Junkers U-87 "Stuck" is involved in the Battle of Stalingrad. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv / German Federal Archive)

A German tank arrives at a broken Soviet tank on the outskirts of the forest, USSR, October 20, 1942. (AP Photo)

German soldiers are on the offensive near Stalingrad, the end of 1942 of the year. (Nara)

German soldier hangs the Nazi flag on the building in the center of Stalingrad. (Nara)

The Germans continued to fight for Stalingrad, despite the threat of encirclement by the Soviet army. In the photo: Stuck dive bombers bomb the factory district of Stalingrad, November 24 1942. (AP Photo)

The horse is looking for food on the ruins of Stalingrad, December 1942 of the year. (AP Photo)

Cemetery of tanks, organized by the Germans in Rzhev, December 21 1942. At the cemetery there were about 2 thousands of tanks in different condition. (AP Photo

German soldiers are walking along the ruins of a gas generator station in the factory district of Stalingrad, December 28 1942. (AP Photo)

Ruins of Stalingrad after fierce fighting, November 5 1942. (AP Photo)

The soldiers of the Red Army are firing at the enemy from the backyard of an abandoned house on the outskirts of Stalingrad, December 16 1942. (AP Photo)

Soviet soldiers in winter outfits took a position on the roof of a building in Stalingrad, January 1943. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv / German Federal Archive)

The Soviet tank T-34 is racing across the Square of Fallen Wrestlers in Stalingrad, January 1943. (Georgy Zelma /

Soviet soldiers take refuge behind the barricades of the ruins during the battle with the German occupiers on the outskirts of Stalingrad at the beginning of 1943. (AP Photo)

German soldiers attack the destroyed streets of Stalingrad, the beginning of 1943. (AP Photo)

Soldiers of the Red Army in camouflage go on the offensive on the German positions on the snow-covered field on the German-Soviet front, March 3 1943. (AP Photo)

Soviet infantry march across snow-covered hills in the vicinity of Stalingrad to liberate the city from the Nazi invaders, the beginning of 1943. The Red Army surrounded the German 6 Army consisting of about 300 thousands of German and Romanian soldiers. (AP Photo)

Soviet soldier guarding a captive German soldier, February 1943. Having spent several months in the Soviet environment in Stalingrad, the German 6-I army capitulated, losing 200 thousands of soldiers in fierce battles and as a result of the famine. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv / German Federal Archive)

German Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus is being questioned at the headquarters of the Red Army near Stalingrad, USSR, March 1, 1943. Paulus was the first German field marshal who was captured by the Soviet Union. Contrary to Hitler's expectations that Paulus would fight until his death (or commit suicide after defeat), in the Soviet captivity the field marshal began to criticize the Nazi regime. Subsequently, he acted as a witness for the prosecution at the Nuremberg trial. (AP Photo)

The soldiers of the Red Army are sitting in a trench, over which the Soviet tank T-34 is passing, during the Battle of Kursk in 1943. (Mark Markov-Grinberg /

The bodies of German soldiers lie along the road southwest of Stalingrad, 14 April 1943. (AP Photo)

Soviet soldiers shoot at enemy aircraft, June 1943 of the year. (

German Tiger tanks engage in fierce battles south of Orel during the Battle of Kursk, mid-July 1943. From July to August 1943, in the Kursk area, the greatest tank battle in history was fought, in which about 3 thousands of German and more than 5 thousands of Soviet tanks participated. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv / German Federal Archive)

German tanks are preparing for a new attack during the Battle of Kursk, July 28, 1943. The German army had been preparing for an offensive for months, but the Soviets were aware of Germany’s plans and developed a powerful defense system. After the defeat of the German troops in the Battle of Kursk, the Red Army maintained superiority until the very end of the war. (AP Photo)

German soldiers are ahead of the Tigr tank during the Battle of Kursk in June or July of the 1943 year. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv / German Federal Archive)

Soviet soldiers attack German positions in a smoke screen, USSR, July 23, 1943. (AP Photo)

Captured German tanks stand in a field southwest of Stalingrad, 14 on April 1943. (AP Photo)

Soviet lieutenant distributes cigarettes to German prisoners of war near Kursk, July 1943 of the year. (Michael Savin /

View of Stalingrad, almost completely destroyed after six months of fierce fighting, at the end of hostilities at the end of 1943. (Michael Savin /
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