Nazi Germany's siege of Leningrad begins with the encirclement of the Soviet city on September 8, 1941. It lasted slightly less than 900 days. As food and fuel ran out, some citizens were forced to subsist on bread made with sawdust while others worked through the winter in makeshift military factories without heat. Although many perished from starvation, bombings, and the bitter cold, the citizens’ determined resistance held the German troops at bay and helped turn the tide of World War II. In January 1944, a Soviet offensive drove the Germans from the city's outskirts and the siege was lifted. An estimated 650,000 residents of Leningrad had perished. The Soviet government awarded the Order of Lenin to the people of Leningrad in 1945, paying tribute to their endurance during the grueling siege.