Soviet losses

Waffen-SS officer question Soviet prisoners
Waffen-SS convoy with Soviet prisoner
The SS-Division Wiking regularly provided good results from short and long range reconnaissance and Soviet prisoners were continuously brought back from these operations. The Soviet losses during the spring 1942 in the southern portion of the Eastern Front amounted to approximately 490,000 prisoners. The Soviets’ reserves appeared to be inexhaustible, especially when the losses of the previous year were taken into consideration: Between Kiev and Moscow, they had lost 1,300,000 men captured and 9,000 artillery pieces and 2,000 armored vehicles lost or captured. As one young SS grenadier wrote: No time to disarm them; a quick hands up, a gesture towards the west and we moved on again. For the Germans, Soviet POWs were expendable: they consumed calories needed by others and, unlike Western POWs, were considered to be subhuman. Top image: a Waffen-SS officer question Soviet prisoners in the beginning of the campaign. Public domain. Bottom image: a Waffen-SS convoy with a Soviet prisoner of war in the back of the truck. In the background, the ZIS-5 truck of Soviet production. During the war the ZIS-5 was used by the Soviets on all fronts, where it was greatly appreciated for its remarkably simple and reliable construction. Public domain.

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