64 World War 2 Photos by Dmitri Bal’termants

World War 2 Photos by Dmitri Bal’termants

Posted on August 14, 2007 by


World War 2 Photos by Dmitri Baltermants 1

Dmitri Nickolaevich Bal'termants was born in 1912, in Warsaw, Poland (the part of the Russian Empire at that time). In 1915, at the beginning of the revolution, his family moved in Moscow, where he have been living for the most part of his life.

During the World War 2 he made his shots through all over the front in such places as Moscow, Stalingrad (Volgograd nowadays) or Leningrad (St. Petersburg).

Now the pictures of Bal'termants have become the world famous symbols of the War.

See also:
The Battle in Volkhovsky Forest
On-ground Torpedo
Russian Tanks
Russian Snipers from WW2
Swings - 1944
Russian Fortications from World War 2
Astonishing Shot Back from 1942
Battle For Staliningrad
Finnish Propaganda to Russian Soldiers During WW2


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World War 2 Photos by Dmitri Baltermants 2

World War 2 Photos by Dmitri Baltermants 3


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64 Responses to “World War 2 Photos by Dmitri Bal’termants”

  1. Pietari says:

    Who are these POW in fur-hats? Romanians?

    • Pros says:

      It doesn’t matter. Do you know who IGOR is?

    • Jurjen S. says:

      Cossacks, maybe? Quite a few fought on the German side, I know.

      • lyosha says:

        no, not cossacks. Definitely Romanians. That is a Romanian Uniform. And there were NOT that many German cossacks. way more fought on the Russian side- “stalin’s cossacks.” Its just the fact of some russians fighting against their country as traitors and their later “brutal” (just in my opinion) treatment by Brits and Russians as POWS brought the relatively small number of SS cossacks fame. sad. good they killed them all.

    • snegovik says:

      Could be Italians as well (they went to Russia through Romania, large stocks of local fur caps were purchased there)

    • Soviet says:

      It is capture Romanians near Stalingrad.

  2. heyyoucanchangeyourname says:

    Absolutely amazing pics…. they must have been touched up with some sort of program and they turned out very very nicely….

    Though some of the soldiers look so young, in their twenties, even

  3. void says:

    These photos do not prove that Russians have won the war.

    • Russ, Ian says:

      Your comment however, does prove that you are an ignorant douchebag.

    • Pros says:

      The fact that you are alive does. But do you know who IGOR is? (I’m having a social survey)

      • void0 says:

        Hmm… The Germans are lost, but they still alive. Americans have won the war and they alive. Russian are alive as well. Did I go far enough in my metaphysics?
        PS. Who is Igor I dunno. But the name itself goes from Scandinavian Ingvar. My name is 100% Russian unlike of the most of other names in Russia that come from Byzantium щк акщь Norman or just upgraded Cristian names…

    • luis says:

      Well, youre half right, but the russians HAVE won the war watch and see.

  4. me says:

    Pietari: i think they’re german soldiers.

  5. Pros says:

    So. Who knows who IGOR is?

  6. illlich says:

    POWs: those hats dont look like Nazi-issued fur caps, and I cant imagine the Soviets would issue German POWs fur caps for their forced march to the camps. Maybe they are not soldiers but a Soviet work force? Or political prisoners? Romanians also sounds plausible (as they sided with the Nazis for part of the war), or even Poles (many Poles were sent to the GULAG simply for being Poles).

    • anton says:

      Yeah yeah yeah… For your in info. Around 90% of all prisoners say they are innocent.

    • heyyoucanchangeyourname says:

      As unjust as this may seem, The Soviet Union had the RIGHT to send Poles to the gulags simply because they were Poles… since by the beginning of WWII the Soviets effectively owned Poland, they were allowed to impose whatever rules or sanctions upon them they wanted.

      Terrible, I know, but true.

  7. Petya says:

    Wow. These are some amazing pictures. I’ve never seen anything like that before. They are so clear, like they were made yesterday. And by the way, Russians did win the war. At least the war between Germany and Russia, which we called “The Great Patriotic War”. The WWII is a touchy subject because obviously other countries were involved in it. But anyway, by 1944 (when the US entered the war), the outcome of the was pretty clear. By that time Russians won several important battles that broke the German war machine beoynd repair. If Germany would succeed in convincing the Mexican government to provid their soil for German troops to land on (and they sure tried), they would conquer the US in a few weeks. Most historians agree that Germans would be in the Chicago area in a few days with little or no resistance.

    • Will says:

      Which historians are these, and where are you getting your information as to when the US entered the war?

