Frontier post on Russian border
Frontier post on the line of demarcation between Russia and Lithuania.

German panzers crossing the Russian steppe
A horde of German panzers formed in columns advances across the Russian steppe during the summer of 1941. Field Marshal Von Manstein advised to Hitler that England should be conquered before attacking the Soviet Union, but Hitler was very suspicious about Stalin. Fearing that he had the intention to attack Germany, the Soviet Union should be invaded before the Red Army could reorganize its forces, at that moment still weakened by the purges of Stalin.

German field command in Russia
In the middle of the Russian steppe, a German high officer gives the last instructions.

Italian officers in the Eastern Front
Italian officers in the Eastern Front. Making use of his usual rhetoric, Hitler easily convinced Mussolini to join forces against the Communism. But from the very beginning, it was seen that the Italian Army was not prepared at all for this challenge.

Burning town in Russia
A Russian town in flames. The retreating Russians leave only ruins to the enemy.

German soldiers putting out fires in Russian town
The German weekly propaganda magazine Signal published this photograph in September 1941, to explain that German soldiers put effort into saving the buildings burnt by the retreating Russians.

Soviet medium tanks T34/76
Some Soviet medium tanks T34/76 immobilized on a muddy terrain in the area of Tolocin, near the river Drut. At the beginning of the campaign, the German invasion was helped by the inability of the Russians troops to properly exploit the full potential of their armored forces.

Ruins in Vitebsk
The city of Vitebsk burnt down and abandoned by the Russians. This was the dramatic image that the Germans found.

Burning izba in Smolensk
A burning izba in the periphery of Smolensk.

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