MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
In accordance with the instructions of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, on the intensification of military historical work in the Navy, military sailors of structural units of the High Command of the Navy and cadets of naval educational institutions in St. Petersburg got acquainted with the materials of the Presidential Library on breaking the blockade of Leningrad.
On January 18, 1943, the blockade of Leningrad was broken, which lasted more than 16 months. The offensive operation “Iskra” was being prepared for almost a month. The idea was to defeat the grouping of Nazi troops holding the Shlisselburg-Sinyavinsky ledge on the southern shore of Lake Ladoga with counter strikes from two fronts – Leningrad from the west and Volkhov from the east. On January 12, on the first day of the offensive operation, our troops managed to break through the enemy’s defense line and capture a bridgehead up to three kilometers deep. In the following days, the Soviet strike units continued to advance towards each other. Decisive actions unfolded on January 18. In the morning at 9:30 am, on the eastern outskirts of Rabochey Settlement No. 1 near Shlisselburg, units of the 123rd Separate Rifle Brigade of the Leningrad Front joined forces with units of the 372nd Rifle Division of the Volkhov Front. At 12 noon, the 136th Rifle Division and the 61st Separate Tank Brigade broke into Workers’ Settlements No. 1 and 5, where they connected with units of the 18th Rifle Division of the Volkhov Front. On the same day, Shlisselburg was completely liberated. Around midnight on January 18, a message was broadcast on the radio about the breaking of the blockade. Early in the morning on January 19, the city was decorated with flags.
Not only their native country was proud of the feat of Leningraders and the defenders of the city. US President Franklin Roosevelt, on behalf of his people, presented the letter to “the city of Leningrad in memory of its valiant warriors and its faithful men, women and children, who, being isolated by the invader from the rest of his people, and despite constant bombardments and untold suffering from the cold, hunger and disease, successfully defended their beloved city during the critical period from September 8, 1941 to January 18, 1943 … “
Another unique document presented on the portal of the Presidential Library is “Telegram from London on January 24, 1943 to the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs.” It cites a letter from the Minister of National Defense of the Czechoslovak Republic, General Ingra, in which he asks to accept “the most sincere congratulations on the occasion of the magnificent victory that the Red Army has just won near Leningrad” and “to convey our warm congratulations and our sincere wishes for new victories as a glorious Red Army Army, and the great people of the USSR.
The picture of the blockade of the city and its breakthrough can be seen with the help of the electronic collection of the Presidential Library “Defense and blockade of Leningrad”, which includes official documents, periodicals, video materials, newsreel, memoirs, diaries and materials from the personal archives of Leningraders, as well as TASS photo chronicle. The photographs of military correspondents capture the unique moments of breaking through the blockade of Leningrad in 1943: “Volkhov Front. After a direct hit in the fascist battery”, “Leningrad Front. On the liberated Soviet land”, “In the footsteps of the retreating Germans”, “In the battles for breaking the blockade of Leningrad. On the streets of the liberated Shlisselburg”, “The blockade of Leningrad is broken!” other.
And although the blockade of Leningrad was completely lifted only a year later, on January 27, 1944, it was Operation Iskra that highlighted a new vector in the Great Patriotic War – the transfer of the strategic initiative into the hands of the Soviet troops, who from January 1943 carried out only offensive operations.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.