Palace Square with Christmas tree

Palace Square with Christmas tree

Janet Quintrell Treloar

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Russia's Hero Cities
Russia and the great patriotic war


The blockade of Leningrad, a city of three million people, began on 8 September 1941 and lasted approximately 900 days. Hunger... cold... bullets... bombs. These were Hitler's troops.

Leningrad (now St Petersburg), Russia's second biggest city, was Hitler's chief objective on the northern flank. In July the Germanns made their first attempt to capture the city but it was foiled by stubborn resistance.

Early in September 1941 Nazi soldiers made an all-out attack, preceeded by a ferocious artillery bombardment and air attacks on the city. The Nazis battered Leningrad from all sides.

On November 22, when the ice on Lake Ladoga was only 13 cm thick, the first trucks began to carry provisions to the besieged city along the "Ice Road of Life".

In January 1943 the Russian forces breached the blockade of Leningrad.

Historical notes by Albert Axell

Moscow | Stalingrad