70 years ago, on the morning of June 22, 1941, the predawn silence was suddenly broken with missile roars. That’s how the war started. Nobody knew yet that the war would be later considered as the most murderous one in the history of mankind. No one could ever predict what inhuman hardships the Soviet people would have to come across. They were destined to gain the victory, release the world from fascism and show that the martial spirit of a Red Army man couldn’t be broken.
The cities of Stalingrad, Leningrad and Brest will become the symbols of endurance, courage and bravery. Nobody could even think that women, old men and children will be ready to protect their Motherland against the German invaders alongside with men. The war lasted 1418 days and nights. The USSR lost over 26 million of human lives.
Soviet border guards on patrol. The picture was made 2 days before the war. The pictures presented here have one thing in common: they were done in the first hours after the Great War had begun. At this precise time (June 22, 1941) the German soldiers were crossing the borders of the USSR.
The first day of war in the city of Przemysl on the territory of Poland and the first killed invaders on the Soviet land. The city was occupied by the German army on June 22 but released by the Red Army next morning and sieged till September 27.
The announcement of the war. It states: ‘the German army crossed our borders today without any war notice’.
The picture was made on June 22, 1941 next to the bridge across the San river nearby the city of Yaroslavl, at the border between the occupied Poland and the USSR.
The first Soviet prisoners are taken by the Germans to the west.
The German army fails to occupy the Brest Citadel at the first attempt.
The battle with the German shock troops nearby Brest.
Capture of the Soviet prisoners. The crowd consists both of soldiers and non-military persons who could enter the army and resist the invaders.
The bridge across the river next to the city of Yaroslavl used by the German soldiers for crossing.
The German soldiers next to the Soviet tank T-34 abandoned in Lviv, Ukraine.
The Germans are examining the abandoned tank T-34 stuck in the field.
Imprisoned Soviet military women in Pskov.
The German foot troops are passing by the broken Soviet automotive equipment.
The Germans are examining the abandoned Soviet tanks T-34-76 stuck in the field next to Vitebsk.
The German bombardment aircraft is leaving the USSR field airfield.
The Red Army men rendered themselves prisoners of war.
The German tank Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. C annihilated by the Soviet artillery.
The German soldiers next to the burning Soviet village.
Battle for the Brest Citadel.
The meeting is held at the Leningrad factory and is dedicated to the beginning of the war.
The inhabitants of Leningrad are reading the latest news.
The aerial imagery of the air field Smolensk-1 made by the German air raid support. The air field is located in the left upper part of the picture and is marked.
The Red Army men are examining the broken German tank Pz 35(t) (LT vz.35).
Soviet refugees are passing by the tank.
The Germans are looking at the burning tank Т-34-76.
The beginning of the German intervention.
The Soviet airfield captured by the Germans.
The German artillerymen shot dead the Soviet tanks.
The invaders are driving across the streets with destroyed houses in Smolensk.
The Germans are examining the bombardment aircraft located at the occupied air field in Minsk. The beginning of July, 1941.
The Soviet howitzer weapon occupied by the Germans.
The Smolensk region in the first days of occupation.
A shot down Soviet tank with the burnt tankman inside.
Soviet soldiers imprisoned by the Germans in summer 1941.
A huge number of broken and destroyed Soviet planes. The airfield in Minsk was occupied by the German forces in the beginning of July 1941.
Destroyed Soviet fighter aircraft in Minsk.
The German stunning collection of Soviet equipment and weapon.
Perished Soviet soldiers in the very beginning of the war.
A German soldier is attempting to enter a local house.
The Germans are examining the abandoned Soviet tanks.
Soviet artillery wagon with a weapon on it. The missile exploded right in front of the horses.
The grave of an unknown Soviet soldier.
German soldiers and inhabitants of Belarus.
The Ukrainian people on the west are greeting the Germans.
The Germans are approaching Belarus.
The German soldiers next to the Soviet equipment left.
Looking at the broken Soviet tanks.
The women have come together to be sent at the frontier.
A Soviet military woman among other Soviet prisoners.
The Germans are executing fire using the shotgun MG-34.
The Germans are passing by the village in the Smolensk region.
Observing the burning village.
A Red Army man next to the occupied German tank. Around 600 of these tanks were used in the military actions against the USSR.
The Germans next to the Soviet defense line.
The view of the Soviet railway station after bombardment.
The Red Army man came right under fires.
Perished Soviet tank men.
Refugees in the Pskov region.
The Germans are shooting at the wounded Soviet soldier.
Killed Soviet soldiers and non-military citizens such as women and children. The bodies are thrown into a pit like domestic garbage.
Killed Red Army men.
Soviet symbols captured in Belarus: tank T-26 and monument to Lenin.
The German forces are moving across Ukraine.
The German fighter aircraft shot by the Soviet soldiers.
Captured flag of the NKVD.
The inscription on a wall of the barrack in the Brest Citadel states: ‘I have died not surrendered. Farewell to Motherland’
The hymn is devoted to defence of the Motherland.
22, June – The Day of Memory and Mourning