Pechory is a town and the administrative center of Pechorsky District in Pskov Oblast, Russia. Its population in the 2010 Census was 11,195, having fallen from 13,056 recorded in the 2002 Census and 11,935 in the 1989 Census; this population includes a few hundred ethnic Estonians. Pechory was founded as a posad in the 16th century near the Pskov-Caves Monastery established in 1473 by orthodox priest Jonah that fled Dorpat for Pskovian mainland, its name, Pechory, or earlier Pechery derives from Russian for the caves. The site soon developed into an important trading border stronghold. During the campaign of oprichnina introduced by Ivan the Terrible Pechory remained within zemschina, or regular municipal lands subject to the rule of the government, it was besieged numerous times by Russia's enemies: Stephen Báthory's forces sacked the settlement during the Siege of Pskov in 1581–1582, the Swedes or Polish stormed Pechory in 1592, 1611, 1615, 1630, from 1655 to 1657. The fortification of Pechory was besieged by Swedes in the course of the Great Northern War in 1701 and 1703.
In 1701, after an unsuccessful assault of the Swedes led by Shlippenbach, Boris Sheremetev began his campaign of advancing in Swedish Estonia from Pechory. After the war the border of Russia was shifted Westwards. In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, the area was included into Ingermanland Governorate. In 1727, separate Novgorod Governorate was split off and in 1772, Pskov Governorate was established. In 1776, Pechory was granted town rights and Pechorsky Uyezd was established, but in 1797, the uyezd was abolished and the territory became a part of Pskovsky Uyezd of Pskov Governorate. Since Pechory was formally considered as the suburb of Pskov, however retaining its former rights of self-administration. In 1820 it has a population of 1312, including 1258 Russians and 27 Estonians, living in 228 predominantly wooden houses. By 1914 the population grew to 2240, residing along five squares; the streets were equipped with 31 kerosene streetlights. In 1889 Pskov-Riga railroad that went through the Northern outskirts of Pechory was commissioned.
Railway station Pechory was opened in 1899. There were leather and malt factories in town, a postal and telegraph station, four schools including one maintained by the monastery, a hospital. Pechory was known for its flax trade, further expanded during the consequent Estonian period of the town's history. From February to December 1918, Pechory was occupied by the Germans. During the Estonian War of Independence and the Russian Civil War, the town was occupied by the Estonian army on March 29, 1919; the centre of the Governorate, was occupied by the anti-bolshevik Russian Northwestern Army, in August 1919 repelled back by the Reds. Under the terms of the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty that stipulated the borderline along the actual frontline between the Red and Estonian Armies, so Pechory and the adjacent Western part of Setomaa were ceded to Estonia. During the years between the World Wars, Petseri, as it was called at that time, was the center of Petseri County, one of the eleven counties that made up the Republic of Estonia.
Under the Estonian rule, the town population more than doubled, predominantly due to arrival of ethnic Estonians. Tuition at the municipal primary schools was conducted in both Russian and Estonian, with more bias toward the latter following the Schools Reform of 1934. In May 1925, most of the land owned by the Pskov-Caves Monastery was confiscated by the Estonian government and provided to the new settlers. St. Peter's Lutheran Church was built in 1926. In 1939 a huge fire broke out in town killing many inhabitants. After the annexation of Estonia by the Soviet Union in 1940, the town remained a part of the Estonian SSR. During World War II, the town was occupied by the German Army from July 10, 1941 until August 11, 1944. According to the decree of USSR Supreme Soviet dated 23 August 1944 and a decree of January 16, 1945 Pechory and the Eastern part of Petseri County were transferred to Pskov Oblast of the Russian SFSR, Pechorsky District was established. During the Soviet period the bilingual schooling continued, in 1956, Pechory Secondary School No. 2 was opened for Estonian-speaking students.
In 1976 the town's boundaries were further expanded to encompass the railway station and a few adjacent villages including village Kunichina Gora, that now hosts a border crossing point. After Estonian independence was re-established in 1991, the town and the territory around it were claimed for Estonia because of the terms of the Tartu Peace Treaty, in which the Soviet Union had relinquished further claims on Estonian territory. Estonia is reported to have dropped this claim in November 1995. A newer Estonian-Russian Border Treaty was signed by Estonia on May 18, 2005, reflecting the border changes, but was rejected and cancelled by Russia on June 27, 2005, because references to Soviet occupation were added. During the next decade series of inter-governmental consultations followed and on February 18, 2014 the new edition of the Border Treaty was signed by Estonia and Russia; this newer edition leaves the agreed borderline intact with a few minor exemptions not affecting the town of Pechory.
