This Almost Peaceful Image Of The River Don Doesn’t Capture The Horrors To Follow

This image at first looks almost serene — the gentle ripples of the water, the boat without any other signs of life. It’s only when you focus in on the uniforms and, eventually, the gun that you see something more violent. Here you can see a Soviet Army intelligence group on the River Don.

These men were on a reconnaissance mission during the First Battle of Voronezh. Though this photo of the River Don looks relatively relaxed, the actual battle was brutal. Soviet losses during the First Battle were huge, with around 290,522 soldiers killed, 197,825 wounded, and 80,000 captured. While the Germans were successful in the summer offensive of 1942, by early 1943 the Soviets recaptured the city.


River Don


Near Voronezh, Voronezh Oblast, Russia, Soviet Union.

June 1942.

Image taken by Semyon Friedland.

Credit: Anti-Worlds