Soviet Partisans in Winter Dress

When the moral blindness of the first year of the war had vanished, and the people of the USSR realised that, instead of civilized liberators, the foot of the Nazi vandal was set on their land, the partisan movement in the areas occupied by the Wehrmacht became really massive. Only partially supplied and coordinated by the Soviet command, squads of "people's avengers" were equipping themselves mainly with war trophies or by forced requisitions from nearby villages. They constantly boosted their numbers with prisoners that had escaped from the nightmare of the concentration camps, Jews that were condemned by the Nazis to extermination, or defectors from the collaborators seeking to avoid retaliation by the Soviets. Led by local communists and encouraged by the Orthodox clergy, the guerrillas were a motley bunch, leading a brutal war with no rules that caused great problems for the occupiers during the second phase of the war. In the Baltic States and the Western Ukraine the guerrilla fought the Wehrmacht and the Soviet Army alike.