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American GIs Meet the Reds on the Elbe <BR><br />(Newsweek & Yank Magazines, 1945)American GIs Meet the Reds on the Elbe

(Newsweek & Yank Magazines, 1945)
In late April of 1945, American tank crews south of Torgau (Germany) began to pick up the chattering of Soviet infantry units on their radios - the transmissions were generated by the advanced units of Marshal Konev's (1897 - 1973) First Ukrainian Army and both the allied units were elated to know that the other was nearby, for it meant one thing: the end of the war was at hand.

Thankfully, Yank's correspondent Ed Cummings was with the U.S. First Army when the two groups met at the Elbe River and he filed the attached article.

Ukrainian Partisan Witnessed to Nazi Murders at Babi Yar <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1945)Ukrainian Partisan Witnessed to Nazi Murders at Babi Yar
(Collier's Magazine, 1945)
The attached 1945 article from Collier's by George Creel (1876 1953) was one of the very first pieces of wartime journalism to report on the Nazi atrocities committed in the forest of Babi Yar, just outside Kiev, Ukraine. Under the command of Reichskomissar Erich Koch (1896 1986) 33,000 Ukrainian Jews were slaughtered by German soldiers over a five day period during the month of September, 1941; this brief article tells the tale of Ukrainian partisan Yefim Vilkis, who resisted the Nazi occupation and witnessed the massacre.
German Letters from Stalingrad <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1943)German Letters from Stalingrad
(Coronet Magazine, 1943)
"When 22 divisions were cut off by the Russians at the gates of Stalingrad, the Nazis had to rely on air transport for contact with the surrounded troops. One mid-December day a German cargo plane was shot down on its way from the ringed divisions. The wreckage yielded some three hundred letters from doomed soldier of der Fuehrer. The Soviets selected and published a typical one:"

"It is hard to confess even to myself, but it seems to me that at Stalingrad we shall soon win ourselves to death."

Click here to read an assessment of the late-war German soldier...

An Observer on the Russian Front <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1945)An Observer on the Russian Front
(Collier's Magazine, 1945)
During the late war period, leftist playwright Lillian Hellman (1905 1984), was twice denied permission to travel to war-torn Britain on the grounds that she had been recognized as an active communist. Yet, ironically, those same pencil-pushers in the State Department turned around a few months later and granted her a passport to visit the Soviet Union in August of 1944 - as a guest artist of VOKS, the Soviet agency that processed all international cultural exchanges. It was during this visit that she penned the attached eyewitness account of the Nazi retreat through Stalin's Russia:

"Five days of looking out of a train window into endless devastation makes you sad at first, and then numb. Here there is nothing left, and the eye gets unhappily accustomed to nothing and begins to accept it..."

Click here to read a 1939 STAGE MAGAZINE profile of this writer.

The Siege Of Leningrad <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1944) The Siege Of Leningrad
(Collier's Magazine, 1944)
Reporting by radio from the city of Moscow, the celebrated Russian poet Vera Inber (1890 - 1972) gave an account of the difficult life lived by the civilians of Leningrad when the Nazi war machine laid siege to that city between September 8, 1941 through January 27, 1944:

"I will never forget the winter of 1941 - 42, when the bread ration was 4.4 ounces daily - and nothing else but bread was issued. In those days, we would bury our dead in long ditches - common graves. To bury your dead in separate graves, you needed fourteen ounces of bread for the gravedigger and your own shovel. Otherwise, you would have to wait your turn for days and days. Children's sleighs served as hearses to the cemetery."

The Battle of Stalingrad <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1942)The Battle of Stalingrad
(Newsweek Magazine, 1942)
The Newsweek report on the under-supplied Red Army counter-offensive at Stalingrad.

"Russia's hope was Hitler's despair. His schedule for the year had already been irreparably disrupted and none of his major objectives - Stalingrad, the Caspian Sea, the oil of the Caucasus - had yet been attained. And already the Nazi soldiers could feel the cold breath of winter through their summer uniforms..."

The Drive On Berlin <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)The Drive On Berlin
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
The Partisan War <br />(PM Tabloid, 1941)The Partisan War
(PM Tabloid, 1941)
"A Red Army officer, who said the German Army was being constantly harassed behind its lines by partizan activities and guerilla warfare, told me details of a number of recent incidents in White Russia. He said almost every village in German-occupied territory had supplied one or more groups of partizans who lived in the woods and used every opportunity to waylay detachments of infantry patrols and tanks."
The German Eastward Thrust <br />(PM Tabloid 1941)The German Eastward Thrust
(PM Tabloid 1941)
"Sub-surface evidence that the war on the Russian Front is going into a more crucial phase is mounting... if the present German drive achieves the bulk of its objectives, the Russians will have had some of their resistance power taken away from them. They will not have quite the same communications, the same supply facilities or the same freedom of movement they have had to work with thus far."

-what the Heck was PM Tabloid? click here and find out...

All-In for the Eastern Front <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)All-In for the Eastern Front
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
"In a message to the German Red Cross, Hitler referred to Russia as 'an enemy whose victory would mean the end of everything'"

"When Hitler says 'the end of everything' he means the end of Nazism."

