The German offensive code-named “Zitadelle” carried out in the area of Kursk on the Eastern Front in the Soviet Union led to the largest armoured battle fought during World War II. Thousands of tanks, guns, planes and almost 3 million soldiers stood in front of each other. It was also the first test for new German medium tanks – PzKpfw V Panther and a demonstration of the strength of heavy tanks, PzKpfw VI Tiger.
Below we present the story of probably the most effective sniper in history, the Finnish soldier Simo Häyhä, nicknamed “The White Death” by his enemies. During the Winter War between Finland and the USSR between 1939 and 1940, Simo killed over 500 Russians using mainly a simple sniper rifle. His methods of conducting concealed warfare have passed into legend, and the heroic Finn remained a national hero and a model for future generations of soldiers until the end of his life.
On September 14, 1954, one of the deadliest military exercises in history took place. During the maneuvers codenamed “Snezhok” (Russian: Snowball) the Soviet Union dropped a nuclear bomb on the Totskoye proving ground, and a few hours later, thousands of soldiers were ordered to enter the blast zone. Both military personnel and the surrounding civilian population subsequently became victims of terrible radiation sickness without any chance of help from the communist authorities.
When in June 1940 more than 5 million German soldiers launched an attack on the Soviet Union, Hitler and most of the Wehrmacht commanders were sure that victory over the eastern colossus was a matter of weeks – history, however, showed how greatly they were mistaken. Initially, the German war machine confidently pushed east into the USSR, brutally clearing the way to Moscow. However, it was there, as a result of an exhausting battle lasting from October 1941 to January 1942, that the Wehrmacht was defeated and pushed several hundred kilometers to the west.