Krasnoye Selo–Ropsha Offensive
The Krasnoye Selo–Ropsha Offensive, also known as Operation January Thunder and Neva-2 was a campaign between the Soviet Leningrad Front and the German 18th Army fought for the western approaches of Leningrad in 14–30 January 1944.
The 2nd Shock Army was dropped from Leningrad and Lisiy Nos to the Oranienbaum Bridgehead during a number of nights starting from November 1943. At daytime, the barges returned, disguised as committing an evacuation of the bridgehead. In charge of the bridgehead, Lieutenant General B.Z. Romanovskiy was replaced with Lieutenant General Ivan Fedyuninsky.
As a part of the Leningrad-Novgorod Strategic Offensive on January 14, 1944, the Soviet Volkhov and Leningrad Fronts launched the Krasnoye Selo–Ropsha Offensive aimed at forcing the German Generalfeldmarschall Georg von Küchler's Army Group North back from its positions near Oranienbaum. In the process, the attack was expected to encircle Generaloberst Georg Lindemann's 18th Army.
As the Allies were beginning their landings in Normandy, the Germans expected attacks in the North and the South on the Eastern Front. Hitler and his staff reinforced Army Group North and Army Group South, both of which had been hard hit in the Soviet Offensives of 1943-1944. To make these reinforcements, they stripped Army Group Center of 80% of their panzers.