Its parliamentary ratification on both of the sides is pending. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Pechory serves as the administrative center of Pechorsky District, to which it is directly subordinated; as a municipal
Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia, after Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn. Tartu is considered the intellectual centre of the country since it is home to the nation's oldest and most renowned university, the University of Tartu; the city houses the Supreme Court of Estonia, the Ministry of Education and Research, the new building of the Estonian National Museum, opened to the public in October 2016. It is the birthplace of Estonian Song Festivals. Situated 186 kilometres southeast of Tallinn and 245 kilometres northeast of Riga, Tartu lies on the Emajõgi, which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia; the city is served by Tartu Airport. Since 1918, the Estonian name Tartu has been used, but as the town has come under control of various rulers throughout its history, there have been various names for it in different languages. Most of them derive from the earliest attested form, the Estonian Tarbatu. In German and Polish the town has been known and is sometimes still referred to as Dorpat, a variant of Tarbatu.
In Russian, the city has been known as Юрьев and as Дерпт. The city has been known as Tērbata in Latvian, while Finnish-speakers use the toponym Tartto. Archaeological evidence of the first permanent settlement on the site of modern Tartu dates to as early as the 5th century AD. By the 7th century, local inhabitants had built a wooden fortification on the east side of Toome Hill; the first documented record of the area was made in 1030 by chroniclers of Kievan Rus. Yaroslav I the Wise, Prince of Kiev, invaded the region that year, built his own fort there, named it Yuryev. Kievan rulers collected tribute from the surrounding ancient Estonian county of Ugaunia until 1061, according to chronicles, Yuryev was burned down by Estonian tribe called Sosols. Kievan Rus' again controlled Tartu from 1133 for an unknown period up to 1176/1177. In the 12th century Tartu was the most notable Slavic settlement in Chud territory. Estonian amateur historian Enn Haabsaar speculates that the "Yuryev" mentioned in this context is Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, a town, founded by Yaroslav I the Wise as Yuriev about the same time, 1032.
His views have been criticized by historian Ain Mäesalu. During the period of Northern Crusades in the beginning of the 13th century the fort of Tarbatu was captured by the crusading Livonian Knights — known as the Brothers of the Sword — and recaptured by Estonians on several occasions. In 1224, after Ugaunia had recognized the supremacy of Novgorod and Pskov princes who sent additional troops led by prince Vyachko of Kukenois to the fort, it was besieged and conquered for one last time by the German crusaders. Subsequently, known as Dorpat, Tartu became a commercial centre of considerable importance during the Middle Ages and the capital of the semi-independent Bishopric of Dorpat. In 1262 the army of Prince Dmitri of Pereslavl, son of Alexander Nevsky launched an assault on Dorpat and destroying the town, his troops did not manage to capture the bishop's fortress on Toome Hill. The event was recorded both in German and Old East Slavic chronicles, which provided the first record of a settlement of German merchants and artisans which had arisen alongside the bishop's fortress.
In medieval times, after the Livonian Order was subsumed into the Teutonic Knights in 1236, the town became an important trading city. In the 1280s Dorpat joined the Hanseatic League; as in all of Estonia and Latvia, the German-speaking nobility, but in Tartu/Dorpat more so, the Baltic German bourgeoisie, the literati, dominated culture, architecture and politics until the late 19th century. For example, the town hall of Dorpat was designed by an architect from Rostock in Mecklenburg, while the university buildings were designed by Johann Wilhelm Krause, another German. Many, if not most, of the students, more than 90 percent of the faculty members were of German descent, numerous statues of notable scholars with German names can still be found in Tartu today. Most Germans left during the first half of the 20th century, in particular as part of the Heim ins Reich program of the Nazis, following the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in 1939. In 1558, tsar Ivan the Terrible invaded Tartu beginning the Livonian War.
