Red Army Soldiers :

The Red Army of the Great Patriotic War ( as they called it ) is another area of fascination to me. Ground between the upper and nether millstones of brutal Stalinism and a genocidal Nazi invasion , the sheer grit of the Soviet peoples has always drawn my admiration. They recovered from catastrophic losses of territory , industry and manpower in a supreme effort of will , turned their whole state into a war machine, and threw out and destroyed the Wehrmacht. The sheer epic scale of it has no parallel in history.

Their uniforms and their equipment are a study in simplicity and absolute functionality , sometimes to the point of crudity.
                                                                     And I have to admit I love creating the faces.

A selection from my collection :

The archetypal steppe landscape : Kursk 1943

                                                 The old winter uniform , unchanged since the Revolution : Finland 1941 .

A sailor of the Black Sea fleet : a certain air of banditry about him .

The anti-tank rifleman :
an effective weapon against the early panzers , if they only got close enough:~

Siberian snow-troops , in the great winter counterattack at the gates of Moscow : the newer winter clothing issued after the invasion was excellent , and gave the Soviets a real advantage in winter fighting :~

The Recruit
: a young lad conscripted , given basic instruction , and sent to the Front . The life expectancy of such a lad was not long , and the conditions he lived under for the short time he survived were truly appalling. Brutal NCOs and terrible food were normal , as well as the risk of a penal battalion if he complained. The Germans were almost the least of his problems....

More on the next Red Army page...............................