Siege Of Leningrad – A Question Of Survival

The siege of Leningrad began on 8th September, 1941 and lasted until 27th January, 1944, 872 days after it began, making it one of the longest and most brutal in history.

The Soviet army battled detachments from Germany, Finland and Italy during that time. Approximately half the population of the city was evacuated prior to commencement of the siege, including more than 414,000 children. It is estimated that as many as 1,500,000 civilians and soldiers died during the Siege Of Leningrad. It was said that Russian casualties from that one siege alone were greater than all US and British casualties, combined, for the entire war. Conditions were so poor that cannibalism became commonplace with arrests being made by Soviet authorities after the siege was ended. The offenders were divided into those who ate corpses and those who ate people (presumably killing them first). The former were imprisoned and the latter executed.

The city was structurally devastated by the Axis bombardment and lay in ruins by the time Soviet forces finally freed it. The defence of Leningrad without doubt tied up Axis troops that could have been deployed elsewhere in subduing the Soviet nation. The defenders of Leningrad paid a heavy price for their heroics, but their courage led, ultimately, to the defeat of the Nazi regime.

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