The Battle of Krasny Bor in 1943 was part of the Soviet Red Army’s efforts to lift the blockade of Leningrad, one of the longest and most destructive in history. Previous works on the Battle of Krasny Bor have focused primarily on the infantry involved, especially when using veteran testimonies, and the use of artillery has been conspicuously absent. This book aims to put the reader right in the heart of the battle, describing the action from an artilleryman’s point of view, seeing it fundamentally as a duel between the Soviet and German-Spanish soldiers.
ENDING THE SIEGE AT LENINGRAD German and Spanish Artillery at the Battle of Krasny Bor
Jurando starts his story with a thorough discussion of the artillery units of the Axis prior to the battle, their armament and organisation. He then sets the stage for Krasny Bor by describing the initial battles that drove a wedge between the German lines and the Lake Ladoga shoreline proving a thin lifeline to the besieged city. The Polar Star offensive in February was intended to widen that gap, encircling and destroying the German 18th Army in what was then the Mga bulge. Despite an initial good advance aided by Soviet artillery that outnumbered the Axis batteries 3-1, and heavy losses to the Spaniards, the overall goal of the offensive was not achieved, mostly due to the excellent artillery support the Spaniards on their side of the bulge received.