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Operation Arctic Fox: Wikis

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Operation Arctic Fox
Part of World War II
Date July 1941
Location Lappland
Result Stalemate
Belligerents
Nazi Germany Germany
 Finland
 Soviet Union
Commanders
Nazi Germany Hans Feige Soviet Union Roman Panin
Strength
3 divisions 2 divisions

Operation Arctic Fox (from the German Operation Polarfuchs) was the codename given to a campaign by German and Finnish forces during the Second World War, against Soviet Northern Front defences at Salla, in Finland, in July 1941. The operation was conducted on a front of 40–50 km wide.

Contents

Background

Salla was one of the areas occupied during the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939. The German XXXVI Corps, consisting of both German and Finnish troops, carried out Operation Arctic Fox as part of the larger Operation Silver Fox (Silberfuchs), which aimed at capturing the Soviet port at Murmansk.

This was part of the overall attack on the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, and was, for the Finns, part of the initial phase of their Continuation War (Jatkosota).

Action

The original plan for Operation Arctic Fox

Operation Arctic Fox started on 29 June 1941 with an attack towards Russian-occupied Salla in the general direction of Kandalaksha (Kantalahti).

A Finnish jaeger (jääkäri) battalion was inserted into the largely unoccupied 240 km area between the Murmansk and Kandalaksha directions of advance and was able to cut the sole railway connecting Kandalaksha with forward Soviet positions at the Nyam station. This meant that, for two weeks, the Soviet 122nd Rifle Division did not receive any supplies and had to live off its field dumps.[1]

The attack quickly ran into difficulties, imposed by the terrain and the Soviet defence (the SS Nord Division lost 700 men in two days of fighting) and the advance was halted. XXXVI Corps took up defensive positions, and the front stagnated, degenerating into a series of small scale operations and patrols.

Orders of battle

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German XXXVI Armeekorps

Soviet 42nd corps

The corps belonged to the 14th Army under the command of General Lieutenant V.A. Frolov (during the operation).

  • 122nd Division (Soviet Union) (occupying border defences)
  • 104th Division (Soviet Union) (located in Kandalaksha) [3]
  • 1st Tank Division (Soviet Union) (located in Kandalaksha) [4]

Citations and notes

  1. ^ ch.3, Part X, Shirokorad
  2. ^ p.30, Jowett, Snodgrass, Ruggeri
  3. ^ less the 242nd regiment transferred to the on the Kestengsky direction
  4. ^ The division was known to have some new KV-1 heavy tanks

References

  • Jowett, Philip S., Snodgrass, Brent, Ruggeri, Raffaele, Finland at War 1939-45, Osprey Publishing, 2006
  • Shirokorad, A.B., Northern wars of Russia (Северные войны России) Moscow, ACT publisher, 2001 (in Russian) [1]


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