One of Hitler’s strategic goals under Operation Barbarossa was Leningrad, the symbolic capital of the Russian Revolution. As Army Group North (comprising 18th Army, 4th Panzer Army and 16th Army) advanced, the Russians formed the defensive Leningrad Front; further defence was created through the split of the northern Front to create the Karelian Front. Army Group North overcame heavy resistance to launch long-range artillery attacks on Leningrad. After severing ground communications, on 8 September they encircled the city and began a sustained and devastating blockade. In the north, the advancing Finnish Defence Forces stopped at the border and completed the encirclement. Supplies and resources in the city soon ran out, and the harsh winter arrived. Starvation set in with huge loss of life, yet the Germans maintained their stranglehold and persisted with air and artillery attacks. The Siege of Leningrad lasted for 872 days and over one million people died, but the city never surrendered.
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