On the Threshold of the Holiday

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The Victory Day is coming tomorrow and on this occasion here are some old photos taken during the Second World War. In the end of the post there are some extracts from the letters of German soldiers to their wives written during the Siege of Stalingrad.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

June 22, 1941. Somewhere in the southwest of the USSR. Children hide from bombing.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Refugees somewhere near Pskov city. July, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Fighting near the border. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

German shock troops near Brest. June, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The fight near Minsk. Breaking through the encirclement. June, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The fight for the city of Kherson. August, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The fight at Borodino. The fall of 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The Southern Front. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The soldiers of a destruction battalion are sent on a mission. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The soldiers of a Tula working battalion. Tank destroyers are in ambush.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

An armored vehicle on the line of departure. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The armored train built by workers of one of the Moscow depots. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Shooting down an aircraft.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

During the air raid. Muscovites at one of the metro stations. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

A Nazi sets the houses of a village on fire.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Hitler’s self-propelled guns on the streets of the city of Kharkov, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The city is taken. The snapshot was found at one of the murdered Nazis.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The disguised German artillery gun. The district of Smolensk. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The camouflaged building of the Manezh. Moscow. Winter, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

An antiaircraft gun fires at German tanks. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The antiaircraft gun installed near the Kremlin. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The convoy of cars with soldiers heading for the Southern Front. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The column of armored vehicles BA-20M approaches the battle positions.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The column of captive Red Army soldiers. Summer, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The columns of Soviet captives near Staraya Russa. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Ewald von Kleist – the commander of the 1st Panzer Army.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The commander of the 2nd Panzer Division, Heinz Guderian.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The commander of the parade on Red Square, Marshal Budyonny. November 7, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

A curfew patrol on Gorky Street in the days of the defense of Moscow.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The counterattack of Soviet soldiers. Dorokhovo village, the Moscow region.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The counterattack of Soviet troops. The Donetsk region. October, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Red Square on the day of the parade. November 7, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

The line of fortifications around Moscow. Autumn – Winter, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Mass evacuation of livestock through Moscow. Fall, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Moscow is ready to defend. 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Ashes of the houses burnt by Germans. November, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Artillery guns. Summer, 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Monitoring the position of the enemy. The end of 1941.

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Towards the enemy. July, 1941. “Our actions are right. The enemy will be destroyed. Victory will be ours.”

On the Threshold of the Holiday

Russian troops entered Yelnya. September 6, 1941.

35 thoughts on “On the Threshold of the Holiday”

    • Would you like slavs to work on germans? don’t forget that Hitler in documents had only 25% for slavs population and non for others as caucasians or tartarians. Better be brainwashed by jews.

  1. Some interesting War footnotes (apologies if you already know this):
    After Minsk fell on 28 June 1941, Stalin suffered a breakdown and disappeared into one of his homes for 2 days completely cut off (his boyars could have seized power but they were too scared!) before being “rescued” by Molotov, Beria, et. al.

    All law and order collapsed in Moscow as the Germans advanced on it. In mid-October 1941 there was looting, Russian soldier deserters and thugs roaming the streets, etc. Extraordinary when you think of Stalinism that such a thing happened, although of course Stalin soon ordered the Mayor to crack down.

    Beria and the NKVD went into a fury in those first months killing thousands of prisoners in Ukraine and Byelorussia (including some of Stalin’s in-laws who had been arrested during 1937-1938) rather than allowing the Germans to get to them.

    Lenin’s body (mummy!) was evacuated from Moscow (to Siberia!!) on 5 July 1941, but not before Stalin went to tell it goodbye!

    All notes are from “Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar”, by Simon S. Montefiore

    • A. Bunka here. That’s good stuff. Lenin looks like he can sit up and say hello when you see him. The lighting and makeup work for him. He is quite short, short enough to be one of the Marx Brothers.
      I read Stalin disappeared for a month when Germany invaded. He gave no orders, the men at the front didn’t know what to do. Russian resistance would have been much firmer had they good leadership in those early days. Zhukov and company were in the gulag.

  2. Interesting, poignant pics. My old Man was in the War. He was in Germany at the end (May-July 1945); took some pics; never showed them to us kids (or talked about the War) but after his death we found them in a locked cabinet. Frankfurt in ruins, him in an MP uniform, and a couple of pics of Buchenwald (U.S. medics examining dug-up corpses)…depressing..
    Anyway, thanks for the pics.

