A Spanish engineer corporal, Antonio Ponte Anido (in the centre foreground), was awarded the San Fernando Cross for his part in taking on these steel monsters. On observing a Russian tank about to attack a first-aid post housing many defenceless wounded men, he raced to place anti-tank mines under its tracks. The ensuing explosion stopped the tank, but also resulted in his death.
Although the Spanish troops were impressed by the quality of the arms with which the Germans equipped the Blue Division, they soon came to appreciate that Soviet weapons were often more reliable and hard-wearing. The PPSh submachine gun (carried by the bottom left figure) and the Degtaryev DP light machine gun (carried by the standing soldier) were especially appreciated.