October 7, 2016

From Leningrad to Narva Part 3: The Soviet Offensive, January 14 - 31

General Leonid Govorov, Leningrad Front CG (left). General Kirill Meretskov, Volkhov Front CG (right)
General Leonid Govorov, Leningrad Front CG (left).
General Kirill Meretskov, Volkhov Front CG (right).

Soviet Objectives

By mid-January the Soviet buildup was almost completed. The Leningrad, Volkhov and Second Baltic Fronts were ordered to:
  • end the Leningrad siege
  • cut off and destroy the German Eighteenth Army
  • reach the Narva – Pskov - Velikaya line
  • lay the foundation for retaking the Baltic States


Furthermore, the Soviet offensive in the north was an enabling operation for the destruction of Army Group Center later that year. The three Soviet Fronts fielded 822,000 troops and were facing half a million men of Army Group North. The offensive would be supported by 35,000 partisans operating behind the German lines.