Mannerheim: as an officer of the army of Nicholas II participated in the siege of Leningrad

History 22/01/20 Mannerheim: as an officer of the army of Nicholas II participated in the siege of Leningrad

In 2016 on Zakharyevskaya street in St. Petersburg was installed a memorial plaque to Lieutenant General of the Russian army, Gustav Karlovich Mannerheim. The Board was subjected to acts of vandalism, some activists, representing, in their words, “the citizens” have filed lawsuits in the courts that led to the removal of the Board and moving it in Tsarskoye Selo. The main argument of the activists was that Mannerheim was guilty in the blockade of the city, the destruction of the civilian population of Leningrad, and any mention of it in St. Petersburg are blasphemy. However, no polls and surveys of residents were conducted, a sociological study on the contrary showed that most of the residents don’t mind. And even in 2007 for the 140th anniversary of Mannerheim in Shpalernaya street there is a bust of “the Imperial guards Mannerheim” and opened an exhibition about his life.

Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was the representative of foreigners of the Russian Empire (now said to be the representative of the non-indigenous) who himself said, “I’m primarily a Russian General, and then…”, in this case, he secondly, was a Finnish Baron. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. Mannerheim was a representative of that generation of the Russian people, whose fate, along with the fate of the country, was suddenly crossed by the events of 1917. And instead of a Russian General, he had to be a Finnish Marshal.

In 1941 the Great Patriotic war. Unlike other allies of Germany, the reason for declaring war in Finland was good enough. The morning of the 25th of June about three hundred Soviet bombers attacked Finnish airfields. And together scheduled for the 25th of June, the statement on Finland’s neutrality, it was announced that the country is at war with the Soviet Union. Commander of the armed forces still (as and during the Winter war) was Mannerheim. 29 June, the Finnish troops crossed the border and began the offensive. Seven Finnish infantry divisions in the Leningrad direction were opposed by five infantry, motorized and two tank divisions of the Soviet 23rd army. After months of fighting on the Karelian isthmus the Finnish troops on 31 August left for the border line in 1918. Was cut the railroad passing North of lake Ladoga from Leningrad to Petrozavodsk. Thus, the city was cut off from the rest of the country from the North.

Therefore, we can confidently say that the Finnish troops provided the Leningrad blockade, and if Finland had not joined the war, the Wehrmacht wouldn’t be able to surround the city completely. It should be noted that this old single-track road hardly could ensure that the Leningrad is better “Road of life” across lake Ladoga. Have had almost to rebuild that in conditions of Karelian rocks, forests and swamps, and even during the war, is extremely difficult. A significant section of the road is just a few kilometers from the border, and thus saboteurs are there to feel like home. Considering again the natural conditions of the North of lake Ladoga, to organize a reliable protection of the road, and in the case of successful diversions and repairs would be extremely difficult. But in any case, if the railroad from Leningrad and Petrozavodsk and further, would not be captured by the Finns, it would be easier to organize the supply of the city, than without it.
as for the common charges of the Finnish army that they were preparing for a joint with the Germans assault on Leningrad, took part in the bombing and shelling of the city, that is not what is not confirmed and is easily refuted.

first, the stories about the bombing of Leningrad by the Finnish air force, rests in the simple fact — the tiny Finnish army simply did not have for such action appropriate bombers.

second, an even more strange statement about the “barbarous shelling”, rests on the lack of evidence of attacks SeveRNAi part of Leningrad. There, on the contrary, have transferred some facilities, as there was safer. And again, the Finnish army did not have long-range artillery.
as for the plan for a joint assault of Leningrad by German and Finnish troops, it is worth Recalling that the Germans do not plan to take the city by storm. They hoped to take him down, firing long-range artillery to break the will of defenders, but the plans of the assault was never mentioned. On the contrary, there is a lot of evidence the German command that the Finns refused to conduct active operations.

the Mannerheim in his memoirs wrote: “I assumed the duties of commander in chief with the proviso that we do not take attack on Leningrad”. On the one hand, memoirs have to believe always with caution, but on the other hand, Gustav Karlovich was still a Russian General, a guardsman.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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