Sinyavino Offensive (1942)
The Sinyavino Offensive was an operation planned by the Soviet Union with the aim of breaking the German blockade and establish a reliable supply line to Leningrad which was under siege for almost a year. At the same time, German forces were planning Operation Northern Light (German: Nordlicht) to capture the city and link up with Finnish forces. To achieve that heavy reinforcements were arriving from Sevastopol, which the German forces captured in July 1942. Both sides were unaware of the other's preparations, and this made the battle unfold in an unanticipated manner for both sides.
The Soviet offensive began first in two stages. The Leningrad Front began the offensive on August 19 and the Volkhov Front launched the main offensive on August 27. From August 28, the German side shifted the forces which were building up for their own offensive to gradually halt the Soviet offensive. Initial German counterattacks failed, but the Soviet forces could not advance either. After a ten day stalemate, the significantly reinforced Germans launched a counterattack against the Soviet forces on September 21. After five days of heavy fighting, the German forces linked up and cut off the bulge formed by the Soviet offensive. By October 10, the front line returned to the position before this battle; heavy fighting continued until October 15, as the last pockets of Soviet resistance were destroyed or broke out.
In the end, the Soviet offensive failed, but heavy casualties caused the Germans to order their forces to assume a defensive stance. In November, the German reinforcements and other units were stripped from Army Group North to deal with the major Soviet offensive at Stalingrad and Operation Northern Light was aborted.
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