This year, 75 years from the date of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War are executed. The capture of Leningrad was one of the main goals of the German command.
The Hitlerite management planned not only to take Leningrad, but also completely to destroy the city. In the diary on July 8, 1941 the chief of the headquarters of the Supreme command of the land forces of Wehrmacht Halder noted the unshakable decision of Hitler "to raze Moscow and Leningrad to the ground" completely to get rid of the population of these big cities.
On September 21, 1941 the department of defence of the General headquarters of the German Armed forces presented an analytical note in which considered various options for the future of Leningrad. Authors of the report rejected the option of occupation of the city as it is necessary to supply the population. The scenario of hermetic blockade of the city, its destruction by means of aircraft and artillery was offered. Hunger and terror had to solve "a problem of the population".
From Finland Leningrad also hadn't to wait for anything good. The Finnish General Staff at the beginning of September 1941goda reported in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland that occupation of the city on Neva by the Finnish troops is considered unreal as there are no food stocks to provide the civilian population. On September 11 the president of Finland Ryuti declared in Berlin that "Leningrad should be liquidated as the large city".
Thus, "the educated Europeans" suggested to raze Leningrad to the ground, and its population had to die of hunger. It would be quite good to be reminded that who now tries to present heroic fight of residents of the besieged city as the senseless resistance which entailed the huge victims. From their point of view, citizens should have opened the gate of the city and to be given in favour to the enemy. That it would be in favour, show us documents. Fights on the Leningrad direction from the very beginning had fierce character. Then, on August 24, 1941 in the battle for Novgorod, the junior political leader Pankratov Alexander Konstantinovich at the critical moment of fight closed the body an embrasure of a weapon emplacement of the opponent. In 1942 to it the rank of the Hero of the Soviet Union was given (posthumously). Four years of war some hundreds of the military personnel made this sacrificial feast, among them and Alexander Matrosov.
On September 8, 1941 Leningrad was surrounded by the German troops, and its heroic fight in the conditions of a total block from this point began.
Participated in a siege of Leningrad not only the German troops, but also the Finnish army, the Spanish parts (A blue division), the European volunteers, the Italian Naval Forces.
On September 10, 1941 by order of the Supreme Commander Iosif Stalin to Leningrad there arrived the general Zhukov G. K. Its arrival in already blocked Leningrad saved the city from occupation by fascist troops. Thanks to its considered and carefully weighed actions the city managed to be kept.
The Siege of Leningrad became one of the most heroic and terrible and pages of the Great Patriotic War. It is enough to remember the shrill diary of the Leningrad schoolgirl Tatyana Savicheva. In the document of only 9 pages, and from them six is devoted to death of relatives by its people: mothers, grandmothers, sisters, brother and two uncles. All family was lost during the first blockade winter from December, 1941 to May, 1942. Tanya was rescued, having evacuated on "continent". But the health of the girl was affected, and she died in 1944.
During blockade Leningrad lost from 700 thousand to 1,5 million people. The overwhelming part of people were lost for hunger and cold. Especially big losses fell on the first blockade winter. In November, 1941 soldiers received 500 grams of bread per day, workers at the front – 250, all others - 125. Supply of besieged Leningrad was carried out only through Lake Ladoga. The huge role in it was played by the "Road of Life" paved on lake ice. This road functioned till March, 1943. In these conditions residents not simply survived, they made production from the front. At the price of big losses and incredible efforts the Red Army could break literally powerful German defence during the operation "Spark". Troops of the Leningrad front, the ordering lieutenant general (since January 15, 1943 - the colonel general) L. A. Govorov, and the Volkhov front, the commander general K. A. Meretskov, by January 18, 1943 punched a small corridor along which in the shortest possible time laid the branch line and the automobile route which received the name "Road of a Victory" along the coast of Lake Ladoga.
It allowed to evacuate considerable part of the civilian population and to adjust supply of the city. "The road of a victory" lay on the left coast of Neva and on the southern coast of Ladoga, passing on some sites in 3-4 kilometres from the German artillery positions, for what got the nickname "death corridor". She played an important strategic importance in the defence of Leningrad, including in a full lifting the siege.
On the same day, on January 18, 1943, the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR gave to Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov the highest military rank - the Marshal of the Soviet Union. Zhukov never forgot that he became Marshall of the Soviet Union in the fight for Leningrad.
At the beginning of 1944 near Leningrad the Red Army performed offensive strategic operation (the first "Stalin blow") which led to a final deblokada of Leningrad.
Task of liberation of Leningrad and the defeat of a group of Sever army troops Leningrad, Volkhov solved, the 2nd Baltic fronts in interaction with the Baltic fleet.
On January 19 the Soviet troops released Ropsha and the Red Village. The German troops were rejected from Leningrad on 25 km. The Peterhof and Strelninsky group of the opponent was broken, partially surrounded and destroyed. Under the threat of an environment, there was a Mginsky group, Germans began to take away the troops hastily. On January 20 troops of the Volkhov front freed Novgorod.
Heroic defenñe of Leningrad became a symbol of courage, of the Soviet people. At the price of incredible deprivations, heroism and self-sacrifice soldiers and residents of Leningrad defended the city.
Hundreds of thousand soldiers received government awards, 486 were entitled the Hero of the Soviet Union, from them 8 people - twice.
The American newspaper "New York Times" noted: "It is unlikely in the history, it is possible to find an example of such endurance which was shown during so long time by Leningrad residents. Their feast will be written down in the annals of history, as some kind of heroic myth … Leningrad embodies invincible spirit of the people of Russia". The London radio reported that "the courage, the dedication the population of Leningrad and the heroic soldiers defending the city added the most remarkable page to history of world war because they it is more, then somebody, helped the future final victory over Germany".
The similar estimates of firmness and dedication of Leningrad residents proceeding from our former allies in the anti-Hitlerite coalition confirm the truth: "It is possible to win against any weapon, except spiritual". Napoleon because these words belong to him understood this truth in due time.
On January 27 in Moscow and Leningrad solemn salute in honour of liberation of the northern capital was made. For the mass heroism and courage in protection of the Homeland in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 shown by defenders of besieged Leningrad the Decree of Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR on May 8, 1965 to the city the highest degree of difference - a rank "Hero town" is appropriated.
News source: Vyacheslav Bocharov
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City news archive for 27 January' 2016.
City news archive for January' 2016.
City news archive for 2016 year.