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5 Comments | Vintage
I wonder how many of them made it out alive.
From a wikipedia article – of 285,000 who started, about 93,000 survived Stalingrad as POWs and only 5000 returned to Germany after the war
The guy on the left in glass could be my twin. When I was that age
One needs to understand that the Wehrmacht was the regular army, and some of these guys strongly disagreed with the activities of the Einsatzgruppen, the Schutzstaffel (SS) paramilitary death squads of Nazi Germany that were responsible for mass killings, primarily by shooting. The Einsatzgruppen followed the Wehrmacht to “clean up” the sectors the Army passed through, of Jews, gypsies, priests, teachers, homosexuals, or anyone they deemed “subhuman”. Some Wehrmacht deliberately interfered with the actions of the SS, sometimes at the cost of their own careers or even their lives. We may have fought these men in WWII, but standing up for human rights despite adversity is, to me, the definition of a hero.
Looking at the photo the thing that stood out to me is how none of them had any body armor like modern troops do.
No wonder casualties were so high. Soldiers back then were basically going into battle with just a helmet.