Forces under the command of Pyotr Shuiski began heavy bombardment. In light of this and without any prospect of external help the town surrendered; the local bishop was imprisoned in Moscow, which ended the period of local self-government. In the effect of the Truce of Jam Zapolski of 1582 the city along with southern regions of Livonian Confederation became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1598 it became the capital of the Dorpat Voivodeship of the Duchy of Livonia. A Jesuit grammar school "Gymnasium Dorpatense" was established in 1583. In addition, a translators' seminary was organized in Tartu and the city received its red and white flag from the Polish king Stephen Báthory; the activities of both the grammar school and the seminary were stopped by the Polish–Swedish War. In late 1600 the forces of Charles IX of Sweden besieged the city defended by three banners of reiters and the city's burghers. Despite repeated assaults, the Swedes could not enter the city. In 1601 Capt. Hermann Wrangel switched sides, assaulted the cast
Mga is an urban locality in Kirovsky District of Leningrad Oblast, Russia. Population: 10,212 ; the name is certainly derived from the identically named Mga River on which it lies. The settlement was founded in the beginning of the 20th century to serve the railway station, it was a part of Saint Petersburgsky Uyezd of Saint Petersburg Governorate. In 1914, Saint Peterburgsky Uyezd was renamed Petrogradsky Uyezd. On February 14, 1923 Shlisselburgsky Uyezd was merged into Petrogradsky Uyezd. In January, 1924 the uyezd was renamed Leningradsky. Saint Petersburg Governorate was twice renamed, to Petrograd Governorate and subsequently to Leningrad Governorate. On August 1, 1927, the uyezds were abolished and Mginsky District, with the administrative center in Mga, was established; the governorates were abolished, the district was a part of Leningrad Okrug of Leningrad Oblast. On July 23, 1930, the okrugs were abolished as well, the districts were directly subordinated to the oblast. On September 20, 1930, the administrative center of the district was transferred to the selo of Putilovo, the district renamed Putilovsky.
On September 20, 1931 the district center was moved back to Mga, the district was renamed back Mginsky. On June 5, 1937 Mga was granted urban-type settlement status. During World War II, Mga was a vital communications node, it was one of the points in which the Soviet Army broke the Siege of Leningrad. The region comprising forests, was the scene of brutal fighting during the war years and was a resistance point to the German blockade and occupation; as a result, bullets, parts of weapons and heavy ammunition and other military equipment used both by Axis and Soviet forces during the war are found in sizable amounts in the forests of the region. Inhabitants have found armed bombs and grenades from the war years. On December 9, 1960 Mginsky District was abolished and split between Volkhovsky and Tosnensky Districts. Mga was transferred to Tosnensky District. On April 1, 1977 Kirovsky District with the administrative center in Kirovsk in the limits of former Mginsky District, was established by splitting off Volkhovsky and Tosnensky Districts.
Mga is dependent on the enterprises serving the railway. Mga is an important railway node. There is a train service from St. Petersburg that passes through Mga leaving from the Moskovsky and Ladozhsky train stations in the eastward direction; this train serves many other settlements in this region, is used for travel to summer houses by many St. Petersburg residents during the warmer seasons. Other railways connect Mga with Volkhov, Kirishi and Kirovsk. All of them are served by suburban trains; the A120 road, which encircles Saint Petersburg, passes Mga and provides access to M18 highway, which connects Saint Petersburg and Murmansk, to M10 highway, which connects Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Local roads connect Mga with Tosno and Pavlovo. Mga contains two cultural heritage monuments classified as cultural and historical heritage of local significance. Both monuments commemorate the events of World War II. Законодательное собрание Ленинградской области. Областной закон №32-оз от 15 июня 2010 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Ленинградской области и порядке его изменения», в ред.
