Road to destruction

The charred corpse of a Soviet artilleryman lies next to the wreck of a ZIS-5 truck. In the background, a couple of German soldiers look at a 152 mm howitzer M1909/30. A column of Red Army howitzers has been attacked, perhaps by German aircraft, during the first stages of Operation Barbarossa, summer of 1941. In the first 5½ months of the war, the Soviets suffered a staggering loss of almost five million soldiers (killed, wounded, missing and captured). Meanwhile, the Germans suffered about a million casualties, and their allies a further 130,000. And that was just the beginning; there were three and a half years left until the Red Army captured Berlin.

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