Saturday, 7 July 2012

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The Occupation of Kharkov in Colour

These photos taken by Johannes Hähle depict the civilian population of Kharkov under occupation by Nazi Germany during the Spring or Summer of 1942. Hähle was a photographer with a Propagandakompanie, and at the time he was assigned to a Luftwaffe reconnaissance unit, likely 4.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 10 "Tannenberg" (4th Squadron, Reconnaissance Group 10 "Tannenberg").



Anti-Jewish and anti-Russian propaganda.



The Luftwaffe reconnaissance unit Hähle was assigned to were equipped with the the Focke-Wulf Fw 189 "Uhu" (Eagle Owl). Three of the photographs depict a funeral for a member of the unit.




Many of the buildings that were damaged in the First Battle of Kharkov and Second Battle of Kharkov still bear evidence of the fierce fighting. Kharkov was to change hands many times between the initial invasion in October 1941 and August 1943, when the city was finally liberated.







Hulls of Panzer III tanks that were damaged during the fighting. The machine in the foreground carries the insignia of the 3rd Panzer Division.