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David Mitchelhill-Green brings Grimm’s previously unpublished photographs together with a carefully researched introduction.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.
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