Областного закона №23-оз от 8 мая 2014 г. «Об объединении муниципальных образований "Приморское городское поселение" Выборгского района Ленинградской области и "Глебычевское сельское поселение" Выборгского района Ленинградской области и о внесении изменений в отдельные Областные законы». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Вести", №112, 23 июня 2010 г.. Законодательное собрание Ленинградской области. Областной закон №32-оз от 15 июня 2010 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Ленинградской области и порядке его изменения», в ред. Областного закона №23-оз от 8 мая 2014 г. «Об объединении муниципальных образований "Приморское городское поселение" Выборгского района Ленинградской области и "Глебычевское сельское поселение" Выборгского района Ленинградской области и о внесении изменений в отдельные Областные законы». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Вести", №112, 23 июня 2010 г.. Законодательное собрание Ленинградской области. Областной закон
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
The Leningrad–Novgorod strategic offensive was a strategic offensive during World War II. It was launched by the Red Army on January 14, 1944 with an attack on the German Army Group North by the Soviet Volkhov and Leningrad fronts, along with part of the 2nd Baltic Front, with a goal of lifting the Siege of Leningrad. Two weeks the Red Army regained control of the Moscow–Leningrad railway, on January 26, 1944 Joseph Stalin declared that the Siege of Leningrad was lifted, that German forces were expelled from the Leningrad Oblast; the lifting of the 900-day-long blockade was celebrated in Leningrad on that day with a 324-gun salute. The strategic offensive ended a month on 1 March, when Stavka ordered the troops of the Leningrad Front to a follow-on operation across the Narva River, while the 2nd Baltic was to defend the territory it gained in pursuit of the German XVI Army Corps; the Germans had suffered nearly 72,000 casualties, lost 85 artillery pieces ranging in caliber from 15 cm to 40 cm, were pushed back between 60 and 100 kilometers from Leningrad to the Luga River.
After Operation Barbarossa, German troops had encircled Leningrad, the Siege of Leningrad began. Several operations had been designed by the Soviet commanders in the area to liberate the outskirts of Leningrad from the Germans. In the fall of 1943, preparations had begun to design another plan to retake the outskirts of Leningrad from the Germans, after the only successful Operation Iskra in January of that year which had followed the failed Sinyavino Offensive of late 1942; the first staff meeting was held on September 9, 1943, two years and a day after the beginning of the siege. Two plans, Neva I and Neva II, were conceived. Neva I was to be implemented if the Germans, pressured on different fronts, withdrew their forces from Leningrad on their own accord to reinforce the pressured areas. Both Stavka and Leningrad believed. Neva II, would be implemented if the Germans did not withdraw from Leningrad within the coming months; the offensive would be three-pronged, driving from the foothold at Oranienbaum, captured earlier that year, the Pulkovo Heights and from the fortifications around Novgorod.
The offensive was planned to start in the winter, when sufficient numbers of troops and artillery could be moved across the ice without incident. The Baltic Fleet had been assigned the task of transporting the Second Shock Army under the command of Ivan Fedyuninsky over Lake Ladoga to Oranienbaum. From November 5, 1943 onwards, the Fleet transported 30,000 troops, 47 tanks, 400 artillery pieces, 1,400 trucks and 10,000 tons of ammunition and supplies from the wharves at the Leningrad factories and the naval base at Lisy Nos to Oranienbaum. After Lake Ladoga froze, another 22,000 men, 800 trucks, 140 tanks and 380 guns were sent overland to the jump-off point; when the shipments were complete, the artillery was positioned along the entire length of the Leningrad, Second Baltic and Volkhov fronts at a concentration of 200 guns per kilometer, including 21,600 standard artillery pieces, 1,500 Katyusha rocket guns, 600 anti-aircraft guns. 1,500 planes were obtained from the Baltic Fleet and from installations around Leningrad.
The total number of Soviet personnel prepared for action was 1,241,000, against the 741,000 German troops. A final meeting took place on January 11 in Smolny. General Govorov, the top Soviet commander on the Leningrad Front, had listed his priorities. In order to open up southeastward and eastward main railroad lines from Leningrad, Soviet troops would have to occupy Gatchina, from which they could retake Mga, the minor city and rail station whose capture in 1941 had closed the last railroad route into Leningrad. Govorov positioned his troops accordingly; the situation of the German Army Group North at the end of 1943 had deteriorated to a critical point. The Blue Division and three German divisions had been withdrawn by October, while the Army Group had acquired sixty miles of additional frontage from Army Group Center during the same period; as replacements, Field Marshal Georg von Küchler received the Spanish Blue Legion and three divisions of SS troops. In such a weakened state, the Army Group staff planned a new position to its rear that would shorten the front lines by twenty-five percent and remove the Soviet threats posed in many salients on the current lines.
