Monday, May 09, 2011

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Female recruits of the Soviet Red Army pose for a photograph with their commanding officer during WWII.

800.000 Soviet women joined the armed forces to fight in The Great Patriotic War as World War II was known to them.

Unlike the Axis and western allied armies, The Red army deployed women in front line units where they served as medical attendants, snipers, tank drivers or tank machine gunners. Many women also served unofficially as partisans.

I like the "ordinariness" of the women in the photo. They would probably have felt better nursing their children, bringing in the harvest or working as school teachers or tram conductors, or studying at the poly technical school. History decided they had to defend their homeland against foreign invaders, so here they are.

May 9 is traditionally celebrated as Victory Day

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Panzer: Pzkpfw V, Ausf G "Panther"
Soviet officers inspecting wrecked panzers at a vehicle dump in Germany, April 1945. The swastika on the Panther was most likely added by the Soviets after the vehicle was captured.
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