Friday, August 22, 2014

Quiz with Chamara Sumanapala. Part 11: Siege of Leningrad

The largest land invasion in history took place early morning on June 22, 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded Soviet Union. The invasion was codenamed “Operation Barbarossa” and initially involved nearly 4 million personnel, over 4,000 war tanks and over 4,000 air planes. Three large armies moved in three directions. Army Group Center moved towards the Soviet capital Moscow and Army Group South invaded the Ukraine. Meanwhile, Army Group North moved towards Leningrad (known as St Petersburg today). Meanwhile, Finland, which was an ally of Germany at the time, invaded the Soviet Union and moved south towards Leningrad. By September that year, the combined forces of Germany, Finland and their allies had surrounded the city. They wanted to starve and bombard the city and force it to surrender. However, the Soviet forces and citizens held on for 872 days until the siege was lifted on January 27, 1944.
Antiaircraft guns guarding the sky of Leningrad, in front of St. Isaac's Cathedral (RIA Novosti archive, image #5634 / David Trahtenberg / CC-BY-SA 3.0)

01. The siege of Leningrad is estimated to have claimed more than 2 million Soviet lives, many through starvation. This makes the siege of Leningrad the most costly siege in the history of warfare. However, it was not the longest siege. This was the siege of Candia, then a city under the control of the Republic of Venice. Ottoman Turk forces besieged it in 1648 and the city held on for 21 years before surrendering in 1669. Today, this city is called Heraklion. In which Greek island is this city located?

02.  Leningrad’s importance to Soviet Union lay in several factors. It was the former capital of Russia and the center of the October Revolution which brought the Soviet government to power. It was renamed after the “father of Soviet Union” V I Lenin, after his death. It was an industrial center and was the headquarters of an important Soviet naval fleet. This naval fleet was named after the sea by which the city is located. What is the name of this sea?

03. The Finnish troops were led by their Army Commander, who was 74 years old in 1941. He had held various positions in Swedish politics from independence in 1917. He became the President of Finland in 1944 and arranged peace with the Soviet Union. He died in 1951. He is still considered the “Greatest Finn Ever.” Who was he?

04. While hiding from the Germans, the young Jewish girl Anne Frank wrote a diary later published as “The Diary of a Young Girl” which became very famous. However, many people have written diaries describing hardships endured during war. A young Soviet girl wrote a diary of her experiences in Leningrad before she was rescued in August 1942. However, she died of tuberculosis in 1944, at the age of 14. Her diary is said to have been produced as evidence during the Nuremberg Trials. Who was she?

05. Although the city of Leningrad was surrounded, the Soviet Army managed to keep the land between the city and Lake Ladoga to the east of it under their control. During the winter, when the water turned to ice on the lake, supply routes were operated. This was a very dangerous rote but was the only option open for the Soviet defenders. This route was given a name during the war. What was this name?

Answers to Quiz 10

1. Chamonix
2. St. Moritz
3. Eddie Eagan
4. “I can see clearly now the rain is gone”
5. South Korea

No comments:

Post a Comment