The plan Operation Blue called for a January withdrawal of over 150 miles to the natural defensive barrier formed by the Narva and Velikaya Rivers and Lakes Peipus and Pskov. This position, the so-called "Panther Line", was buttressed by fortifications, constructed since September; the retreat would be carried out in stages, using intermediate defensive positions, the most important of, the Rollbahn Line formed on the October Railway running through Tosno and Chudovo. There the two most exposed Army Corps, the XXVI and XXVIII, would regroup and catch their breath before proceeding farther back to their positions in the Panther Line; the fate of Army Group North turned for the worse in the new year, for Hitler rejected all proposals for an early withdrawal into the "Panther" position, insisting that the Soviet forces be kept as far as possible from Germany and that they be forced to pay dearly for each meter of ground. Hitler transferred three more first-rate infantry divisions out of Army Group North to reinforce Erich von Manstein's Army Group South as it reeled back from the Dnieper River under continuous Soviet assault.
Field Marshal von Küchler now held an precarious position, could only await events on the Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts with great pessimism. In the late hours of January 13, 1944, long-range bombers from the Baltic Fleet attacked the main German command points
Road of Life
The Road of Life was the ice road winter transport route across the frozen Lake Ladoga, which provided the only access to the besieged city of Leningrad while the perimeter in the siege was maintained by the German Army Group North and the Finnish Defence Forces. The siege lasted for 29 months from 8 September 1941, to 27 January 1944. Over one million citizens of Leningrad died from starvation, stress and bombardments; each winter, the Lake Ladoga ice route was reconstructed by hand, built according to precise arithmetic calculations depending on traffic volume. In addition to transporting thousands of tons of munitions and food supplies each year, the Road of Life served as the primary evacuation route for the millions of Soviets trapped within the starving city; the road today forms part of the World Heritage Site. By 8 September 1941, the German Army Group North under Feldmarschall Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb had completely surrounded Leningrad cutting off all major supply routes. To address this growing concern, a decision was cast by the Military Soviet of the Leningrad Front to establish an evacuation commission in November 1941.
As the severity of the siege intensified, the committee proposed the construction of an ice road over Lake Ladoga as both a viable supply line and means for civilian evacuation en masse. The Road of Life began to operate on 19 November 1941 after Captain Mikhail Murov and his transport regiment carried the first supplies over Lake Ladoga via horse-drawn sleigh. However, due to proximal bombardments, ice breakage, unreliable machinery, the route was far from functional at this time, it was only in mid-December, after troops of the Volkhov front recaptured Tikhvin, that construction of a railroad directly connecting the western shore of Lake Ladoga to Leningrad was possible. Shortly thereafter, the ice road began receiving truck traffic, despite frequent breaks in the early stages of the ice; the route was so dangerous, that in the first week of truck operation alone, more than forty supply trucks had fallen through the ice and sunk to the bottom of the lake – a depth of 700 feet at its deepest point.
After sustaining massive initial supply losses in November and December, the Road of Life began to show signs of improvement by January and February 1942, thanks to the completion of a rail line connecting the ice road to Voibokalo. During the winter of 1941–42 the ice corridor of the Road of Life operated for 152 days, until 24 April. About 514,000 city inhabitants, 35,000 wounded soldiers, industrial equipment from 86 plants and factories, some art and museum collections were evacuated from Leningrad during the first winter of the blockade. While the road was protected by anti-aircraft artillery on the ice and fighter planes in the air, truck convoys were attacked by German artillery and airplanes, making travel dangerous; the Finnish forces intentionally left. The total number of people evacuated from the siege of Leningrad through the Road of Life was about 1.3 million women and children. During 1942 the "Artery of Life", a 29 km long oil pipeline via Lake Ladoga was built of which 21 km ran under water at a depth of 12.5 metres.
During the following winter of 1942–1943, the Road of Life began to operate once again, starting with horse traffic on 20 December 1942. Motor vehicles began to operate on 24 December 1942. Construction of the 30 km long railway over piles and ice began in December 1942. Operation Spark — a full-scale offensive of troops of the Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts — started in the morning of 12 January 1943. After heavy and fierce battles, the Red Army units overcame the powerful German fortified zones to the south of Lake Ladoga, on 18 January 1943 the two fronts met, opening a land corridor to the besieged city. Both truck and rail traffic began to bring supplies to Leningrad; the city of Leningrad was still subject to at least a partial siege, as well as air and artillery bombardment, until a Soviet offensive broke through the German lines, lifting the siege on 27 January 1944. For the heroic resistance of its citizens, Leningrad was the first city awarded the honorary title of Hero City in 1945. Measuring 219 km in length and 138 km wide, Lake Ladoga is one of Europe’s largest lakes of its kind.
