Road of Life
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Road of Life
(Doroga zhizni), the only military strategic transportation route across Lake Ladoga connecting Leningrad during its blockade by the fascist German troops with the rear regions of the country during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45), from September 1941 through March 1943. People and industrial enterprises were evacuated on the Road of Life and food, fuel, reinforcements, arms, and ammunition were brought into the city (see Table 1). During the navigable periods the people and cargo were transported along the water route by the ships of the Ladoga Military Flotilla and vessels of the Northwestern River Shipping Line from the ports of Novaia Ladoga (the long route, 125 km long) and Kobona (the short route, 35 km long) to the port of Osinovets. When the lake was frozen, trucks hauled the cargo from Kobona to Vaganov and Kokorev along the ice road.
|Time of operation||Total freight brought in (tons)||Number of people evacuated|
|May 1942-January 1943...............||780,000||539,500|
|November 1941 -April 1942...............||361,000||549,000|
|November 1942-March 1943...............||214,000||about 89,000|
In addition, over 300,000 troop reinforcements were sent to Leningrad. All the freight from the western shore of Lake Ladoga was shipped to Leningrad on the Irinovka Branch of the October Railroad. In accordance with the Apr. 25, 1942, decision of the State Committee for Defense, a pipeline for supplying petroleum products was built along the bottom of Lake Ladoga in record time; 35 km long, 26 km of which were under water, the pipeline was put in operation on June 18, 1942. The Road of Life was subjected to bombardment by air strikes and heavy artillery. The Ladoga Military Flotilla, the air defense forces, and the aviation of the Lenin-grad Front and of the Order of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet reliably protected the Road of Life and ensured its uninterrupted operation, which played an important role in the defense of Leningrad. The mass heroism of the Soviet people who acted under extremely difficult conditions on the Road of Life has been immortalized in a series of monuments erected on the shore of Lake Ladoga and along the highway to Leningrad.
REFERENCESPavlov, D. V. Leningrad v blokade. Moscow, 1967.
Ladoga rodnaia. Vospominaniia. Leningrad, 1969.
Kondrat’ev, Z.I. Dorogi voiny. Moscow, 1968.
Saparov, A. Doroga zhizni. Dokumental’naia povest’. Leningrad, 1959
G. B. KARAMZIN