The most terrible siege in human history lasted for 871 days.
In summer of 1941, Amy Group "North" led by fieldmarshall von Leeb and counting more than 500 000 troops began an attack in the direction of Leningrad. Leeb was ordered to destroy the part of the Red Army located in the Baltic region, launch an offensive, capture all military bases in the area of the Baltic sea and overrun Leningrad by 21st of July. Pskov fell on the 9th of July. 10th of July German panzers broke through the Soviet line of defense and captured Luga. They had 180 km seperating them from the heart of the Soviet city. 21st of August they captured the Chudovo railway station, cutting the October railroad and capturing Tosno in 8 days after that. 30th of Augst Mga, a railroad depot, fell to the Germans, thus last railroad which connected Leningrad to the rest of the world was fell into German hands.
8th of September, 1941 Germans captured Shliesselburg, the city at the mouth of the Neva river, thus surrounding Leningrad. This is how the siege of Leningrad began.
First, we'll surround Leningrad and destroy the city using artillery and aviation fire...We'll enter the city in spring...We'll relocate all that's left alife from there into the depth of Russia or take them prisoners, then we'll raze the city to the ground and give the territory north of the Neva river to finns.
From German report "on the siege of Leningrad", 21st of September, 1941.
Leningrad, listen! This is London calling...London is with you...Citizens of Leningrad, remember! In response to all bombs dropped unto your city, bombs fall onto the enemy capital. We'll be victorious. Long live Leningrad!
Excerpts from the address of the British radio company to citizens of Leningrad, 8th of September, 1941.
The Road of Life. The last thin line which connected the city to the rest of the USSR was across the Ladoga lake.
Be quiet - he is still breathing,
he is still alive, he can still hear..
his scream for bread reaches the highest high.
But no reply comes from the cruel sky.
And only Death looks from every window.
Anna Akhmatova, a famous Soviet poet who supported the people throughout the whole Siege, having declined to leave the city.
Soviet SU-122 being sent to the front.
1942. This child didn't live to see the end of suffering...
Breaking the Siege.
Glory unto thee, O great city,
you combined the rear and the front into one.
You managed to overcome enormous hardships,
you managed to stand tough. You managed to fight. You managed to win.
Vera Inber, 1944.
27th of January the Siege of Leningrad ended.
More than 700 000 people perished as a result of siege. This city which was doomed to be defeated even in terms of human physiology (in the winter of 1941-1942, which was the harshest winter in the USSR in many years, the amount of bread available to the public daily varied from 125 to 500 gramms. In winter of 1942-1943 - from 300 to 500 gramms. They had nothing else, but bread) had its rules of survival: those, who were helping others, those who were giving the remains of their strength to take care of others, those who tried to keep others warm, to feed their relatives, those who used the precious calories for the requirements of physical struggle survived. Both apathy and patriotism lived in the city side by side. Idealists were dying in hundreds and thousands on their Party meetings and working places, while cynics collected masterpieces of art from former owners.
This was the city where people ate their late neighbours and took care of their dying beloved ones, giving them their own bread ration. Leningrad under siege had many different levels and many parallel lives.
Last edited by Doublethinker; 02-11-2007 at 04:57 PM.