Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Book preview: Soviet photos online

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Foreign Policy has posted a nice collection of historical photographs, none of which I’d seen previously, from a forthcoming book by David King. Hat tip to Ralph Luker at Cliopatria.

Footage of Tukhachevskii

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Thanks to colleagues at the Command and General Staff College for pointing me to this video on Mikhail Nikolaevich Tukhachevskii.  The historical commentary is OK, though its list of Tukhachevskii’s feats omits his disastrous defeat before Warsaw in the 1920 Russo-Polish War.

Its real value is in the archival footage of Tukhachevskii, including an excerpt from an actual speech.  The vignettes are somewhat datable. The budyonovka peaked cap (which looks strikingly like the German pikelhaube spiked helmet in several of these shots) is earlier–Civil War era and the early 1920s. You can also note the rank insignia on Tukhachevskii’s collar–in late 1935, Tukhachevskii and four others (Voroshilov, Budyonny, Bliukher, and Egorov) were made Marshals of the Soviet Union, with a single star.  Before that, he had four diamonds.

There’s also some very nice shots of other leading Red Army commanders of the time:
Ian Alksnis, key figure in the development of the Soviet air force (2:43)
Vasilii Bliukher, who fought the Japanese at Lake Khasan  (2:51–far right)
Semyon Budyonny, cavalry hero and namesake of the budyonovka peaked cap (2:51–with mustache)
Aleksandr Egorov, Chief of the General Staff 1931-1935 (1:39–on right)
Ieronym Uborevich, ninety-eight pounds soaking wet, whom Georgii Zhukov called the most military man he ever met (2:46)
Kliment Voroshilov, Stalin’s lackey and dim-witted long-time head of the Red Army (2:09)
plus non-military figures like
Sergo Ordzhonikidze, industry tsar (2:34)
Vyacheslav Molotov, Stalin’s right hand man and World War II foreign minister, who appears with Tukhachevskii while both are in civilian clothes (3:06)

No Stalin, though.

Of these, Alksnis, Bliukher, Egorov, and Uborevich died in the purges; Ordzhonikidze committed suicide.

1418 Days

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: It’s amazing what one can find on the Internet. 22 June 1941. Moscow.

In the summer of 2005, the city of Moscow played host to a photographic exhibit honoring the 60th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War. Titled, “1418 Days,” the exhibit drew upon a collection of rare wartime images contained in the archives of the Moscow House of Photography (Moskovskii Dom fotografii) to tell the story the USSR’s wartime experience.

Not surprisingly, most of the images concerned the battlefield heroism of Red Army soldiers at the front. But the exhibit included more than a few photographs drawn from the rear as well including scenes of factory life, public demonstrations, the air-raid shelters in Moscow’s metro, and bears (no, really).

The material from the 2005 exhibit (including a 40-minute video produced for the occasion) is available for viewing on-line. As is so often the case with these types of things, English-language translations are few and far between, so non-Russian readers will find themselves at a disadvantage.

To view the photographic collection in chronological order, click HERE.