German Army Thirsted for Grozny Oil <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)German Army Thirsted for Grozny Oil
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
The summer of 1942 found the German Army in the Soviet Union nearing the end of its oil reserves. It was decided that this problem could best be solved by seizing the Red oilfields of the Caucasus Mountains - and so began the Battle of the Caucasus (25 July 1942 12 May 1944).
Red Drive Toward Rostov <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)Red Drive Toward Rostov
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
"The Red Army crossed the Don River at three points and advanced spearheads upwards of ten miles to the south of the Stalingrad Axis seige army, threatening it with more strict encirclement and at the time moving the key city of Caucacus. Moscow dispatches stressed the importance of this action which apparently swings a considerable weight along the railroad toward Rostov."
Springtime Over The Kuban Valley <br />(PM Tabloid, 1943)Springtime Over The Kuban Valley
(PM Tabloid, 1943)
"The Russians shot down 18 enemy planes over Kuban on Sunday. Moscow estimated German plane losses on all fronts for the week ending Saturday at 381 against 134 Russian planes."

-what the Heck was PM Tabloid? click here and find out...

Stalingrad Exordium <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)Stalingrad Exordium
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
A short article explaining the significance of Stalingrad to Stalin (aside from its name) and the battle that took place there 24 years earlier during the revolution - when the city was called Tsaritsyn.
Soviets Hold Their Reserves for Stalingrad <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)Soviets Hold Their Reserves for Stalingrad
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
"The Russians undoubtedly have a reserve army that they are waiting to throw in at a moment that a counter-offensive would be of greatest value. Tne Nazis haven't crippled the southern army. Except at Voronezh, where it has made a stand costing the Germns thousands of men and hundreds of tanks, the Red Army has been falling back in good order."
''Tanks Spearhead Nazi Offensive'' <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)''Tanks Spearhead Nazi Offensive''
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
The largest tank battle in history was fought on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. In April of 1943, 6,000 German and Soviet tanks, supported by some 2,000,000 infantrymen, had-at-it near the Russian city of Kursk. This article was written a year before the clash, and it informed the readers that armored engagements were becoming larger and larger with each one.
Stalingrad Hell <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1942)Stalingrad Hell
(Newsweek Magazine, 1942)
"The most devilish Hell on the 2,000-mile front was the battleground before Stalingrad, in the dusty, 50-mile-wide bottleneck between the Don and the Volga. After two months' furious fighting, the great German offensive begun on June 28 approached its climax."
Stalingrad Turns in Favor of Reds <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)Stalingrad Turns in Favor of Reds
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
"At Stalingrad the imitative appears to be slowly shifting into the hands of the Russians...The Russian attack was reported to be growing in vigor and German counterthrusts were repulsed with heavy losses."
Fighting in Winter <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)Fighting in Winter
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
"Within a few weeks, Winter again will be sweeping down on the greatest battlefield in history... At Leningrad, the Fall rains are almost over. Now comes a month of dangerously dry, clear weather and then the snow. The Moscow zone will be thickly carpeted in white in seven or eight weeks. Allied strategists hope that the second Russian war Winter will bring a repition of the first, when Soviet skill in cold weather fighting finally drove the Nazis back.
Lend-Lease for the Eastern Front <br />(Coronet Magazine, 1944) Lend-Lease for the Eastern Front
(Coronet Magazine, 1944)
One of the seldom remembered lend-lease programs was run out of Fairbanks, Alaska, where as many as 5,000 American fighter planes were flown across the Berring Sea by Soviet pilots.

Click here to read more about the Lend-Lease program.

''Nazis Halted at Stalingrad'' <br />(PM Tabloid, 1942)''Nazis Halted at Stalingrad''
(PM Tabloid, 1942)
"Stalingrad continued to hold today. For three days now the Nazis have been stopped on both the northwest and southwest approaches to the key industrial city on the Volga, loss of which would be a grave blow to the Soviet war effort... Today's first Soviet communique indicated that Marshall von Bock continues to pour in more men, more tanks and more planes, trying to overwhelm the Russian defenders by sheer weight."
A Pen-Picture of the Devastated Soviet Union  <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1941)A Pen-Picture of the Devastated Soviet Union
(Collier's Magazine, 1941)
After touring thousands of miles with a German press-pass throughout Nazi-occupied Russia, American journalist Hugo Speck (1905 - 1970) gave a thorough picture of the violence visited upon that land by both Armies:

"German-occupied Russia is in rags and ruins; huge sweeps of European Soviet territory have been systematically destroyed, partly by the Russians themselves and partly by the devastation of Stukas, panzers, guns and fire..."

Hitler Cries Out for Civilian-Donations <br />(PM Tabloid, 1941)Hitler Cries Out for Civilian-Donations
(PM Tabloid, 1941)
Blaming it all on an "early winter", Hitler ordered the volks on the home front to give their furs, woolens and long underwear to the German Army on the Eastern Front.