Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive

Soviet machine-gunners

Soviet machine-gunners

The Leningrad-Novgorod operation was a winter battle between associations of the Red Army and the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front of World War II, from 14 January to 1 March 1944 continued and led to the definitive lifting of the Leningrad blockade. In the course of this operation, four operations were performed: Krasnoseljsk-Ropschaer, Novgorod-Lugaer, Kingissepp-Gdower and Staraya Russa – Noworschewer surgery.

Early history

After the end of the German advance, and the blockade of Leningrad in late 1941, it was the Soviet troops in the Battle of the Volkhov early 1942 and in the First Battle of Ladoga failed in the summer of the same year, to end the siege.

Only in the Second Battle of Lake Ladoga in early 1943, Soviet troops were a narrow corridor south of Lake Ladoga’s open, but which still lay in the range of German artillery. As part of Operation North Star (Feb 10 to 1 April 1943) and the Third Battle of Ladoga in the summer of 1943, the Soviets tried unsuccessfully to break the blockade final.

Participating organizations

The German Army Group North under Field Marshal Georg von Küchler (later Field Marshal Walter Model) was the 16th and 18th Army of about 741,000 soldiers, 385 tanks and 10,000 guns and mortars. Across from her, the Leningrad Front were under Leonid Alexandrovich Goworow, the Volkhov Front under Kirill Afanassjevitch Meretskov and the second Baltic Front under Marcian Mikhailovich Popov.

Defensive position Nordwall

The so-called Nordwall offered German troops despite their numerical inferiority, a good defensive position. It was located between the Gulf of Finland and the Ilmensee and was about 230 to 260 km deep. Almost all major towns and nodes were prepared for all-round defense.


On 12 January 1944 attacked the second Baltic Front, and was involved in tough battles with Novosokolniki. Two days later began the second Break Shock Army of the Leningrad Front in the Oranienbaum bridgehead. The second Shock Army had previously been secretly shipped with about 44,000 men, 600 guns, and additional material on the Gulf of Finland. On 15 January also joined the 42 Army of the Leningrad Front for the attack, which from 16 January and from 59th Army of the Volkhov Front was supported. On 17 January, the first German defense line was broken and the army started from Krasnoje Selo Ropsha and Uritsk withdraw.

To halt the Soviet advance, three infantry divisions and parts were the 11th SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division “Nordland” moved into the combat zone. On 19 January conquered by the Red Army Krasnoje Selo and Ropsha of German garrison, and on 30 January also fell Pushkin and the river Luga and Gatchina was reached. The town of Luga on 12 Occupied by Soviet troops and February 15 February Narva and the eastern shore of Lake Peipus s was achieved. On 15 February, the Volkhov Front was dissolved and its associations of Leningrad and the second Baltic Front assumed. In the second half of February, the Narva bridgehead was expanded from the Leningrad Front. At the end of February, the Soviets reached the Pskov – Ostrow-defense lines and tried to break through it. As the German defense was too strong, the operation was launched on 1 Completed in March 1944.


The Red Army came across a 600-km-wide front about 180 to 280 km to the south and west before, broke the Siege of Leningrad, smashed 26 divisions of the Axis powers, of which three complete first entered Estonia. The Leningrad and Kalinin area were recaptured by German occupation. The Soviet losses amounted to 314,000 soldiers, including 77,000 deaths.

However, the lack of experience of the high command of the fronts involved prevented major breakthrough successes and the South. The German 18th Army could escape the confinement and ordered defensive positions refer to the so-called Panther-Wotan line along the Narva and there continue the fight.


When considering sources with the exception of Soviet Samizdat – Tamisdat and literature that were published up to 1987, the activities of the Soviet censors (Glawlit, military censorship) has to be considered in the review of various content for the purposes of Soviet ideology. (→ censorship in the Soviet Union)

•Krivošeev GF (ed.): Rossiya v SSSR i vojnach XX veka. Poteri vooružennych sil. Statističeskoe issledovanie. Series archive. Olma-Press, Moscow, 2001, ISBN 5-224-01515-4 (Russian)

•SP Platonov (ed.): 1941-1944 Voenizdat Bitva sa Leningrad, Moscow, 1964..

Battle of the Second World War

Military operation of the German-Soviet war

German occupation of Russia 1941-1944


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