Kingisepp–Gdov Offensive

The Kingisepp–Gdov Offensive was a campaign between the Soviet Leningrad Front and the German 18th Army fought for the eastern coast of Lake Peipus and the western banks of the Narva River from 1 February to 1 March 1944.

The 109th Rifle Corps captured the town of Kingisepp, forcing the 18th Army into new positions on the eastern bank of the Narva. Forward units of the 2nd Shock Army crossed the river and established several bridgeheads on the west bank, to the north and south of the town of Narva on 2 February. The 8th Army expanded the bridgehead in Krivasoo Swamp south of the town five days later, cutting the railway behind the Sponheimer Group. Army General Leonid Govorov was unable to take advantage of the opportunity of encircling the smaller German detachment which called in reinforcements. These came mostly from the newly mobilised Estonians motivated to resist the looming Soviet re-occupation. At the same time, the Soviet 108th Rifle Corps landed its units across Lake Peipus in Piirissaar Island 120 kilometres south of Narva and established a bridgehead in Meerapalu. By a coincidence, the I.Battalion, Waffen-Grenadier Regiment der SS 45 (1st Estonian) headed for Narva reached the area. The battalion, a battalion of the 44th Infantry Regiment (consisting in personnel from East Prussia), and an air squadron destroyed the Soviet bridgehead on 15–16 February. A simultaneous Soviet amphibious assault was conducted, as the 517 strong 260th Independent Naval Infantry Brigade landed at the coastal borough of Mereküla behind the Sponheimer Group lines. However, the unit was almost completely annihilated.
As the result of the campaign, the Soviet forces seized control of most of the eastern coast of Lake Peipus and established a number of bridgeheads on the western bank of the Narva River.

The Wehrmacht's siege perimeter was finally penetrated by Soviet forces on January 17, 1943 during Operation Iskra, when a narrow corridor was established along the shores of Lake Ladoga. The siege was finally lifted by Marshal Zhukov's offensive on January 27, 1944 as part of the Leningrad-Novgorod strategic offensive operation.