The outcome of the Second World War was decided on the Eastern Front. Denied a swift victory over Stalin’s Red Army, Hitler’s Wehrmacht found itself in a bloody, protracted struggle from late 1941 that it was ill-prepared to fight.
Although many pictorial books have been published on Germany’s hapless invasion of the Soviet Union, they are typically a collection of soldiers’ snapshots or ‘official’ photographs taken by Propagandakompanien (PK) reporters. This book is different. It contains an extraordinary personal record of the war captured by a professional photographer, Walter Grimm, who served in the German Army in a communications unit.
David Mitchelhill-Green brings Grimm’s previously unpublished photographs together with a carefully researched introduction. The 300 evocative black and white images provide an absorbing insight into the daily life and privations of the ordinary German soldier amid the maelstrom of history’s largest conflict. The Ukrainian people, many of whom initially welcomed the Germans as liberators, freeing them from the yoke of Bolshevik oppression, are also chronicled in this fascinating study of the fighting in Ukraine.
About the Author
Over the last twenty-five years, David Mitchelhill-Green has roamed the world in search of lost stories from the Second World War. His photographic investigations have featured in the British military magazine After the Battle. With a Master’s degree in Military History, David’s extensive knowledge of the war has also appeared in numerous newspaper features and encyclopedia entries. Years spent in Japan culminated in the co-authoring of the book Castles of the Samurai, with Jennifer Mitchelhill in 2003. David lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Preparing for War 12
Chapter 2 The Tyranny of Distance 30
Chapter 3 Communications 58
Chapter 4 Crimea 74
Chapter 5 Occupation 86
Chapter 6 Dust, Mud, Snow, and Ice 117
Chapter 7 Detritus of War 133
Chapter 8 Combat preparations 143
Chapter 9 The Dead and the Decorated 152
Appendix 1 Chronology of the War in Ukraine 170