  3. does anyone know what type of rifle it is that’s being used on the right side of the photo above the caption “The soldiers of a Tula working battalion. Tank destroyers are in ambush.”?
    just curious if any of the gun nuts out there recognize it, i’ve never seen that one before.
    thanks, great site

  4. Great pics, very powerful. There are forums and there are pictorial blogs, this seems to be the only site that combines them.

  5. I was struck by the impact the Siege had on the city, even so many years later. The first time I went there, I lived with a survivor. She lived on the hospital islands and survived by eating glue. It was really terrible.

    But the city is really vibrant and alive now. It’s hard to believe that the gardens were covered in trenches and cabbage fields not too long ago.

  6. You forgot to tell us about West european agreement with Hitler. When France,UK let him to occupy Czechoslovakia. If they didn’t do it he would not go so far.

    • Yes, that was the pacification. And proof that pacification doesn’t work.

      The above information is correct. Stalin wasn’t just an innocent bystander. They made their deals and fully expected Hitler to invade them anyway, they used the time to prepare.

      And let’s not forget, after Russia started beating back the Germans, they didn’t rush in to help other countries along the way. No, they waited, they planned and plotted, the “best way” to help them. They waited until those countries were desperate for help and would make any deals with Stalin. That’s how Russia ended up with so much of other countries after the war.

      And that only encouraged the spread of communism, controlled by the heads of state in Russia. That’s what gave rise to places like North Korea.

      Like it or not, Russia has been trying to spread their brand of communism for decades, and also being a thorn in the side of the US. (wish help from China)

      No matter how you stack it, communism is bad, for everybody.

      • USSR was telling to open the second front since 1942. But USA didn’t want take part in that. And what you mean by other countries? All Europe with Asia were under occupation of Germany and Japan.

  7. The Poles should have gotten used to be split up, it hadn’t been for the first time for Poland to get divided by the Germans and Russians, so what’s all the fuss about dude? If u dont want to feed your own army get used to feed a foreign one. Ever thought of learning how to defend your own land? Talk to the Finns, they’ve deserved to stay a free nation.

    • I*d*i*o*t. The stab in the back delivered by USSR came exactly at the moment when Blitzkrieg lost its first momentum and the Polish army was ready to regroup.

      • Regroup? who, the Poles? wow thats new, sounds more like a wet dream of a Pole though, but whatever… if that keeps u happy. Anyway – the Russians had never taken any Polish land back in 39 they had just recovered what belonged to Russia and was grabbed by the Poles who got greedy and had taken their chance during the time when the Russians were busy killing themselfs in the civil war. So – easy come easy go sweety, nothing personal.

        • Russians took away land that historically belonged to Poland. As is with borderlands, such places often change allegiance. Point is, Poland was historically much bigger and had much more land to the East.
          Also, if you think that Polish army who suffered brutal blitzkkrieg could simply regroup to ward off another attack, this time a backstab, then you need to stop thinking as it’s clearly not you forte. Russia signed a non-aggression pact with Poland and broke it. What more do you need? Or perhaps you think it’s proper to blame the victim for being attacked? Time for you to learn some true history, not Russki propaganda.

  8. World had two worst plagues ever: Nazis and Soviets! Nazis killed many people, mostly Jews. However, Soviets killed many times more and anybody! Specially their own people!
    It’s hard to see Finnish flag and Baltic’s in these photos here. They paid hardest for something they didn’t have to!
    It’s just a imperators greed, no matter which side. Small ones can’t have their own side.

    • Nazists killed 11 millions of slavic civils and 6 millions of jews. What are u talking about? i mean with baltic flags or finnish? Finland with baltics were on german side.

      • Your information are incorrect. Stalinist army and NKVD murdered more than 20 million people in the occupied countries. The 2 million jews and gipsies murdered by Hitler’s nazi ar just a mere shadow of the real and continuous atrocities conducted by Russians. But the jews are only insisting on their loss because they only care about themselves. So layoff with the praising the “glorious red army”. Half of them were just a herd of lowlife criminals and rapists. Ask any old men or woman in an former occupied country.

  9. Many excellent pictures, indeed. Had never seen most of them before. Interestingly, saw a picture of a banner acknowledging the assistance from England and the USA. Also saw American jeeps and trucks in some pictures.

    I have always hated Communism, and Stalin was at least as bad as Hitler. But all of us should be grateful for the service and sacrifice shown by the (generic) Russians in these pictures. I thsnk these people yet again.

  10. Only just come across these fantastic,powerful photos.
    Very good to see the cowardly Nazi dogs get the battering they deserved,by the Red Army/Navy/Air Force/Partisans and special mention to all the factory workers and their hard work in unbelievable conditions.Heroes – I salute you one and all !

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