Importance of Leningrad for the Russians
The Siege of Leningrad was an event that occurred during WWII. This was a long-term military blockade launched from the south by Nazi Germany’s Army Group North against the Soviet city of Leningrad on the Eastern Front during World War II.
During the Eastern Front war, the siege of Leningrad lasted more than 900 days. Stalin and the Red Army had turned Peter the Great’s Neva River city into a fortress.
Hitler’s original plan was not to attack the city directly because he believed that doing so would be unnecessary and that there was a more strategic way to win Leningrad. He advised his generals to surround the city and then strategically bombard it with artillery and air strikes. He reasoned that after a while, the people would lose their tenacity and the city would be easy to take. To hasten the process, German used propaganda to convince the city’s residents that they would starve if they did not surrender.
The siege of Leningrad began less than three months after Nazi Germany launched an attack on the Soviet Union; on September 8, 1941, the German army outflanked the Red Army, kicking off a siege that would last 900 days, until January 27, 1944.
An estimated 200, 000 people died of starvation and cold in January and February of 1942. During these hard times people tried their best to preserve the city. It was during this time that Dmitry Shostakovich wrote his seventh Symphony.
The strategy was motivated by Leningrad’s political status as Russia’s former capital and symbolic capital of the Russian Revolution, its military importance as a main base of the Soviet Baltic Fleet, and its industrial strength, which housed numerous arms factories.
The capture of Leningrad was one of three strategic goals in the German Operation Barbarossa and the primary objective of Army Group North. The strategy was motivated by Leningrad’s political status as Russia’s former capital and the symbolic capital of the Russian Revolution, its military significance as a main base of the Soviet Baltic Fleet, and its industrial strength, which housed numerous arms factories. By 1939, the city accounted for 11% of all Soviet industrial output.
The battle of Leningrad was the bloodiest siege in the history of warfare. It ended on January 27 1944 and over 600,000 people lost their lives in the city during the 900-day siege. After 900 days, the Germans had to retreat from the city as part of a general retreat by the Red Army. Those that led the city through the siege were arrested by the KGB after it was freed. The crime they committed was that they didn’t ask for orders and support frequently enough.