Author Topic: FSO: Green Hearts and Red Stars - Leningrad 1942 - Frame 2 11PM EST  (Read 170 times)

Offline Spikes

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By August 1942, the Soviet city of Leningrad had been under siege for eleven months. With German troops dug in to the south and the Finns to the north, the city was completely cut off from the rest of the Soviet Union. The only lifeline being the short stretch of the southern end of Lake Ladoga to the east of the pocket. In the warm months, this stretch of the lake was traversed by small boats and during the winter the frozen lake provided an open corridor for an ice road dubbed the "Road of Life." Despite these efforts to supply Leningrad, military material and food were at desperately low levels inside the pocket; with daily deaths from starvation measuring in the thousands.

With the successful German offensives in southern Russia towards Stalingrad and the Caucasus Mountains, the Soviet high command saw an opportunity to break the German lines south of Lake Ladoga and establish a land connection to the Leningrad pocket, breaking the siege. They believed that the Germans were fully committed to that offensive and that what remained near Leningrad was a token force. It was decided that the Volkov Front's 8th Army would carry out the main operation, attacking westward through the narrowest stretch of German held territory. The first objective was the town of Sinyavino, halfway between the Volkov and Leningrad Fronts, less than five miles from either line. Supporting the 8th Army in the air was the Volkov Front's 14th Air Army along with units from the Leningrad Front and Leningrad PVO air defense force. The 8th Army launched its attack on August 27, 1942. They advanced as far as the southern outskirts of Sinyavino by September 5th, but failed to capture the town.

Opposing the Soviet advance were the German 18th and 11th Armies of Army Group North. The Soviet estimation of weak German defenses could not have been more wrong as Army Group North was preparing for an offensive of its own. Operation Nordlicht (Northern Lights) was intended to finally capture and raze Leningrad, freeing up troops for operations in 1943. Instead of being a token force, Army Group North was at a strength unseen since the opening of Barbarossa in June 1941. The launch of Operation Nordlicht was put on hold to counter the surprise Soviet offensive. Their advance would finally be halted on September 9th and no gains were made by either side in the following ten days. Afterward, the Germans launched a counter offensive to cut off the Sinyavino salient. Bitter fighting continued until the Germans eliminated the last positions held by the Soviet 8th Army on October 15th. Supporting Army Group North in the air was Luftflotte 1. Their most notable unit being Jagdgeschwader 54 with their green hearted Bf 109's. Jg 54 would amass 471 air victories during the Sinyavino Offensive period.

The Sinyavino Offensive was a failure for the Soviets as Leningrad remained cut off, but it did succeed in damaging Army Group North to the point that they were incapable of mounting any further offenses. The front stabilized and Leningrad remained under siege until January, 1944.

This FSO aims to recreate the fierce air battles during the Sinyavino Offensive. Frame one represents the full Soviet offensive of August 27th. Frame 2 represents both sides targeting troop positions on September 10. Frame 3 represents the full Axis counter offensive of September 21.

Frame dates:

Frame 1 March 8th 2019
Frame 2 March 15th 2019
Frame 3 March 22nd 2019

More info & writeup:
https://ahevents.net/index.php/fso-current-next-event
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 08:08:52 AM by Spikes »
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