Ropsha is a small town to the South West of St Petersburg. During the siege it was an important hub for the German Army. One of the major siege batteries was stationed in the grounds of the chateau. To the South East was the fortified enclave of Gatchina where Von Leeb (the German commander of Army Group North) had his headquarters. East of Ropsha one can still admire the city of St Petersburg from the Pulkovo heights where the Germans caught their first view of the city in September 1941.
My thanks goes to Natalya Makeeva who introduced Mark and I to the ancient Russian custom of blagging a lift from any passing car. In Russia every car owner in the countryside is a potential taxi driver! Most were astonished that we wanted to go to the middle of knowhere to look at old trench lines, bunkers, etc. We made it back to the airport JUST in time!