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City of Military Glory Luga|
Luga has been a city since 1777 and is located on the Luga River 136 km south of St. Petersburg.
In 1941, Luga was the site of fierce battles on the outskirts of Leningrad. In the course of the offensive, the Nazi invaders strove to seize Luga at any cost - as an important strategic point. Faced with the growing resistance of Soviet troops on the Luga defensive line, the German command on July 19 was forced to suspend the offensive on Leningrad until the approach of the main forces of Army Group North. The Luga defensive line stopped the German offensive against Leningrad for three weeks, which allowed the Soviet troops to create a more solid defense on the distant and near approaches to the city. The city was occupied by Nazi troops on August 24, 1941.
However, a month and a half of battles on the Luga defensive line slowed down the enemy's advance. This 45-day defense was a shining example of the heroism of Soviet soldiers. The head of the Luga group of forces was Major General A. N. Astanin, commander of the 41st Rifle Corps. The group included the 177th, 235th and 111th rifle divisions and a special artillery group under the command of Colonel G. F. Odintsov (later Marshal of Artillery, Honorary Citizen of Luga). Three divisions of the people's militia also fought here. The rapid pace of the offensive of the Nazis was brought down, they were never able to take Luga by storm. Our troops left it on August 20, after the enemy broke through in the Kingisepp direction and reached Gatchina and Tosno.
When the front approached Leningrad, a powerful partisan movement developed on the Luga land, which had become the enemy's rear. By the end of 1941, the Luga underground organization, numbering 40 people, united around itself 5 urban and 12 rural underground groups - more than 130 people. The underground fighters and partisans not only destroyed the equipment and manpower of the enemy, but also disabled factory equipment, thwarted the mobilization of the population for railway and logging work. In Luga, the center of the underground was located in house number 1 at the corner of Nizhegorodskaya Street and Svoboda Avenue, where Nikolai Nikolaevich Teplukhin lived for more than two years, who headed one of the underground groups. The headquarters of three partisan brigades was located in the village of Ostrovno near Luga. Now the headquarters building is marked with a memorial plaque.
In this last battle on February 12, 1944, the partisans provided significant assistance to units of the 67th Army, which approached Luga from several directions. At 5 pm, the assault began, and an hour later the soldiers of the 120th and 123rd divisions broke into Luga. Together with the regular units, the Luga partisans also beat the enemy. At 9 o'clock in the evening, a red flag was hoisted over one of the surviving tall buildings of the liberated Luga (now the building of a children's music school). Luga was liberated on February 12, 1944. For the difference in the liberation of Luga, the 123rd Infantry Division was given the honorary name "Luzhskaya".
On May 5, 2008, by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, Luga was awarded the honorary title of the Russian Federation “City of Military Glory”.