Northern Russia 1942-43


Map Code: Ax00335

The years 1942–43 saw mass Soviet efforts to push back German forces all across the eastern front. In early 1942 a group of around 90,000 German troops became trapped in a salient around Demyansk as the Russians tried to cut them off from their supply lines to the west. Stubborn resistance and difficult terrain meant that the pocket was never completely severed from the German front line before the troops escaped, however they did have to be resupplied by a costly air-bridge, which greatly reduced Luftwaffe capabilities along the front. To the southwest a similar Soviet offensive plan in the winter of 1942–43 led to the encirclement of German forces holding the city of Velikiye Luki. With the eventual German surrender at Velikiye Luki, the vital rail supply to the Rzhev salient was broken, meaning that pressure on Moscow could not be maintained and the Germans must retreat

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