      I’m not trying to diminish the capability of the Soviet Union of fighting Nazi Germany – they did an admirable job, but you have your facts horribly mixed up, and are likely ignoring other pertinent facts. In 1941 Germany declared war on the United States, and by 1942 the US is working with Britain to push German troops out of Tunisia, and began working towards Fortress Europe from North Africa.

      As to whether or not Germany wanted to land troops in Mexico and whether they could’ve taken Chicago – let’s just say I think that bit of trivia is ridiculous. The Zimmerman Telegram, which was indeed Germany’s attempt to get Mexico to go to war with the US occured in 1917 and was the instigation for US involvement in World War One, with no bearing on World War Two.

      Might consider buying some history books that weren’t written by Soviet historians in the early 50s.

    • zax says:

      I agree. Without USSR, there wouldn’t be any chance of defeating Germany. However, note that USA was in war not from 1944, but from 1941 (against Japan).

      Speaking of Japan… there is an interesting testimony from Japanese officers about why Japan capitulated so quickly in 1945 (I think I saw it in BBC’s series “World in War”):
      “Yes, atomic bomb was terrible weapon… we saw one city entirely wiped out… and than another… But we had many cities, and thousands of brave soldiers. We were determined to defend our country… to fight against Americans with our bare hands if we had to… and we would have rather all die, than surrender. But when we saw Red Army marching into Manchuria, when we saw such fanatism, we knew that they would certainly occupy Japan, kill our emperor, and that Japan would become communist republic. We surrendered immediately to Americans.”

      Japanese actually saw fanatism greater than their own, and were scared to death. :))))))

      But there is one thing I do not understand: why you Russians returned Manchuria to China. Well… it was yours until Japanese took it in 1905. Trans-Siberian railway was going through Harbin, all the way to Dalniy.
      http://www.transsib.ru/Map/transsib-express-1903.jpg
      And Dalniy is much more suitable for naval base than Vladivostok, since there is no ice in the winter.
      You actually could have had one city with really warm, pleasant climate in Russia. :)

      • Pros says:

        You probably don’t know but the Japanese weren’t scared to death and the capitulation wasn’t immediate. It was only done to save the Emperor institute.

        But it doesn’t really matter. Because IGOR is …… You know who he is (I hope).

      • hardscarf says:

        Chruthov had a problem with Mao (Mao wanted to be seen as a senior leader but Chrutshov didn’t gave him this) and the Russians stole a bit too much machines from Manchuria. They almost had an atomic war over this small islands in the Ussuri in 1969. Just because Ho Chi Mihn interfered the war was prevented.

        And maybye after all the surrender of the Japanese to the Americans was not so bad after all. If they would have let zhe Russians take over, Stalin would have surely seperated Hokkaido from the rest of Japan (he wanted it, but could only take the Kurils – after the peace agreement was signed). Now the Japanese have a prosperous country where people can get over 80 easily. I wonder if the great Soviet Union would have been able to do that, knowing they eventually put one third of their budget (!) to defense…which is now partly at the bottom of the Barents Sea or rusting in places like Vilyuchinsk, Bolshoi Kamen and other forgotten military places.

        And now Russia has money, what do they do: invest in new weapons. I wonder e.g. when that trade port near Piter ever will get finished. Meanwhile Finland is taking all the cargo and makes good money of it.

  8. Petya says:

    The difference between you and me is that I lived, studied, and worked in the US and in the USSR, and I can compare the propaganda machines of both countries. Believe me, they are quite similar and I hate them both.

    • maxD says:

      Odd that you overlook the fact that thanks to Stalin’s support Hitler felt confident enough to start the war.

      BTW, the latest editions of Russian history schoolbooks are now putting Stalin forward as a national hero and a great leader, who did everything for the motherland and only with the best intentions, including the ‘purifications’ and the intentional starvation of 10.000’s of innocent people… and when teachers started objecting to this unjust portrayal of ‘facts’ the Kremlin responded that it maybe was time for schools to start exterminating the weeds present in their ranks… doesn’t sound too good to me. Sounds like Stalin himself, actually.

      It’s not a secret that Putin is a great admirer of Stalin.

      • anton says:

        USSR and Germany had simple commodity exchanges. We gave them resources, they payed us back with new technologies, industrial machines, new engineering drafts and so on.

        USA and GreatBritain helped Nazi Germany WAAAAAAY more, than USSR.

        • maxD says:

          I see the new schoolbooks already kicked in.

          Hitler and Stalin agreed to split up Poland [and the whole of Eastern Europe, in fact] between them [Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, for the text check http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1939pact.html, after which Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland [1939] and started WWII. Stalin straight away started killing 10.000’s of Polish POW and intellectuals, the Katyn massacres. [Stalin had this habit of killing people before they had done anything wrong, simply assuming they might become a problem. Paranoia at its most frightening. In fact, everybody with a functional brain was in danger].