Due to its size and unpredictable weather conditions, many speculated that the construction of an ice road connecting its shores would be impossible. Although the Russians had previous historical experience in ice road construction, none of their prior endeavors were as complicated or as urgent as the Ladoga supply route. During winter, the region’s erratic winds were capable of increasing or decreasing the lake’s water level by as much as four feet within just a few hours. A team of engineers was assembled to ensure that the proposed 48 km route would be structurally sound. A foot of ice would be laid down in 24 days at 23 above, it would take 8 days to create a foot of ice at 5 above”. Additionally: A minimum of 4 inches of ice was necessary to support a horse without cargo. A minimum of 7 inches of ice was necessary to support a horse-drawn sleigh with one ton of cargo. A minimum of 8 inches of ice was ne
18th Army (Wehrmacht)
The 18th Army was a World War II field army in the German Wehrmacht. Formed in November 1939 in Military Region VI, the 18th Army was part of the offensive into the Netherlands and Belgium during Fall Gelb and moved into France in 1940; the 18th Army was moved East and participated in Operation Barbarossa in 1941. The Army was a part of the Army Group North until early 1945, when it was subordinated to Army Group Kurland. In October 1944, the army was encircled by the Red Army offensives and spent the remainder of the war in the Courland Pocket. 5 November 1939 – 16 January 1942 Generalfeldmarschall Georg von Küchler 16 January 1942 – 29 March 1944 Generaloberst Georg Lindemann 29 March 1944 – 2 September 1944 General der Artillerie Herbert Loch 5 September 1944 – 8 May 1945 General der Infanterie Ehrenfried-Oskar BoegeChiefs of the Generalstab 5 November 1939 – 10 December 1940 Generalmajor Erich Marcks 10 December 1940 – 19 January 1941 Generalmajor Wilhelm Hasse 19 January 1941 – 17 November 1942 Generalmajor Dr. Ing. h.c.
Kurt Waeger 24 November 1942 – 1 December 1943 Generalmajor Hans Speth 1 December 1943 – 25 January 1945 Generalmajor Friedrich Foertsch 25 January 1945 – 5 March 1945 Oberst i. G. Wilhelm Hetzel 5 March 1945 – 10 May 1945 Generalmajor Ernst Merk XXVI Army Corps 256th Infantry Division 254th Infantry Division SS "Der Führer" Regiment X Army Corps SS "Adolf Hitler" Regiment 227th Infantry Division 207th Infantry Division 1st Cavalry Division Direct control of Army Headquarters SS "Verfügungstruppe" Division 9th Panzer Division 208th Infantry Division 225th Infantry Division XXXVIII Army Corps 58th Infantry Division 291st Infantry Division XXVI Army Corps 1st Infantry Division 61st Infantry Division 217th Infantry Division I Army Corps 11th Infantry Division 21st Infantry Division L Army Corps LIV Army Corps XXVI Army Corps XXVIII Army Corps I Army Corps XXVIII Army Corps 12th Luftwaffe Division Kampfgruppe Hoefer 21st Infantry Division 30th Infantry Division XXXVIII Army Corps 121st Infantry Division 32nd Infantry Division 21st Luftwaffe Division 83rd Infantry Division L Army Corps 218th Infantry Division 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS 126th Infantry Division 93rd Infantry Division 15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Kampfgruppe Streckenbach Direct control of Army Headquarters Headquarters VI SS Corps 207th Security Division 300th Division zbV L Army Corps 11th Infantry Division 290th Infantry Division II Army Corps 563rd Volksgrenadier Division 126th Infantry Division 263rd Infantry Division 87th Infantry Division I Army Corps 225th Infantry Division 132nd Infantry Division X Army Corps 30th Infantry Division 121st Infantry Division Kampfgruppe Gise Direct control of Army Headquarters 52nd Security Division 14th Panzer Division Tessin, Georg.
Die Landstreitkräfte 15—30. Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939—1945. 4. Frankfurt/Main: E. S. Mittler. Pp. 80–85