Siege and Battle of Leningrad 1941-1944 - Soldiers and civilians recall the blockade.
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Historian Richard Bidlack writes new history of Siege of Leningrad with previously unseen sources
Historian Richard Bidlack used secret Soviet documents to paint a vivid picture of the 872-day siege of Leningrad by the Germans and Finns in his new WWII book, "The Leningrad Blockade, 1941-1944." --- "I contend that the siege of Leningrad was not only the most horrific siege in human history, but also an act of genocide on the part of the Germans. Using these new documents that had been classified and unavailable, along with some diaries by Leningraders , we wanted both to clarify the high-level politics that led to the lengthy siege and to look at popular attitudes of the people in Leningrad."
The Siege of Leningrad seventy years on: Still one of the great under-reported atrocities of the war
Outside Russia, Leningrad is one of the great under-reported atrocities of the war. Having reached the city outskirts in September 1941, Hitler decided that instead of storming the city directly Wehrmacht would besiege it, letting no civilians out nor food or other supplies in. Though Leningrad never fell, the result was about three quarters of a million dead from starvation – between a quarter and a third of the entire pre-siege population. Added to that should be a million or so Soviet servicemen and women killed in action in the Leningrad region, mostly during Nazi Germany`s initial invasion and final retreat.
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The Anne Frank of Leningrad: Diary of Russian teenager Lena Mukhina who survived 900-day Nazi siege
A harrowing diary written by a Russian teenage girl during the Nazi siege of Leningrad 70 years ago has drawn comparisons with that of Anne Frank after being published for the first time. Lena Mukhina began writing the diary in May 1941 aged 16, describing how she survived the entire 900-day Nazi blockade of Leningrad, but not before she watched her mother starve and ate the family cat. Historians have hailed the diary as a vividly-written chronicle of hunger, desperation and death.
November 1941: "Today I turned 17. I`m lying in bed with a temperature and writing ... Aka (a family friend) brought my 125 grams of bread and 200 grams of sweets. I`ve already eaten almost all the bread and the sweets have to last for 10 days."
Leningrad: Tragedy of a City under Siege, 1941-44, by Anna Reid (book review)
"Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-44" -- which is published in Britain as "Leningrad: Tragedy of a City Under Siege, 1941-44" -- portrays a populace caught between the Nazis and the brutal Communist regime.
Thousands watch Leningrad siege re-enactment
Gunfire echoed and tank shells boomed in a snowy field outside St. Petersburg as hundreds re-enacted the Second World War battle that ended the Siege of Leningrad marking the battle`s 65th anniversary. The re-enactment replicated Marshal Georgy Zhukov`s offensive of Jan. 27, 1944. 4,000 spectators, including survivors of the 900-day Nazi blockade, gathered near the village of Nikolskoye to see the re-enactment. The 350 re-enactors, dressed in Red Army and Wehrmacht uniforms staged a mock battle that turned the snow black with gun powder and smoke. The main aim was educational, said WW2 veteran Mikhail Kurykin.
Leningrad siege survivors to receive restitution
After 7 years of talkses, the German government has agreed to distribute a one-time payment (2,556 euros/person) to some of the Jewish survivors of the Nazi siege of Leningrad, the Claims Conference announced. The agreement, involving about 6,000 persons, marks the first time that the persecution of Jews who lived through the 900-day siege of Leningrad has been recognized by Germany. The siege of Leningrad, from September 9, 1941, to January 18, 1943, was one of the longest and most ravaging sieges of a major city in modern military history. During the siege, the Nazis cut all water and power while subjecting residents to aerial and artillery bombardment.
Last Battle of 1941-1944 Siege of Leningrad Re-Enacted
St. Petersburg celebrated the 64th anniversary of the complete end of the Siege of Leningrad by Adolf Hitler’s army during World War II. To mark the date, residents laid flowers at the places linked to the 1941-1944 blockade. Over 200 re-enactors took part in a re-enactment of the battle that released Leningrad from the siege. The Siege of Leningrad lasted for 872 days beginning Sept. 8, 1941 through Jan. 27, 1944, but in popular memory this has been rounded up to 900 days. The blockade was broken on Jan. 18, 1943, but it took one more year before the Germans were forced to retreat. It is thought that about one million people died: 3% in bombings and 97% of starvation.
Blokade: The Siege of Leningrad - The first Hero City
In 1945, near the end of "The Great Patriotic War" the Soviet Union designated Leningrad Russia`s first "Hero City." Though running a close second to the Siege of Stalingrad in death toll, Leningrad`s ordeal was more than twice as long. The home of the Winter Palace and a repository of a fortune in pre-revolutionary art, Leningrad was considered Soviet Russia`s head. Nevertheless the city endured nearly 3 years of the German Army`s efforts to bomb and starve it. Now the definitive film on the Siege of Leningrad has arrived. But it is neither a war epic nor an personal reminiscence. Blockade is an hour-long compilation of footage photographed during the siege.