          The aggression of both dictators was so massive that it went out of control eventually and in 1941 Germany attacked Stalin.

          • maxD says:

            Anton, I’m not going to repeat the common history books here. You have a different interpretation, that’s clear.

            Strategic move by Stalin ? Easy to say in hindsight. He was interested in the same things as Hitler – expand his territory at the expense of other countries. He was exceptionally shrewd but not God. He was completely unprepared for Hitler’s attack. Like I stated elsewhere, strategic ‘genius’ Pavlov lost his head because of that. Check online sources like Wikipedia for details – Operation Barbarossa is a good search term.

            I also have a good reading recommendation – Vasilij Grossman who was a volunteer in the army and a Russian journalist wrote at length about the horrors of the war and Stalins regime. He covered the battle of Stalingrad, Moscow, Berlin taking part in all of them. Some of his eyewitness writings were used at the Nuremberg war trials by the prosecutors.

            Anyway, recommended are ‘For a Just Cause’ (За правое дело; 1950) about Stalingrad; the follow up was ‘Life and Fate’ (Жизнь и судьба, 1959) considered by critics to be equal to War and Peace in quality. Maybe the most impressive book I’ve ever read.

            Finally ‘Forever Flowing’ (Все течет, 1961) his last novel, unique in its quiet, unforced, and yet horrifying description of the Soviet totalitarian state.

            Hard times during 30’s and 40’s were mainly the result of Stalin’s own doing; the great purge being one of them. ‘The purifications have been a success – there are less Russians now, but they are better !’ as a famous quote from a contemporary movie stated ironically.

            I guess you’re still very young, judging from your comments. “Such acts were rational [...]” !!!!

            Read ‘Forever flowing’ to start with [small novel] and then Life and Fate [large novel]. Might give you a different and more detailed view. Good discussion material too.

          • I. Forgot says:

            “What makes you think they were all innocent?”

            What makes you think they weren’t?

      • nay nay says:

        nice pics love them

    • maxD says:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/19/AR2007071902707_2.html
      is the link to the article in Washington Post.

      Doesn’t sound too promising. Us against them is starting all over again, maybe just for the sake of making the leader look strong and unify the people, giving them a common enemy, thus taking their minds away from the everyday trouble of living in a corrupt banana republic [the result of a poor and incapable government].

      • John from Kansas says:

        If your words are referring to the U.S. I agree. The WaPo article is mostly rubish.

        • maxD says:

          I’m referring to Russia, but it applies to many other countries. It’s probably the best political tool to manipulate the masses, the Romans already used it very effective.

          Now Putin is using it, preventing the masses to focus on the poor quality of their living circumstances.

          Why do you call the WP article mostly rubbish ? You think the story is made up ? It is not. These history books are there, unfortunately.

          • John from Kansas says:

            So you have seen these books with your own eyes? You have lived in Russia and understand the context? What makes the WaPo article rubish is it’s sub-text that this situation would never occur in the U.S., only Russia. You know that is not the case. It seems this is typical of many stories published about Russsia in the U.S.

  9. Petya says:

    Well, the US declared the war on Germany in 1941, but the real war, the war that shaped the world as we know it today, was fought in the European part of Russia. The US entered that war in 1944 when it was clear that Russia is going to win. If that war didn’t happen at all, or if Russia had lost, countries like England (and perhaps even the US, but England for sure) wouldn’t exist today. That is not to say that the US soldiers didn’t fight bravely. I’m sure they did, and I’m sure that for them it was harder to fight because they were fighting for who knows what. At least Russians fought for Stalin and Mother Russia, a reason good enough for any Russian of that era.

    • John from Kansas says:

      Don’t forget the U.S. 8th airforce and RAF bombing campaign that destroyed most of Germany’s war production in 1943/44. Remember also that U.S. and U.K. supplied arms to Russia throughout the war. As someone has already pointed out, the U.S. was fighting a two-front war. While the Japanese were battling the Americans in the Pacific, Stalin had the breathing room to shift Siberian forces east and blunt the German offensive in 1942. I do not wish to diminish the fact that the Russian ground offensive in the east was one of the primary factors in the defeat of Germany in 1945, and that the opening of a Russian offensive in Manchuria in 1945 hastened the defeat of Japan. Russia and the U.S. were allies back then. We should have remained allies.

      • numb says:

        That is true, but things could’ve progressed some other way, too.. But one thing is for certain, USSR was a damn big country for a relatively small german people to conquest

    • maxD says:

      Too romantic.

      Sad but true a lot of the Russian soldiers fought because behind them were the Kommissars, political fanatics, who would execute them in a minute if they turned back or hesitated. Hardly anybody fought for papa Stalin – they fought simply to survive. Like most soldiers. German Wehrmacht had the SS troups ‘motivating’ them.

