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Showing posts from March, 2020

Why did the United States and Britain reject the idea of ​​unifying Germany? in 1952?

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March Note, was a document delivered to the representatives of the Western allied powers (the United Kingdom, France, and the United States) from the Soviet Occupation in Germany on March 10, 1952. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin put forth a proposal for a reunification and neutralization of Germany, with no conditions on economic policies and with guarantees for "the rights of man and basic freedoms, including freedom of speech, press, religious persuasion, political conviction, and assembly" and free activity of democratic parties and organizations. On March 10, 1952, Andrei Gromyko gave a diplomatic note about the solution of the "German problem" to representatives of the three western occupiers (the United States, Great Britain, and France) and called for a four-power conference. The note included the following points: A peace treaty with all participants in the war with Germany should be negotiated with a single, united German government. The Allies must agree

Crossing of prospekt of the 25th of October and Volodarsky prospekt, Leningrad. September 1941

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Crossing of prospekt of the 25th of October and Volodarsky prospekt, Leningrad. September 1941/Crossing of Nevsky prospekt and Liteiny prospekt. I took this picture today. Kindergarten group on a walk. The poster reads: "Warrior of the Red Army, save us!" Alexander Shmidke ‎

Zvenigorodskaya street, Leningrad. January 1942 / Zvenigorodskaya street, St. Petersburg.

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Zvenigorodskaya street, Leningrad. January 1942 / Zvenigorodskaya street, St. Petersburg.  In early December 1941 another disaster befell the starving Leningraders: one by one, all communal services stopped functioning. Electricity, running water, central heating and public transport (predominantly trams) were no longer available as fuel stocks ran out. Many trams were caught by the blackout driving along their regular routes in early Dece mber and remained stuck in the ice until spring 1942. The trucks on the Road of Life could not even deliver the minimum daily supply of food of 125 grams for non-working individuals 250 grams for workers, not speaking of coal or oil for power stations. Underground water pipelines somehow remained operational, but there was no power to pump water even to the first floors of apartment buildings. The government cut manual pumps into the pipes or sometimes people found damaged leaking pipes and got water from them. Those who lived close t

Crossing of Ligovsky prospekt and Razyezzhaya street, Leningrad. January, 1942

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Crossing of Ligovsky prospekt and Razyezzhaya street, Leningrad. January, 1942 / Crossing of Ligovsky prospekt and Razyezzhaya street, St. Petersburg. I took this picture today. Soldiers towing a gas-holder with hydrogen for barrage balloons. The poster on the bombed building reads "Death to childkillers!" Alexander Shmidke

Glazovskaya street, Leningrad. September 5, 1941 / Konstantina Zaslonova street, St. Petersburg. I took these pictures today.

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Glazovskaya street, Leningrad. September 5, 1941 / Konstantina Zaslonova street, St. Petersburg. I took these pictures today. According to official records of Leningrad authorities, this was the first residential building in the city to be hit by German heavy artillery on September 5, 1941. The first shellings started one day earlier and the last shot at the city area was made on January 22, 1944. A total of 64 000 heavy artillery shells of 150mm and above were fired on the city in this period. There is no exact statistics on the number of civilians killed by artillery strikes in particular, but about 27 000 died of both air raids and artillery out of the 800 000 estimated civilian deaths. Alexander Shmidke

Zagorodny prospekt, Leningrad

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Zagorodny prospekt, Leningrad. August 1941 / Zagorodny prospekt, St. Petersburg. I took this picture today. Soldiers of Leningrad People's Militia marching to the front. Around 160 000 men volunteered to join the ranks of Leningrad People's Militia, forming 10 rifle divisions. While the units formed in July - early August 1941 were relatively well-equipped and staffed with experienced officers and people with technical skills or prior combat exerience, the ones sent to the front in the desperate days of September 1941 were trade school kids, university students with their professors, white collar workers others and other who often had never served in the army and received barely a couple of weeks of basic training. Alexander Shmidke

Prospekt of the 25th of October, Leningrad. July 1942 / Nevsky prospekt, St. Petersburg.

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Prospekt of the 25th of October, Leningrad. July 1942 / Nevsky prospekt, St. Petersburg. A column of German POWs being marched along the main street of Leningrad. In the end of July 1942 the freshly appointed commander of the Leningrad Front General Govorov conducted 2 minor operations which slightly improved the overall situation along the frontline which remsined static for nearly 10 months. A small German bridgehead near Kolpino was liquidate d in Yam-Izhora and a couple of square kilometers of suburbs were liberated in Uritzk and Staro-Panovo at the southwestern edge of the frontline. The latter operation came as a complete surprise for the Germans, resulting in several dozen prisoners. And yet the city's future was one once again looking bleak and uncertain as German armies were surging relentlessly and unstoppably towards Stalingrad, while the overambitious attempt to lift the siege resulted in about 100 000 Red Army soldiers killed and captured in the Volkho

Dmitrovsky lane, Leningrad.

