On the eve of the German invasion in 1941, Leningrad (St. Petersburg) was the second-largest city in the Soviet Union with a population of 2.5 million. Its factories produced 10 percent of the nation’s entire industrial output, including much of its high-quality steel and its most modern tanks. It had obvious strategic value; so, when Hitler ordered his generals to make #Leningrad one of the major objectives of Operation Barbarossa, it wasn’t merely on the ideological grounds that it had been the birthplace of the communist regime.
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