August 9 in Russian history

The world’s most tragic symphony was first performed in besieged Leningrad and the largest campaign in the Soviet-Japanese War make up tonight’s Historama.

­Besieged Leningrad consoled by 7th Symphony

Amazingly, a performance of Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony was heard in besieged Leningrad today in 1942.

The hymn to Russian courage and strength-of-spirit refuted Hitler’s boast that the city would fall on this day.

Of the musicians who were due to play, 64 had succumbed to starvation, leaving only 15. Still, it was a grand event, taking place in a brightly-lit concert hall, despite the continued bombing.

It was broadcast all over the city, country and world. The Germans were stunned to hear the sound of music. They were convinced they had all but annihilated the city.

Read more on this event in Russian history

­Soviet army defeats Japanese Quantun

The Manchuria operation – the largest campaign in the Soviet-Japanese War – started today in 1945.

Its purpose was to free the north-eastern territories of China occupied by Japan.

The Pacific Fleet defeated the Japanese Quantun army and destroyed its communications with Japan.

The loss of major supply centres in China and Korea undermined Japan’s ability to fight and led to its surrender.

This effectively ended World War II.

Read more on this day in Russian history

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