Search our Website

Russia Pushing West on the Eastern Front

« Previous | Index | Next »

Soviet WWII poster: To the West - the Great Patriotic War (WWII)

Soviet Winters and the
Great Patriotic War

The Great Patriotic War was the name used by the Soviet Union for World War II from June1941, to May 1945 - the war with Germany and its allies. With the commencement of Operation Barbarossa in June of 1941, the Germans began to press eastward into the Soviet Union.

By the end of summer, Hitler told the generals who requested winter gear that they were defeatists and ordered them not to prepare for winter - he hoped that the Russians would surrender before the onset of the cold weather. So the German army was unprepared for the first Russian winter and its severe cold - with temperatures reaching 30 degress below zero.
During this first winter, German casualties from cold were often greater than from enemy fire.

The horses which the Germans had brought also could not withstand the extremely cold weather. This was a major problem during the first winter because the Germans had over 600,000 horses which were needed to move supply wagons and artillery and no shelter was available for these animals. The cold affected the motorized vehicles as well - trucks could not start and the aircraft could not take off as the motor oil and coolants froze.

So for the first two summers of the war, Germany pushed east into Russian, but during the winters, the Soviets pushed back to the west. Soviet troops and equipment were better adapted to handling the extreme cold of Russian winters and were better equipped to cross  the muddy ground during the wet seasons.

Poster: A Russian soldier is shown knocking down a sign which says "To the East "(Written in German). The bottom of the poster reads "To the West!" (Written in Russian). Soviet Strumovik dive bombers can be seen in the sky.

*Disclaimer: World War II posters, insignias and documents of Nazi Germany, Russia, Italy, and Japan, are displayed on this website as historical documents of the time period. They are not intended to promote or condone any political, racial, military, religious, or social views and/or actions. This website does not condone genecide.