Battle Of Leningrad

Lubansk operation

In the winter and early spring of 1942 forces of the "Leningrad" and "Volkhov" fronts repeatedly tried to break through blockade of Leningrad. The shock groupings had a task after successful break incorporate in Lubane area.

The instruction of the Soviet High Command from December 17, to the "Volkhov" front in structure 4-th, 59-th, 2-th Shock and 52-nd armies put a task to proceed in general offensive, having for an object to break German armies, on the west bank of Volkhov river, and went on front line Lubane-Cholovo. Further come in the northwest direction to surround German forces under Leningrad. 42-th, 55-th, 8-th, 54-th armies and "Primorsk" operative group to promote the "Volkhov" front in rout of an enemy defending under Leningrad and clearing Leningrad of blockade.

Rendering the main impact 2-nd Soviet Shock army, the task was put: to break through defence line on the west bank of Volkhov river and outcome of Januarys 19, 1942 on the Kereste river and Luga. The begun offensive developed slowly, the fights have accepted heavy character. As a result of January fights Soviet forces of 54-th army of the "Leningrad" front have advanced unsignificantly.

So limited were successes forces of the "Volkhov" front. During 15 days 59-th and 2-nd Shock army could advance on 4 — 7 kms. The front has spent the second echelons and develop further offensive there was nothing. The armies have carried the large losses many divisions and brigades was necessary to remove in reserve and fill up. Thus, the results of fifteen offensive were insignificant. At the end of January — the beginning of February forces of 2-nd Shock and 59-th armies was possible to break through enemy front line and during February wedged in 75 kms. February 28, the Soviet High Command has specified tasks of 2-nd Shock army of the "Volkhov" front and 54-th army of the "Leningrad" front. These armies should come towards each other and incorporate in Lubane with the purpose of encirclement and route "lubane-chudsk" German group, and after performance of this task come on Tosno and Siverskaya with the purpose of liquidation "mga" group and removal of blockade from Leningrad.

The progress of 2-nd Shock and 54-th Soviet armies has choked, they have stopped, not coming up to Lubane 10-12 kms.

Offensive of the "Volkhov" front and 54-th armies of the "Leningrad" front in March and April, 1942 has not given appreciable results. It proceeded slowly, frequently stopped because of absence of reserves and material resources (tanks, ammunition, self-propelled artillery etc.). These stops - pauses were rather significant, and there were lack of coordination for both fronts. The "Leningrad" front, for example, having spent the resources, stopped offensive, and "Volkhov", having replenished the people and material resources, on the contrary, began its continuation after a pause. Such inconsistency of actions was on a hand to Germans. Having a vehicle and using a good network of roads, they have an opportunity to maneuver by reserves, to concentrate forces on directions of Soviet impacts and easily them to parry. Germans strongly kept Spasskaya Polist and Lubtse area and counter-attack from the north and the south along the railway and highway Novgorod — Chudovo all time narrowed the gap, punched in its front.

As a result of these counter-attack German command by March 26 was possible to connect "chudsk" and "novgorod" groupings, to create external front on the Polist river and internal front on the Glushitsa river. Thus, the communications of 2-nd Soviet Shock army and several units of 59-th army were interrupted. From this moment the tragedy for Sovied forces which have appeared in an encirclement began.

For liquidation forces, interrupted communications of 2-nd Shock army, Soviet Command the "Volkhov" front were attracted 372-th rifle division, 24-th and 58-th separate rifle brigades, 4-th and 24-th Guards rifle divisions and 7-th a tank brigade. Forces of 52-nd army was ordered to clear a road Myasnoy Bore-Novaya Kerest.

The break was made, but its width did not exceed 1,5-2 kms. On such narrow corridor only at night the small groups of soldier could move, using a way with pole by a flooring in marshy places. When in January width of break reached 8-10 kms for supply of 2-nd Shock army all necessary and export of the patients and wounded narrow rail-road was under construction. To finish it having not time, and then after persistent fights was destroyed also that have made. April 9, 1942 Germans to the southwest Spassk Polist again has advanced forward and cut off Soviet break.

In an encirclement have appeared 4-th, 19-th and 24-th Guards rifle divisions, 378-th, 267-th, 259-th, 191-th, 46-th, 327-th, 328-th, 305-th rifle divisions and 13-th cavalry corps.

After Soviet withdraw on spring Soviet High Command refuse fron offensive. June 6 morning, German armies have renewed counte-attack and finally have closed pass in a joint of 59-th and 52-nd Soviet armies. In an encirclement there were troops of seven rifle division by an aggregate number up to 18-20 thousand man.

June 24 the communication with staff of 2 Shock army has interrupted. The former commander by 2-nd Shock army the general Vlasov has surrendered in captivity.

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