On the Russian front with an anti-tank battalion of the Wehrmacht
Edward Sakasitz, a 21yo private in the German army, came to the Leningrad area in Feb 1942 to join Adolf Hitler`s troops laying siege to Russia`s old imperial capital. Today, he remembers his World War II experiences with an anti-tank battalion of the Wehrmacht, including his two years on the Russian front. In the Leningrad area, we only stayed 2-3 weeks in one place. Our Panzerjaeger "tank hunter" unit was motorized. I drove half-tracks and motorcycles. I thought: Am I lucky I don`t have to walk like the infantry. Many times I had to go with a motorcycle to an infantry company up front, where machine gunners laid in the snow.
At Leningrad`s Gates: The Story of a Soldier with Army Group North (Article no longer available from the original source)
William Lubbeck spent 6 years in the Wehrmacht during World War II, including 4 of those on the brutal Russian front. He rose from the rank of private to captain during the war. He served with a platoon of a heavy weapons company in the 58th Infantry Division, directing howitzer and mortar fire on enemy positions. He travelled back to Nazi Germany for officer training in 1943 and then took command of his old company from May 1944 until the end of the war. He offers a gripping account of the horrors of combat, particularly as the German army retreats from Leningrad. At the Russian town of Primorsk, the German army became bogged down...
Red Army Veteran Recalls Agony and Ecstasy of War
On July 1, 13 days after war had begun, came Altshuller’s first battle. The regiment was located south of Leningrad near Pskov and the men were begging to be sent to a frontline. "Suddenly a shout rang out. Tanks, German! On the left! Confusion set in. The enemy onslaught was so strong that our regiment was falling back. It was impossible to hold out." That evening he arrived at Luga: it was chaos, crying, and terror. In 1943 Volkhov front offensive began, his regiment had to cross Lake Ilmen. They used horse-drawn vehicles pulled by small Mongolian horses. The Germans fired at us and we had losses, but many of our soldiers managed to get by.
226,000 people living who served in the siege of Leningrad
The mayor of St Petersburg has reminded the local legislature that there are still 226,000 people living who served in the siege of Leningrad during WWII. The 900 day siege by German and Finnish troops was unsuccessful, and Leningrad`s defenders secured the northern flank of the Russian lines. 73 of these veterans are older than 100 years, but most were actually children during the siege. While 60% of the veterans are 70 years and older, 40% are younger. Everyone inside the city during the siege was under fire, and everyone helped with the defenses, even little children. Over a million Leningrad residents died during the siege, in addition to 300,000 soldiers.
Hitler Didn’t Want to Take Leningrad in Eastern Front
Hitler did not want to capture besieged Leningrad during World War II, but intended to starve its citizens to death, a new book by a German historian says. Released in Germany this summer, the book “Das Belagerte Leningrad” by JÚrg Ganzenmßller challenges the Soviet view of the Siege of Leningrad that the city was not taken because of heroic resistance by citizens and the Red Army. That view still dominates in Russia today.
(St. Petersburg Times)
Leningrad siege ends after 900 days
The Soviet Army has lifted the blockade of Leningrad that has been besieged since German forces cut the land link to the city on 8 July 1941. Soviet soldiers broke through the German line of defence and recaptured hundreds of towns and villages in the region. It is believed that hundreds of thousands of Leningrad`s population of 2.5 million have died of starvation, exposure or enemy action since 1 Sept 1941. The German army reached Leningrad soon after invading Russia on 22 June 1941 but stopped short of taking Russia`s second city after resistance and decided instead on a blockade.
The 900-Day Siege of Leningrad
On the eighth of September 1941 the Germans began their attack on the city of Leningrad. It was during this time that the citizens of Leningrad were virtually sealed off from the world, for there was only one road out of the city, over the frozen Neva River. With the commencement of the invasion on Leningrad, the citizens united and grouped together in hope of a quick defeat of the Germans. Over two hundred thousand people volunteered for military duty in the first week. Ironically, the desire to fight for Mother Russia stimulated by the invasion of Leningrad increased Soviet patriotism.
The Leningrad Blockade - The 900-day Siege of Leningrad
For everyone who lives in St. Petersburg the Blokada (the Siege) of Leningrad is an important part of the city`s heritage. Less than two and a half months after the Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi Germany, German troops were nearing Leningrad. The Red Army was outflanked and on Sept 8 1941 the Germans had encircled Leningrad and the siege began. The city`s 3 million civilians (400,000 children) refused to surrender and endured increasing hardships in the encircled city. Food and fuel stocks were limited to a mere 1-2 month supply and by the winter of 1941-42 there was no heating, no water supply and very little food.