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Documentary photographs of how the enemy military correspondents worked during the Great Patriotic War
Documentary photographs of how the enemy military correspondents worked during the Great Patriotic War

The time when the war is going on is a fertile ground for all kinds of propaganda, and also a great opportunity for documentary photographers to realize themselves professionally. And of course, military correspondents also worked on both sides during the Great Patriotic War. And the military correspondents of fascist Germany were sometimes no less good in a professional sense than their Soviet counterparts.

1. How did German war correspondents work …

German war correspondent on the boat

Agitation and propaganda was one of the main companions of the Great Patriotic War. Together with the army of Nazi Germany, hundreds of war correspondents crossed the border of the Land of the Soviets, who were tasked with showing the strength, power and invincibility of the Wehrmacht.

2. Fighter of the information front

German war correspondent under the cover of a damaged Soviet tank BT-5

In April 1939, a specialized propaganda department was created at the headquarters of the Supreme Command, headed by Colonel Hasso von Wedel. The propaganda department was responsible for the general management of the propaganda units in the armed forces, and the propaganda companies, Propagandakompanie, were also subordinate to it, which consisted exclusively of correspondents of different profiles.

3. Kurt Eggers

An editor who fought in the Viking SS Panzer Division

By the time of the attack on the USSR, the Wehrmacht had 19 propaganda companies at its disposal, which were sent in full force to the eastern front in 1941. The PK consisted of journalists, translators, traveling printers and specialists in the production and distribution of propaganda materials.

4. SS military correspondents, 1940

War correspondents of the SS

The war correspondent of the Wehmahat, Helmut Ecke, recalled that the correspondents were sent to one or another sector of the front as needed, and then returned back until the need for them arose again.

5. SS Regiment "Kurt Eggers"

A unit of war correspondents of the Third Reich, subordinate to the leadership of the SS

SS Regiment "Kurt Eggers" - a detachment of war correspondents of the Third Reich, which was directly subordinate to the leadership of the SS. The regiment was formed in January 1940 after the creation of a company of four platoons of war correspondents. Platoons were able to work independently of each other, were equipped with the latest cinema equipment, which made it possible to capture the combat actions of SS units.

6. Leader of the group of writers

As part of the regiment "Kurt Eggers" were photographers, cameramen, writers, announcers and other figures of journalism

The head of the company was SS Standartenfuehrer Gunther d'Alken, editor-in-chief of the Das Schwarze Korps newspaper. Moving to the Waffen-SS, he received the rank of SS Hauptsturmführer of the reserve, but by the end of the war he rose to the rank of SS Standartenführer of the reserve.

7. Chief operator

Graduates of the Berlin-Zehlendorf Correspondent School

At the beginning of World War II, against the backdrop of the success of the armed forces of Nazi Germany, German correspondents managed to publish reliable information about what was happening at the front, but the situation began to change dramatically near Moscow, when the Wehrmacht suffered its first serious defeat.

8. Group of "combat" propaganda

Sections of the "combat" propaganda group that took part in the action timed to coincide with the next German offensive

The Battle of Stalingrad became a real test for the journalists of the Third Reich. In the face of heavy urban battles, war correspondents, in addition to fulfilling their direct duties, often had to fight on a par with ordinary soldiers. To collect interesting material or make a good shot, they had to climb into the thick of the battle, using a machine gun much more often than a photo or a movie camera.

9. Special equipment

High Commissioner's car

After the defeat in the Battle of the Kursk Bulge and the loss of the strategic initiative by the Third Reich, German war correspondents appeared less and less on the battlefields.Berlin did not want to cover the crushing defeats of the armed forces of Nazi Germany, so they preferred to send correspondents to relatively calm sectors of the front.

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