The Battle of Wolchow (Volkhov) near Lake Ladoga (Leningrad) in July 1943.
(Nb. Yes, we do know the Soviet soldier has his helmet on back to front)
By utilizing the help of a Russian prisoner with medical knowledge, the Wehrmacht Sanitäter gives first aid to a wounded soldier in battle. They are seen using an improvised stretcher to take him to a dressing station at the rear, to get more treatment.
The location is in the swamp area of Lake Ladoga (northern Russia) which became a fierce battleground in the month of July 1943.
"I think it was the 3rd of July 1943. Another hour later we had reached the slopes of the foot of the Heights of Patschino. No one made a sound, it was completely silent. We were to attack without any artillery support which I think was a mistake. Its was pitch dark and we could barely see the details of the slope in front of us. The frst group fanned out and started its advance, our group following behind. First our plan seemed to be a great success, we had take the Soviets by suprise. The first and second line of trenches were taken in hand-to-hand combat. From my position in second group I could see the flamethrowers to their work. A gruesome sight, bright jets of flame illuminating thick oily clouds of smoke. My group now entered the trenches the first group had taken and set up our machine guns to be able to repel the expected soviet counter-attack.
Initially we had attacked with over 500 men. Believe me, at this moment there were no more than 100 still alive. I fell back towards the main force. When I arrived I met two soldiers of my company, which was down to only 5 men! All officers and NCOs had been wounded or killed which effectualy gave me command of the company. Together with my two comrades we fled. We ran like hares. Mortar and artillery shells exploding around us, bullets whistling around our ears. I will never forget the sights of that hellish inferno. I was running and jumping over the dead bodies of my fallen comrades which seemed to lying everywhere, when a mortar shell exploded next to me. I dont remember a lot of what followed but some splinters had hit my face and arm. I was nearly deaf from the explosion and must have passed out. I woke at the main dressing station. My two comrades had carried me back, all the way. I am glad that all this over. War is such a terrible thing.”
(Herr Gustav Römer - IR506 of the 291st Division)
(Photo by SS-Kriegsberichter Wisniewski, Nord 1942-1943, Brigade Nederland 1944, holder of the Iron Cross II)
(Colorised by Bill at Wwiicolor Izer)