Stalingrad Assault

In a composite photo, Soviet soldiers advance through the ruins of Stalingrad. This photo, taken by Georgi Zelma (1906-1984) for Communist newspaper Izvestia, appears in several versions. Zelma admitted manipulating his photos for dramatic effect. The photo is composed of three photos; the Soviet soldiers, the ruins in the background, and the dead man in the center. Zelma spent much of the 200-day siege taking photos, but he was not well known in the West until after the Stalin era. The man in the lower left foreground is firing a Degtyarev DP-28 light machine gun. He also appears to be added into the photo. The other soldiers are carrying Mosin-Nagant rifles and PPSh-41 submachine guns. A Soviet squad advancing in broad daylight across an open expanse such as this would incur high casualties from German snipers. Large numbers of snipers on both sides were highly effective.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Thursday, February 5, 1942
Stalingrad Oblast
Soviet Union