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Dmitrovsky lane, Leningrad. 1941/Dmitrovsky lane, St. Petersburg, 2019. I found the information about this picture in the memoir of Anatoly Molchanov, a poet from Leningrad, who was 11 when the war started. He lived a couple of blocks away on Pravda street and provided an eyewitness account of what happened. When the air raid warning was announced by radio, about 30 people took shelter in the basement of this house. However, the airbomb which made the big crater visible on th e picture, not only wrecked tram rails and damaged the building, but also bent the basement door and partly barricaded it with rubble. The worst of all was that it burst open underground water pipes and water started pouring through basement windows. Eventually, all those who managed to escape bombs and fire met an unlikely death of drowning. The building was demolished after the war and nothing was built in its place, which was not typical for the city center. Alexander Shmidke ‎

Scouts of the 1st Detachment if the 506th Independent Mortar Regiment of High Command Reserve

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Scouts of the 1st Detachment if the 506th Independent Mortar Regiment of High Command Reserve: A. Smirnov, D. Malikov, N. Malika, M. Zhitelev and I. Chistov who were the first to storm into enemy trenches during the breakthrough of a heavily fortified defensive belt north of Novgorod, capturing 8 enemy soldiers and a Nazi flag. Senior Lieutenant N. Malika was awarded the Order of the Red Star and the 506th Regiment was given the honorific title "Novgorodsky" in the aftermath of the operation. Volkhov front, January 1944 Alexander Shmidke ‎

Two pictures of a rather rare Br-2 152mm gun.

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Two pictures of a rather rare Br-2 152mm gun. On the first photo the Head of Artillery of the Leningrad Front Lieutenant-General G.F. Odintsov stands in front of the gun (center), on the second - the personnel of Captain Amelichev's battery which employed such guns snd served as a counter-battery fire unit on the Leningrad Front. Both pictures were taken in the courtyard of the Siege of Leningrad museum, founded in 1943 and destroyed in 1949-1951 at Stalin's order in the aftermath of the Leningrad Affair. Alexander Shmidke

Peter Pilytov

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On December 17, 1941 the pilot On December 17, 1941 the pilot Peter Pilytov set out on a mission to escort 9 Li-2 transport planes which carried women and children from Leningrad to an airfield near Novaya Ladoga. Normally transport planes were protected by several fighter planes, especially when they carried passengers. However, these were unusual circumstances and he had to scrable his P-40 "Kittyhawk" alone... Pilyutov led a wing of 4 fighter planes when he arrived at the Komendantsky airfield in Lenignrad, however a couple of planes were urgently recalled to Kronstadt while another one was damaged during a sudden artillery raid. The shelling might have destroyed the planes with the children who had already boarded them, and this prompted the commanders order the planes to take off immediately. The Li-2's were flying at an extremely low altitude while the escorting fighter flew just under the rim of the clouds. This made it more convenient for the pilots to observ

Trams pulled to the middle of the Peterhof highway and made into a barricade against German tanks.

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Trams pulled to the middle of the Peterhof highway and made into a barricade against German tanks. Winter of 1941-1942. 10 km from the Winter Palace as the crow flies. The first photo is a still from "Leningrad in struggle" documentary movie, the second one is from Yandex Maps, and the combination of the two is mine. Alexander Shmidke ‎

Leningrad/St.Petersburg. Corner of Nevsky and Ligovsky prospekts.

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Leningrad/St.Petersburg. Corner of Nevsky and Ligovsky prospekts. Victims of one of the first artillery shellings, September 1941. Alexander Shmidke

Victims of a heavy German artillery shell on the Nevsky prospekt

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Victims of a heavy German artillery shell on the Nevsky prospekt in Leningrad on August 8, 1943. On that day the tram was behind schedule and a big crowd amassed at the stop. In a single explosion 12 people were killed and 43 were wounded. Firefighters hosing the blood off the pavement and MPVO soldiers loading dead bodies on trucks. Alexander Shmidke

Column of BT-5 and BT-7 tanks driving along Obukhovskoy Oborony prospekt. 1943.

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Alexander Shmidke

A member of a partisan unit from the Luga region giving a speech after the liberation of the town at its main square. Luga, February 1944.

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Alexander Shmidke

08.09.1941 - 08.09.2019

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Alexander Shmidke

Secret Soviet archives?

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by Дмитрий Шеин I've mentioned already the incredulous question: if Russian archives are so open and the documents are declassified where is the plenty of deep and comprehensive historical studies? Something is unclear here! First and the main. When many people imagine themselves the historical work, they imagine the hot and dusty excavation site, and historian/archaelogist wearing cork helmet, who is looking at his tent on two found fragments of crock, the rusty needle, one bead, driving his finger over misty and obscure short phrase of print publication of an oooooold chronicle - and voila, in ten years local tourist agencies will establish the constant sightseeing route to local Troy or modern Pompeii. It could be right for ancient and early medieval history, but the main problem of modern history is quite opposite: there are too many sources to study all of them, to match all of them and to compile all of them. The supreme deity of history of new age and modern history i

Weak Polish memory

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by Greg Schnürle While the EU and especially Poland want to blame the USSR as also responsible for the beginning of WW II here some facts Poland doesn´t want to remember! Let’s start at the beginning. The Polish state was re-established at the end of World War I; it was led by conservative Polish nationalists who sought to recreate Poland as a great power within its frontiers of 1772. General (later Marshal) Józef Piłsudski, immediately set about gathering in eastern territories in the Ukraine and Byelorussia, leading to war with Soviet Russia. Piłsudski had large ambitions and in December 1919 sent unofficial agents to Paris to obtain French consent for a major eastern offensive in the spring of 1920. The position in Paris was important because France was a key ally and major supplier of arms to the Polish government. The French were careful not to approve openly the offensive: they said it was a Polish decision to make, all the while continuing to supply arms to Warsaw. The F