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Mike

From Leningrad to Narva (9786155583186)

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From Leningrad to Narva (9786155583186)

Peko Publishing

 

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After the horrific siege of Leningrad was broken and the remaining Germans that could escape retreated back toward Nazi held territory using the tactics of collapsing retreat to delay the inevitable, then holding the pre-invasion line around Narva, which they managed to hold for some time.  During this period there were numerous battles, offensives and counter offensives with significant casualties on both sides, and it is this process that this book documents in detail, including lots of photos.

 

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Bound in a hardback cover in landscape format, the book contains 80 pages of printed material, plus two fly-leaves inside.  It arrives in a shrink-wrap cover to keep it in good shape and the pages nice and crisp.  The text is in English by author Kamen Nevenkin, and is interspersed with some impressive and poignant pictures of damaged vehicles and at times the crews and soldiers that died with them.  The photos are all black and white, which adds to the desolate feeling they evoke, with the information in the captions adding to it, as well as pointing out interesting points that may have slipped your attention on first glance.  It is broken down into chapters according to the timeline, as follows:

 

Chapter 1            Page 3: The siege of Leningrad

Chapter 2            Page 13: The Leningrad-Novgorod Offensive, January 1944

Chapter 3            Page 33: The Raid of the 16th Tank Brigade

Chapter 4            Page 45: The First Battle of Narva, February – April 1944

Chapter 5            Page 66: The Fall of Narva and the German Evacuation of Estonia, July – September 1944

Sources                Page 80

 

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The book begins with the German siege of Leningrad and continues to document the initial Soviet attempts to break the deadlock, which was eventually successful in the early part of 1944 once the lake had frozen over.  The Germans withdrew to the Estonian border, which was where the original Barbarosa offensive had begun years earlier, with Narva being an important centre of operations.  It took the Russians a long hard battle to cross the river's frozen surface, and further hardships to secure the bridgehead that eventually led to the German forces withdrawing and eventually opening the floodgates for the final assault on Berlin in 1945.

 

Conclusion

With a broad variety of photos spread throughout the book and informative text around it, this makes for an interesting read, as well as a treat for the eyes, which will doubtless inspire some diorama opportunities.

 

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