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Leningrad, formerly St. Petersburg, a Russian-German cultural center, under siege for 900 days.

In the north, the isthmus was blocking off by two elite German divisions, the “1.Ostpreußische” and “5.Bayrische”, from the Fins.

The city conquest by militarily urban warfare was not to be, it would have be too costly and too destructive. A portion of the population could be evacuated via Lake Ladoga, and the supplying the city was done mainly in winter over the ice as well.

The distress in the town was very large, but they do not give up. They often tried to break through. All around was flat plain, except for a small plateau, called the "Sinjawino-height". From here you could see into to Leningrad. Here we were many times with our "Tornister Funkgerätenknapsack" (Backpack-Radio) and directing the 38cm heavy artillery; on Bridges, Depots, and the tracks across Lake Ladoga. Initially, reconnaissance aircraft were also used by us, and He-lll Ju88, but they were shot down. 1943, the Russians were given American Radio equipment so they could listen to us, as we have listened to them; when we used the radios, we got in a few minutes "ratschbum" (powder fire), mortars. So we had to make constant changes of our positions. We then switched more to phone connections.

Since we were fully motorized and now the main roads had surprisingly quickly improved, we could move quickly to trouble spots.

Advising artillery, airfield protection, Infantry support at Narva, Merikula, Tschtidowo, Kolpino, Staraya Russa and other incursions kept us constantly active.

Huge obstacle were the: unusual cold in the winter, and in summer, the bugs, lice, swarms, unimaginable mosquitoes, rats, bugs, plus the lack of hygiene. The fighting spirit was still very good, to a large extent because the post office to home worked well. Air mail and small parcels up to 1 Kg, some might send something to the distress folks at home, other received requests from home, and with girls or girlfriends may warm and lighthearted exchanges.

A young 13 year old wrote to me: "Yes, so you have to do it, if you want to make something of yourself !"

In spite of everything the food was respectable to the last. There were for example for everyone in the front-line troops per day: bread, 80g butter, 200g sausage, eggs, Tubas cheese, bottle of red wine, sardines, 20 cigarettes, including cigars, hot food; depending on the circumstances, candy and chocolate. Add to that, depending on the rank, a leave or additional food packages and additional wages.

At Christmas: 1 "Stollen", honey, cakes, coffee beans, cider, 1 bottle of red wine, 1 book and much more.  There were sutler's goods, cleaning materials, stationery, and several other utensils. Further in the front, goods were exchanged with the local population.

Occasionally there was also music or staged shows.

Yet everyone hoped the war would soon be finished victoriously.

At home, in the bombed-out cities, it was worse than at the front.

In years of imprisonment, no one wanted to think, and most deaths were still to come.

Additional history :
Some Myths Dispelled

Additional history :
Maps and Statistics