It’s hard not to think about what once stood where now there is just rubble and dust — it’s an eerie moment of quiet in the midst of brutal battles. Here you can see Germans use a rail handcar as they move through ruined streets, during the Siege of Odessa. By the end of the fighting, the Siege of Odessa left over 90,000 dead. Because of the city’s location as a port, it became a major target for invading enemies. But taking the city wouldn’t come easily, due to strong Soviet resistance. After the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, it took the Axis Romanians and Germans a full 73 days of siege and four assaults to take the city before it was captured. It was one of the first four Soviet cities to be awarded the title of “Hero City” in 1945, the others being Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Sevastopol.

Odessa

Odessa, Odessa Oblast, Ukraine, Soviet Union. August 1941.

Credit: Anti-Worlds