Caught in a deep rut, they dug the wheels of the wagon out only to sink again a few metres later.
Halfway back to the base, the horses collapsed.
The sight of their frothy mouths and quivering ribs made Ernst feel ill. “Take off their harnesses,” he ordered Horst.
“Blitzkrieg,” a lightening war was what Hitler called it and with General Guderian’s plans utilizing modern weaponry, there was every reason to think Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union would be successful for the German Reich. But as the average Wehrmacht soldier was to discover, the plan did not account for the Russian landscape or ferocious winter climate, in which their machinery became largely useless. Just outside of Moscow, the campaign stalled and the Red Army was able to mount an offensive, considered to be the turning point of the Second World War.
Photo: Sowjetunion-Mitte (Kursk).- Pferdegespann in tiefem Schlamm eingesunken; PK 698 Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-289-1091-26 / Dinstühler / CC-BY-SACaught i