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The beginning of the Great Patriotic War

During the first days of the war the decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Counsil of the USSR on the mobilisation of the people liable for service and on the introduction of martial law in the European part of the country were signed. In order to unite the forces of the frontline and the rearward areas the State Defense Commitee (GKO) was created on June 30. By the order of the people's comissar of the Navy N. G. Kuznetsov dated June 25, 1941, the Ladoga Navy was recreated as a military unit of the Baltic Navy.

The German commanders gave special importance to capturing Leningrad, the symbol of revolution. According to the "Barbarossa" plan, the Leningrad direction was one of three main directions where the German troops would hit, together with Moscow and Kiev. According to the plan, Leningrad had to be taken first. In case the city fell the enemy supposed to destroy the main bases of the Baltic fleet and deactivate the industrial potential of the city.

The exposition shows the posters from the first months of the war. The pictures show the mobilisation of all forces and means in order to push the enemy back and arrange the defense of the city. Ten divisions of the people's militia for the defense of Leningrad were formed in a short time. Thousands of citizens of Leningrad went daily to build defense structures. They dug out almost 700 kilometers of antitank ditches and built 5 thousands of permanent emplacements and earth and timber emplacements.

Regardless of their mass heroism and bravery, the Red Army had to retreat due to the pressure of exceeding enemy forces. Leningrad faced an immediate danger. Heavy sea and shore artillery of the Red banner Baltic fleet was used in order to defend the city. The exposition shows large caliber artillery shells. During the very first months of the war the artillery of the Baltic fleet fired 70 thousand shells at the enemy. The exposition shows samples of the weapons that were used in the battles for Leningrad.

In the morning of August 29, 1941 the last trains with evacuated citizens of Leningrad rode on the October railway. On August 30 Hitler's troops reached the Neva, and on September 8 they took over Shlisselburg. An incomparable period of fighting in the conditions of a land siege started for the citizens of Leningrad and the heroic defenders of the city.