November 12, 2014
Someone tweeted this photo back on Remembrance Day, I think it was captioned “The most badass war photo ever” or similar and it is a pretty impressive shot. It appears to be a reindeer in the middle of a warzone looking towards the action, and even better this photo was taken during Operation Renntier (Reindeer), pretty amazing, no?
Well actually yeah, no. Though saying it’s a fake seems harsh because it’s still a great photo, it’s just a composite.
Yevgeny Khaldei was a Red Army photographer during the second World War. During the bombing of Operation Renntier:
…a reindeer (later named Yasha) came out to be with the soldiers–the shellshocked creature didn’t want to be alone. During one of the air raids,Khaldei took the reindeer shot, but it wasn’t as dramatic as he assumed, so he later superimposed British Hawker Hurricanes, flown by RAF pilots to relieve Murmansk, and an exploding bomb to form a composite image.
Khaldei is best known for this photo of the Soviet flag raised over the Reichstag in Berlin but this is also a fake, in that it’s a reconstruction, not the original event (much the like the image it tried to emulate).