As Mannerheim influenced the fate of Leningrad in the Great Patriotic

History 19/01/20 As the Mannerheim influenced the fate of Leningrad in the Great Patriotic

in Addition to the troops of the Wehrmacht in the siege of Leningrad participated and Finnish divisions under the command of former tsarist General, Carl Gustaf Mannerheim. There is a popular legend that as he continued passionately love Saint Petersburg, where he lived before the revolution, have done to the city was not destroyed and in fact saved the lives of millions of citizens of Leningrad.

What they say

as the first fact proving special attitude to Mannerheim, the former capital of the Russian Empire, called the first “detour” of the Finnish army, turned away from Leningrad and continued the offensive in Karelia in July 1941, and then the refusal of the commander of army Group “North” Wilhelm von will Leebu to storm the city.

that such requests were and that they really Mannerheim refused, no doubt. Excerpts from the correspondence Leeb, Keitel and the Finnish commander-in-chief leads Yuri Lebedev in the book “Leningrad “Blitzkrieg””.

the Second fact is that Finnish artillery did not shell the town after the ring around him closed. The shelling and bombing by the Wehrmacht happened regularly and has claimed thousands of lives of military and civilians in Leningrad.

As actually

In July 1941 the Finnish troops, quickly came to the former border, not turned to the South — on Leningrad, and went on the offensive in Karelia — in the direction of Lodeinoe Pole. This was done for two reasons. First, requested by the German command, desiring to take the city in the ring to minimize their losses during the assault. Secondly, when the Finnish troops began to move into the isthmus, they faced serious resistance to the Soviet troops in the area of Suoyarvi. Without the elimination of this group to give the order to assault the Mannerheim just not could — too great was the danger of remaining in the rear of Soviet troops.

When in the late summer of 1941, the ring around the city closed up (including with the participation of the Finnish army), has Keitel sent a letter to Mannerheim requesting to begin the assault from the North. To which he, citing large losses, the lack of long-range artillery and attack aircraft, replied evasively that the fighting Finns will start only in case if the troops of the Wehrmacht “loud and clear knocks on the doors of Leningrad”. However, in this case, the assault from the North would not. Pragmatic General clearly understood the situation and said to his colleague, Viljo, Tuomo: “If they [the Germans] would seize Leningrad from the South, then it is pointless to break through to the city through the fortified area of the old borders when the city of Leningrad in the pot” (from the diary of V. Tuompo).

as for the lack of shelling and bombing from the Finnish side are the same than the failure of Mannerheim to go to the assault – the lack of artillery and aviation. So to attribute the Finnish General love for Russia, just not worth it, he was a staunch and consistent patriot of Finland.

Yaroslav Gorbunov

© Russian Seven

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