Photographs of Panzerkommandanten Richard Pohl (Officer, 18th Panzer Division)
Taken in Russian Campaign during 1941-42.
(Special Thanks to the German Federal War Graves Commission for permitting me to post these photographs.)
Several of the photos are quite graphic and disturbing. Special thanks are in order to Herren Arne Schrader and Christian Reith of the German Federal War Graves Commission in Kassel, Germany, for enabling me to use these amazing pictures which had never before been published.

Panzer II tank crossing the Bug River on first day of Russian campaign.

Destroyed Russian T-28 light tank.

Dead Russian horses laying near the artillery piece they had towed.

Caption reads: The KV-1 tank destroyed by Captain Kirn.

Destroyed German Pz II tank. The "G" signifies that it belongs to Guderian's Panzer Group.

Two damaged German Pz III tanks. The 18 PD began Russian campaign with 218 tanks, of which more than 100 were Pz III models.

Crew of Pz II tank enjoying a meal. Arrow may be pointing to Cdr Pohl. He ended the war in command of Pz.-Bde 106 "Feldherrnhalle" and, badly wounded, was captured in 1945 during the battle for the Ruhr pocket. 

Typical scene on Russian front of 1941 -- a forest of signs point the way to various German units. This photo most likely taken in fall of 1941.

Caption reads: "An unknown German Luftwaffe Leutnant found murdered." The date on the cross is 5 October 1941.

Abandoned Soviet artillery piece. The Red Army had lost more than 20,000 guns by the end of December 1941.

A Russian "Stalin Organ" destroyed in combat. Most likely winter 1941/42.

Most likely photo from winter 1941/42; appear to be a column of wounded soldiers on improvised sleds. An all-too common scene from the first winter of the Russo-German War.

Damaged Soviet T-34. From this photograph one can see how crudely designed the tank was; most were expected to take no more than 6 months of wear and tear. Still, the T-34 was arguably the best tank produced by any adversary during WWII.

Tanks of 18 PD w/ mounted infantry advance along a dusty road. Summer 1941.

Tanks of 18 PD being towed through the mud.

A great photo of a group of Stuka dive bombers. Army Group Center began Operation "Barbarossa" with more than 300 operational Stuka aircraft.

Pz II with the marking "R 11" figures prominently in these photographs. Most likely is Richard Pohl's tank.

The grave site of Hauptmann Kirn, who earlier in the campaign had destroyed a Soviet KV-1 tank (see photo above).

A knocked out Pz III. The photographer appears to have circled in black the point where the enemy shell penetrated the tank.

German tanks advance through a light snow. Most likely October or November 1941. (Not sure what the arrows signify.)

Nice close-up shot of a Pz II of Pz.-Rgt. 18 (18 PD).

A grave site of soldiers from Pz.-Rgt. 18 (18 PD). Most likely summer 1941. (Pz II tank in background.)  

A Soviet T-34 captured by the Germans. Many captured T-34s were incorporated into German armored forces.

Very rare photograph of night combat. It must have been unbelievably chaotic in this era before advent of effective night vision equipment.

A horrific image of a Russian tank crew member burned alive inside his tank. When Panzerkommandant Pohl and crew opened the hatch of this tank (which was largely undamaged on the outside), this is the sight that greeted them. Until this point in campaign, Pohl had tended to dehumanize the Russian enemy. This image shook him emotionally and brought home to him that the Russians were human beings, too.

A German war photographer serving with Guderian's ("G") 2 Panzer Group. Most likely filming 18. Pz.-Rgt.

Red Army soldiers (right) surrendering. Over 3 million Red Army soldiers would perish in German captivity.

A battery of German howitzers. Note tip of tank cannon at bottom of photograph.