The Food Supply of Besieged Leningrad and the Evacuation of the Population by Using Aviation in the Autumn of 1941

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Abstract


The author examined how besieged Leningrad was provided with various cargoes in the period from September to December 1941. During this period, the Moscow and Northern special forces organized the transportation of food, equipment, weapons, and devices by air. The investigation centered on the establishment of the Khvoinaya-Leningrad line with aircraft of the Civil Air Fleet of the USSR, and on the locations of bases on the mainland and in the blocked city. Equally considered is the composition of the aviation groups, the total number of aircraft on the line by month, as well as statistics concerning repair and irrevocable losses. Based on materials from Moscow and St. Petersburg archives, statistical data are presented that characterize the entire process of the “air bridge”. Reports of the Civil Air Fleet, the Special Northern aviation group, and Leningrad airport, provide generalized data on the results of transport aviation activities in the autumn of 1941, including the number and composition of evacuated skilled workers and members of the civilian population from Leningrad. The analysis revealed the daily volume of goods delivered to the city, including the total amount of food, equipment, weapons, and devices received. Finally, the article reviews the reasons and consequences of the unexpected closure of the established airline and the relocation of the Douglas-type aircraft to Moscow.


About the authors

Nikita D. Prigodich

Institute of History, Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: ndprigodich@gmail.com
7-9, Universitetskaya Emb., Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russia

Postgraduate Student of the Institute of History

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