A Cold Watch

The last few months of the war in Europe were cold and wet. As the Allied advance liberated occupied territory, rear-area facilities had to be guarded against theft and sabotage. For soldiers who drew guard duty the weather was a much more serious and real enemy than the German Army. The discomfort of standing watch in miserable weather shows clearly in this scene, which was probably inspired by the personal experience of the soldier-artist who painted it. Unfortunately, little else is known about the artist, who signed his paintings simply “Kutchko.”