Wednesday, 18 March 2020


Born on this day in 1899, prominent Soviet photographer Max Vladimirovich Alpert (†1980) is best remembered for his iconic image Kombat (short for battalion commander).
Though the date and the subject are not known for certain, an investigative reconstruction of events undertaken in the 1970s are reasonably certain that the political commissar—the Politruk, the officer with the responsibility of political education of their assigned unit—of the battalion who took command after the actual Kombat was incapacitated, Aleksei Yeryomenko, is shown rallying his troops for a counter-attack against the German offense. Research dates the picture to 12 July 1942 on a battlefield in Luhansk (then called Voroshilovgrad) Oblast in far eastern Ukraine, skirmishes intending to halt the advance Fall Blau (Case Blue, the codename for this summer campaign and continuation of Operation Barbarossa) towards Stalingrad.