The Battle for Leningrad, 1941-1944 (Modern War Studies Series)


The German siege and Soviet defense of Leningrad in World War II was an epic struggle in an epic war, a drama of heroism and human misery unmatched in the annals of modern warfare. While innumerable writers have dealt at length with the besieged city itself, David Glantz provides for the first time the definitive military history of the conflict waged beyond the city's borders.

One of the first major Soviet cities threatened by the German blitzkrieg, Leningrad was as much a ...

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The German siege and Soviet defense of Leningrad in World War II was an epic struggle in an epic war, a drama of heroism and human misery unmatched in the annals of modern warfare. While innumerable writers have dealt at length with the besieged city itself, David Glantz provides for the first time the definitive military history of the conflict waged beyond the city's borders.

One of the first major Soviet cities threatened by the German blitzkrieg, Leningrad was as much a symbolic target as it was a strategic one for Adolf Hitler, who fully expected the birthplace of the Russian Revolution to be reduced to rubble quickly and with ease. The Red Army's ferocious defense of the city, however, made that impossible.

Glantz digs deep to recount the full story of how these two military giants bludgeoned each other for nearly three years with a relentless barrage of offensives and counter-offensives designed to crush one another, in horrendous weather and a harsh terrain and with staggering loss of life on both sides. His richly detailed history shows how battles and campaigns were conceived, engaged, and resolved—including a half dozen or more "forgotten battles" that took place during the blockade.

From a crazy quilt of military operations, Glantz reconstructs the border battles of June and July 1941; the little-known battles to liberate southern Leningrad oblast, including the battles for Luga, Narva, Pskov, and Ostrov; and the liberation of northern Leningrad oblast, comprising the Vyborg operation and failed attempts to invade Finland. He explains how these battles shaped the struggle for Leningrad and how they impacted other theaters of operation along the Eastern Front, eventually forcing the Germans into their long and costly retreat back toward Berlin.

Glantz also provides insights into conditions within the city, adding new details to the horrors of the siege; sheds new light on partisan warfare in the countryside surrounding Leningrad; and corrects errors found in earlier works, revealing among other things the fate of those Soviet commanders who were purged or repressed because of their poor performance in battle.

Based on an unparalleled access to Russian archival sources and going far beyond the military aspects of such renowned works as Harrison Salisbury's 900 Days, Glantz's book is a testament to the nearly two million Russians who lost their lives during the Leningrad conflict and confirms his status as the preeminent authority on the Russian military experience in World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

John Erickson
An original and important contribution not only to the battle for Leningrad but also to a wider understanding of the Great Patriotic War. Drawing upon previously unavailable or neglected Soviet and German sources, it provides a major corrective to the shortcomings of previous accounts and will stand as a significant and durable achievement on a subject that continues to fascinate.
Malcolm Mackintosh
An outstanding contribution to the study of the Second World War as it was fought on the Eastern Front.
James S. Corum
An exceptional work on one of the great campaigns of World War II.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700612086
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Series: Modern War Studies Series
  • Pages: 660
  • Sales rank: 1,100,934
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.89 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables, Maps, and Illustrations


Dramatis Personae

Part I. Barbarossa

1. The City of Peter and Lenin



-Military Organization

-Defense Planning

-Military Forces

2. Target Leningrad: German Operation Barbarossa and The Wehrmacht's Advance through the Baltic Region, 22 June-7 August 1941

-Plan Barbarossa

-The Opposing Forces

-The Border Battles, 22 June-9 July

-The Distant Approaches to Leningrad and the Soviet Counterstroke at Sol'tsy, 10 July - 7 August

3. The Defense of Leningrad, 8 August - 10 September 1941

-German Offensive Planning

-The Soviet Staraia Russa Counterstroke, 8 - 23 August

-The German Penetration of the Luga Defense Line, 22-25 August

-The German Advance to Lake Ladoga, 25 August - 8 September

-The Defense of Leningrad, 9 - 30 September

4. The Encirclement Struggle: The Miracle at Tikhvin, 30 September - 30 December 1941

-The Situation on 1 October

-The Red Army's First Siniavino Offensive, October

-The German Advance to Tikhvin, October-November

-The Soviet Tikhvin Counterstroke, November-December

Part II. Blockade

5. Winter under Siege, 1941-1942



-Defense Production and Evacuation

-The Population under Siege

-Supply, Transport, and the "Road of Life"

-The Partisan Movement

-The Human Toll

6. False Dawn: The Red Army's Winter Offensive, January-April 1942

-The Situation on 1 January

-Planning the Leningrad-Volkhov Offensive

-The January Offensive

-Expanding the Offensive, February-March

-The Germans' March Counterstroke

-The Encirclement Battle, April

-The Demiansk Dimension

7. Frustrated Hopes, May-October 1942

-The Situation on 1 May

-Initial Soviet Attempts to Rescue the 2d Shock Army

-The Red Army's Tragedy at Miasnyi Bor

-German Planning for Operation Nordlicht

-The Red Army's Second Siniavino Offensive, August

-The Germans' Siniavino Counterstroke, September

8. The Continuing Siege, 1942-1943

-Refining Leningrad's Defenses

-The Population under Siege

-Resupply in Summer 1942

-Resupply in Winter 1942-1943 and Summer 1943

-The Partisan Movement in 1942

-The Partisan Movement in 1943

9. Breaking the Blockade, January-April 1943

-The Situation in January 1943

-Planning Operation Spark

-Zhukov's Operation Spark: The Third Siniavino Offensive, January

-Zhukov's Operation Polar Star, February

-In the Wake of Operation Polar Star, March-April

10. Stalemate, May-November 1943

-The Situation in the Spring and Summer of 1943

-The Red Army's Fifth Siniavino Offensive, July-August

-The Red Army's Sixth Siniavino Offensive, September

-German Preparations to Withdraw to the Panther Line

Part III. Victory

11. Liberation, January 1944

-The Situation on 1 January 1944

-Planning the Leningrad-Novgorod Strategic Offensive

-The Leningrad Front's Ropsha-Krasnoe Selo Offensive, 14-20 January

-The Volkkhov Front's Novgorod Offensive, 14-20 January

-The Leningrad Front's Advance on Luga, 20-30 January

-The Volkhov Front's Advance on Luga 20-30 January

12. To Narva, Luga, and the Panther Line, 31 January-18 April 1944

-The Situation on 31 January 1944

-Contending Plans and Model's Sword and Shield

-The Struggle for Narva and Luga, 31 January-15 February

-The Liberation of Southern Leningrad Region, 16 February-1 March

-Soviet Attempts to Penetrate the German Panther Line, 1 March-18 April

13. The Liberation of Northern Leningrad Region, June-August 1944

-The Situation in June 1944

-The Leningrad Front's Plans

-The Leningrad Front's Vyborg Offensive, 10-20 June

-The Leningrad Front's Offensive into Finland, 21 June-14 July

14. Conclusions


A. Top Secret German Planning Documents

B. Soviet Planning Documents

C. Red Army Order of Battle

D. German Order of Battle

E. A Rough Comparison of Red Army and Wehrmacht Forces

F. Soviet Military Casualties

G. Estimated Civilian Losses in the Siege of Leningrad


Selected Bibliography


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