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Siege of Leningrad

Blockade by the Axis powers, 1941–1944 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The siege of Leningrad (Russian: Блокада Ленинграда, romanized: Blokada Leningrada; German: Leningrader Blockade; Finnish: Leningradin piiritys) was a prolonged military blockade undertaken by the Axis powers against the Soviet city of Leningrad (present-day Saint Petersburg) on the Eastern Front of World War II. Germany's Army Group North advanced from the south, while the German-allied Finnish army invaded from the north and completed the ring around the city.

Siege of Leningrad
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II

Soviet antiaircraft battery in Leningrad near Saint Isaac's Cathedral, 1941
Date8 September 1941 – 27 January 1944
(2 years, 4 months, 2 weeks and 5 days)
Location
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
(present-day Saint Petersburg, Russia)
59°55′49″N 30°19′09″E
Result

Soviet victory

  • Siege lifted by Soviet forces
Territorial
changes
Axis forces are repelled 60–100 km (37–62 mi) away from Leningrad.
Belligerents
 Germany
 Finland[1][2]
Naval support:
 Italy[3]
 Soviet Union
Commanders and leaders
Strength
Initial: 725,000 Initial: 930,000
Casualties and losses
Army Group North:
1941
: 85,371 total casualties[4]
1942: 267,327 total casualties[5]
1943: 205,937 total casualties[6]
1944: 21,350 total casualties[7]
Total: 579,985 casualties

Northern Front:
1,017,881 killed, captured or missing[8]
2,418,185 wounded and sick[8]
Total: 3,436,066 casualties

Russian estimate of killed, captured or missing:[9]
Baltic Fleet: 55,890
Leningrad Front: 467,525
Total: 523,415
Soviet civilians:
642,000 during the siege, 400,000 at evacuations[8]

The siege began on 8 September 1941, when the Wehrmacht severed the last road to the city. Although Soviet forces managed to open a narrow land corridor to the city on 18 January 1943, the Red Army did not lift the siege until 27 January 1944, 872 days after it began. The blockade became one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history, and it was possibly the costliest siege in history due to the number of casualties which were suffered throughout its duration. While not classed as a war crime at the time,[10] in the 21st century, some historians have classified it as a genocide due to the systematic starvation and intentional destruction of the city's civilian population.[11][12][13][14][15]