Holding Red Army at Bay in Estonia, for Now

For all you German soldiers who thought you were forgotten, welcome to the People's Patriotic Radio broadcasting in German for our comrades in Narva and all along the Ostfront. In January 1944, our glorious Red Army units have crushed the besiegers of Leningrad and sent the survivors scurrying for the protection of your so called Panther Line. Your delaying efforts by the III SS Panzer Corps were brave but foolish. Bridges are quickly rebuilt. Every lost tank is replaced by two more. The mad man Hitler will be brought to justice! Don't throw your lives away for Obergruppenfüher Steiner. Surrender to any of the units of General Govorov and you will be well treated. Camps await you far from the front line were you can live out the remaining days of the war in peace until the inevitable victory by our Red Army. 


Germany's Army Group North had been besieging Leningrad for over two years. In January of 1944, the RKKA (Workers' and Peasants' Red Army) under General Govorov launched an offensive that threatened to encircle the besieging army. Through a series of skillful rear guard actions, the III SS Panzer Corp was able to withdraw to the natural defensive position of the Narva River near the city of Narva.


As they arrived, the German forces found that the defensive fortification of the Panther Line existed only on paper. There were a few emplacements from the invasion in 1941 but generally these were in poor locations for the current battle. The ground was frozen making the preparation of new trench lines difficult. However, the terrain offered a choke point with Lake Peipus in the south and the Gulf of Finland to the north connected by the south to north running Narva River. 


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