Thread: Life This Day in History
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:40 AM   #123
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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January 27.

Non-military. on this date in 1888, the National Geographic Society was founded in Washington DC.

Military. On this date, 1944, the 872 day siege of Leningrad was lifted by virtue of the Russians having attained a land corridor to the city.

Leningrad was one of the key targets of the German Operation BArbarossa three years earlier, in the initial invasion of Russia. Unable to capture the city on the move, as planned, in part due to the lack of armor assigned to Army Group North (which was responsible for captuirng hte city), the Germans blockaded it, along with Finnish troops who attacked from the west/north.

For three years the city remained under siege, with supplies coming in through the Baltic sea, as well as over the frozen Lake Lagoda during the winter months.

The siege was the second deadliest in modern history (trailing only Berlin), with over 1.1 million dead. Massive civilian casualties were also involved. One cemetary alone in current St. Petersberg (the re-renamed Leningrad), has over half a million bodies interred from the siege. The battle for Leningrad involved more casualities than the battle for Stalingrad, Moscow or the atomic bombings of either Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

After all birds,, pets and rats (that could be caught) were captured, cannibalism began to be reported in the besieged city. Leningrad's police established a special division to deal with cannibalism.

The siege was a constant drain on Nazi men and materiels, and their inability to eliminate the city had significant strategic ramifications for the entire Eastern Front for the duration of the war.
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