Leningrad, Siege of


Leningrad, Siege of

(Sept. 8, 1941–Jan. 27, 1944) Prolonged siege of the city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) by German forces in World War II. German forces invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 and approached Leningrad from the west and south while Germany's Finnish allies came from the north. By November 1941 the city was almost completely encircled and its supply lines to the Soviet interior cut off. In 1942 alone, in excess of 650,000 of Leningrad's citizens died from starvation, disease, and shelling from distant German artillery. Sparse food and fuel supplies reached the city by barge in the summer and by sled in winter across Lake Ladoga. The supplies kept the city's arms factories operating and its two million inhabitants barely alive, while another one million children and sick and elderly people were evacuated. Soviet offensives in 1943 partially broke the German encirclement and were followed in January 1944 by a successful Soviet attack that drove the Germans westward from the city's outskirts, ending the siege.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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