Russian Front: a captured Russian battle flag, acquired from the Russian Front, 1941-42, recaptured by an American GI in Germany, 1945 32 x 48 in (82 x 122 cm)

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Lot 142
Russian Front: a captured Russian battle flag, acquired from the Russian Front, 1941-42, recaptured by an American GI in Germany, 1945
32 x 48 in (82 x 122 cm)

Sold for US$ 37,500 inc. premium

World War II

5 Jun 2014, 10:00 EDT

New York

Russian Front: a captured Russian battle flag, acquired from the Russian Front, 1941-42, recaptured by an American GI in Germany, 1945
A battle flag of the Russian Army, home stitched ground of red cloth, made up of 3 pieces of cloth, one a darker shade of red, central white roundel, onlaid 5 pointed red star with black hammer and sickle, white over sewn canvas stripes making up the letters CCCP. Remains of 3 ties to secure to a pole or gun, edges unsewn and blown out, several small holes possibly from being under fire.

The extraordinary survival of a Russian battle flag, an emotive relic of the struggle of the Russian people in World War II. Undoubtedly there were probably many thousands of these home made flags sewn for the disparate units of the Russian army, cobbled together to oppose the might of the German Army as it invaded the motherland in June 1941.
This home-made flag is similar to ones pictured in photographs of Russian Infantry charges at the Sieges of Leningrad and Stalingrad, but given that it survived to return to Germany it was probably a flag carried by one of the smaller groups formed hurriedly in the summer of 1941 to try and resist the German advance. Here in the west, we tend to forget the greatest battle front of World War II, the Russian Front; without which there would never have been a successful D-Day invasion, since the Russian Front tied up over 3 million German and Axis Power soldiers. From 1942, with the victory at Stalingrad, the strengthening of the Russian front from Leningrad to the Crimea put enormous pressure on the German army and slowly the Russians advanced forward with the enormous power of a 5 million strong army, pushing the 2.5 million strong German army back to its own borders, a feat unparallelled in the history of warfare. 32 x 48 in (82 x 122 cm)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The War Museum

    -Recaptured as a souvenir by an American GI in Germany in 1945, presumed to have been captured on the Russian Front, by advancing German Forces, 1941-43
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