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Josef Stalin Liveblogs World War II: January 20, 1944

Issued by Marshal Stalin and addressed to Army General Meretskov: Order of the Day January 20, 1944:

Having launched an offensive in the Novgorod direction, our troops of the Volkhov front forced the river Volkhov and the upper part of Lake Ilman, and having broken through the heavily fortified permanent German defences, to-day, January 20, as a result of a skilful outflanking manoeuvre, took by storm the important economic and political centre of the country, the town of Novgorod an important nodal point of communications and a powerful strongpoint in the German defences.

In the breakthrough of the German defences and. in the fighting for Novgorod, distinction was won by the troops commanded by Lieut.-General Korovnikov, Col.-General Kuznetsov, Maj.-General Mikulsky, Maj.-General Artyushenko, Maj.-General Panin, Maj.-General Solovyov, Maj.-General Burakovsky, Maj.-General Chernyshev, Colonel Rogov, Colonel Ordanovsky, Colonel Kalinovsky, Colonel Belov, Colonel Radygin and Colonel Sebov; by artillerymen commanded by Lieut.-General of Artillery Degtyarev, Maj.-General of Artillery Dorofeyev and Colonel Sedash; by tankmen commanded by Maj.-General of Tank Troops Konomov, Colonel Urbanov, and Lieut.-Colonel Vachakashvili; and by airmen commanded by Lieut.-General of Aviation Zhuravlev.

To commemorate the victory the units and formations which particularly distinguished themselves in the fighting shall bear the name of Novgorod and are recommended for the award of orders.

To-day, January 20, at 20,00 hours (Moscow time), the capital of our Motherland, Moscow, in the name of the Motherland, will salute with 20 artillery salvoes from 224 guns our gallant troops of the Volkhov front which broke through the German defences and captured the town of Novgorod.

For excellent military operations, I thank all the troops under your command which made the breakthrough and took part in the fighting for the town of Novgorod.

Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in the struggle for the freedom and independence of our Motherland!