A group of German reconnaissance vehicles performs observation from the sunflower fields in the basin of the Donets, during the
summer offensive of 1942 that would end with the disastrous Battle of Stalingrad.
A German light anti-tank cannon is ready to take action during the combats in the streets of Rostov. The Soviet garrison that
defended the city withdrew, allegedly incurring in an act of disobedience that the Soviet Union denied after the war. In any case,
it was doubtful that the city could resist the siege during long time.
A German motorized column advances across the Russian Front. In the summer of 1942 the Germans suffered as well the consecuences of the
huge growth of their supply lines.
This photograph dated from November 1942 shows a column of German soldiers (allegedly from the division Charlemagne formed by
French volunteers) marching between the ruins of a bombed town.
A platoon of German riflemen advances, protected by a Panzerkampfwagen III medium tank from the sporadic fire of Russian soldiers.
A German emplacement of mountain artillery on Mount Elbrus, highest peak on the Caucasus. The conquest of the Elbrus was one of
the few satisfactions that the Germans had in the campaign on the Caucasus, where the difficult terrain and the difficulties
of supply made imposible the capture of the oilfields located on the coasts of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
An Italian military train transports trucks for the ARMIR (Armata Italiana in Russia). Despite this apparent efficiency and
modernization, the Italian Army was not prepared for a campaign like the Russian one.
A German anti-tank cannon responds to the attack of enemy armored units. The Soviet Army deployed large quantities of tanks
built with armor that was difficult to pierce by the excessively light cannons installed on the largest part of German tanks.
Because of this the field cannons, of larger caliber, were invaluable for countering the Soviet tanks.
A new threat for the advancing tanks: the dry vegetation of the Russian steppe, burning due to the fire of the battle, can act
as a natural Molotov cocktail.
A Panzerkampfwagen III medium tank supporting the advance of a group of German soldiers. The PzKpfw III was the workhorse of the
panzerdivisions during the early stages of the war in Russia, being later replaced by enhanced
versions of the PzKpfw IV.
A German 105-millimeter howitzer firing towards Stalingrad, where the resistance of the Russians was initially underestimated by
the Germans. The assault on this important industrial center of the southern Russia would end as one of the most critical defeats
suffered by Germany during the whole conflict, and certainly the most dramatic one.
A group of German tanks roaming on the outskirts of Stalingrad. The crews of these tanks sought to increase protection by placing
fragments of tracks upon the rather weakly armored surfaces.
A German 105-millimeter howitzer attacks a nest of resistance in Stalingrad. The soldiers around effectuate covering fire to
prevent the enemy from shooting at the gunners. Soon, of the buildings around nothing else than blackened skeletons would remain.
The Battle of Stalingrad lasted for six months and caused the destruction of practically the whole city, costing the lives of
almost two millions of persons, both soldiers and civilians, and being the largest military massacre that History reminds.
Italian alpine troops advance to occupy positions in the front of the Don. Against the custom of being assigned to mountainous
sectors, they were assigned to a flat one.
The headquarters of a command post on the Italian sector of the Russian Front. The snow already covers the steppe on this dramatic
winter of 1942-43. Despite its apparent efficiency, the Italian Army was not prepared for a campaign under such winterly
conditions. The lack of suitable material, the obsolete armament and the difficulties for supply were responsible for the Italian
drama in Russia. Of the whole Italian expeditionay force sent to the Russian Front only about a tenth part could return to Italy
An Italian soldier on the narrow corridor of a trench, photographed in the front of the Don, on the winter of 1942-43. At that moment,
temperatures reached extremely low values.