Russian (Soviet) posters during the Second World War

Poster is an example of realistic art - a glimpse of generalized reality splashed onto a sheet of paper. It is laconic, dynamic and easy to understand, omnipresent and decorative. It's both a chronicler and a powerful tool of monumental propaganda. Political poster played a great role in the anti-fascist struggle. Poster art developed rapidly during the war, giving rise to new forms of expression.

The posters of 1941-1945 exerted profound influence on the development of this branch of pictorial propaganda.
War-time posters are very emotional, psychologically sharp, full of pathetic wrath. They focus on man rather than symbols. To enhance the emotional message, a human figure is usually placed in the foreground. It's a lyrical story about living heroes. No symbol can compare by its ideological influence with the image of an attacking soldier or the image of the Motherland - a woman 0with a stern face and anxious look, stretching out the text of a military oath. Often a poster was created by means of generalizing a certain prototype.

Soviet posterists such as V. Ivanov, A. Kokorekin, V. Koretsky, I. Toidze, D. Shmarinov, P. Sokolov-Skalya, V. Deni and the Kukryniks team left behind vivid images showing the unbending will of Soviet (Read that as Russian) people who stood up staunchly for their Motherland.

In the early hours of June 22, 1941, Nazi troops invaded the Soviet Union without declaring war. That was the beginning of the Great Patriotic War waged by the Soviet people ( Read that as Russians) for their freedom and independence.

On September 30, 1941, Hitler ordered his troops to attack Moscow. The great victory won by the Russian Army in the battle for Moscow was the first major turning point during the first year of the war.

In January 1942 the Soviet Army launched a powerful counter-offensive in several strategic directions of the Soviet-German front.

February 1943 saw the crushing defeat of Nazi troops near Stalingrad.

Troops of the Don Front successfully destroyed the Nazi forces surrounded near Stalingrad.

1943 - a hard-fought victory in the Kursk Bulge, one of WW2 biggest battles.

In 1944 the Soviet Army mounted counter-offensives near Leningrad and Novgorod.

In the summer of 1944 the Soviet Army began its advance into Poland, the Baltic republics and Eastern Prussia.

On May 8, 1945, the German government signed a pact on unconditional surrender. On May 9 Soviet troops crushed the remainder of Nazi forces near Prague. May 9 was officially proclaimed Victory Day.

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Points To Ponder


It is difficult to distinguish between the quality of both the German and Russian soldiers. Both were motivated by their love for their motherland. But there were others factors that drove the two sides to such desperate fighting.

One, both sides knew that this was a no-holds bar war. Not fighting was thus not an option.

Second, both Hitler and Stalin had squads that killed any deserter. Turning away from fighting was just not possible.

Thus was seen some of the most bitter, brutal and desperate fighting on the WW2 eastern (Russian) Front.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana


"Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When the enemy advances, withdraw; when he stops, harass; when he tires, strike; when he retreats, pursue.'
--Mao Zedong


"The main thing is to make history, not to write it."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite."
--Winston Churchill


"In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers."
--August Bebel

"God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best."

Quotes about War....

"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war."
---Otto von Bismarck


"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
--Hermann Goering


"To conquer the enemy without resorting to war is the most desirable. The highest form of generalship is to conquer the enemy by strategy."
--Tzu Sun

"All men are brothers, like the seas throughout the world; So why do winds and waves clash so fiercely everywhere?"
--Emperor Hirohito