      We had the ‘advantage’ of having almost unlimited manpower and fighting ‘in our own home’. The Germans were already weakened after many battles, suffered from a lack of information, had poor logistics in Russia and were over confident. On top of that, the Russian winter kicked in.

      Don’t forget that the initial Soviet defense strategy turned out completely wrong – tactical ‘genius’ Pavlov lost his head because of that. Also the Soviet officers were in general not up to their task, the best and most experienced ones had lost their heads during Stalins purifications. What was left were mostly ‘amateurs’ who were afraid to make decicions.

      Look at the figures. How many Germans died in Russia, how many Russians?

  10. Pros says:

    The photographs are amazing.

    But…

  11. Kudinov says:

    These are Romanian troops uniforms just look at the hats.

    http://www.worldwar2.ro/foto/?id=173&area=31

  12. Merkwurdigliebe says:

    As an American of German heritage…I’d like to thank Russia for saving the world from fascism.

  13. fabiola says:

    hola!! yo solo les quiero comentar que a mi me gustaria saber mas acerca de todo esto de todo esto la de la segunda guerra mundial, haber si porfavor alguien me podria decir alguna pagina que tenga fotos, videos y textos en español, y por cierto estas fotos estan muy buenas.

  14. Pros1 says:

    ¿Está cualquiera aquí?

  15. JeanClaudeVerdomme says:

    There can be no doubt USSR made the most important contribution to destroy nazi Germany and it cost them between 20 and 30 million human lives. But they only went in when attacked in 1941 – before that Stalin was really a greater assistant for Hitler than the allied. For instance Norway was attacked with Russian assistance – German ships with military supplies anchored i USSR before moving to Norwegian harbours as part of the attack. After June 1941 Stalin always abused the western allies for not opening a “second front” but he did abolutely nothing to aid UK or France or Norway, etc. in their desperate struggles in 1940.
    USA only entered the war after Pearl Harbor 1941 but before that gave lend-lease assistance both to UK, China and the allied governments-in-exile, and even USSR.

  16. JeanClaudeVerdomme says:

    Who is IGOR? Strawinsky?

  17. blakeyboy says:

    wow picts are intense….hehehe oh yeah i needed these for a russian project thanx!!!!!

    • Anita says:

      I am working on a WWII project, non commercial, and would like to ask for permission to use these photos. Whom do I ask? any one out there who can help me on this? Thanks.

    • nita says:

      How do we get permission to use these pictures?

  18. Kelsey says:

    Wow those pictures make me so sad, that they would hurt the jews like that, because they are just like us and should be treated at poeple, not anamals. Its horrible how many poeple were killed.

  19. mike says:

    fur-hats are Romanians. Many of the pictures were taken by their author at the south part of USSR where romanians fought. I recognise some of them (pictures of course) – Crimean front disaster/

  20. Konstantin says:

    I do believe that nothing in the entire human history can be compared to the Russian heroic deed in Great Patriotic War. I’m very proud to be the part of such country. That was really a true fanaticism when everyone from little children and women to very old men were united for the sole puropse of defending our country. You just can’t imagine this. You can’t imagine. It wasn’t a war of one army fighting the another one, it was a war of the entire country. I can hardly hold back a tear of proudness when I think about it.

  21. Brent says:

    I’ll try to give an outside account as a Canadian who’s country joined the war against Germany in 1939.
    Germany was on the road to victory after 1940. France was beaten, The British and her allies were barely able survive on her island and the Russians were being beaten back to the outskirts of Moscow. It looked dire indeed, but with some luck and a much needed winter laul, the Russsians were able to fight back and keep their motherland going and the Brits and her allies were able to survive Germany’s attempt to quash her once and for all.
    Saying that, the war on both fronts looked to be neither won or lost by either side and it looked as if the war would go on for a long time with no clear outcome. When the Americans joined the war in 1941, they did not win the war for the allies, they simply swung the pendulum in favor of the allies. Their presence forced Germany to focus more troops, supplies and armamnets away from the Russian front and Britain to Africa, the Atlantic and elsewhere. This allowed a rally by the Russians to start the end of the war with Germany on the Eastern front and the Americans with the help of the British and the commonwealth to push back the Germans on the Western front.
    Think of it like this, there are 4 german’s against 2 Russians, a Brit and a commonwealth guy in a tug’o war. bring in an extra american for the allied side and you should be able to pull the germans over the line.
    I know it’s simplistic, but sometimes it’s easier to do it that way than to let small details of who did what and when get in the way.

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  25. Elena says:

    Pictured soldiers in fur hats – it Rumanian soldiers.It is a well known fact.

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