LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
SVOLVÆR - LOFOTEN

THE MURMANSK FRONT
 


MANY LOST THEIR LIVES UNDER THE HARSH CONDITIONS IN THE NORTHEN AREAS
  












The attack against the Soviet Union started
on the 22 of June 1941, after a heavy military build up
in Finnmark, especially in the Kirkenes area.

9. APRIL
THE LOFOTEN RAID
GESTAPO
OCCUPATION
THE NAVY
MIL.ORG.
RUSSIAN PRISONERS OF WAR
GRINI
BURNING OF FINNMARK
THE MURMANSK FRONT
LIBERTY
MAIN PAGE


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The
BATTLESHIP
TIRPITZ

LUFTWAFFE
AT THE
NORTHERN FRONT

THE MURMANSK FRONT

A large part of this build up moved on and positioned itself in the Litza-valley, not far from Murmansk. Another front line positioned itself further Southwest of this position.

This was called the Salla Front. Both German and Russian soldiers dug in, only to bleed to death going no where. In the spring of 1942 the German forces received winter replenishment.

These replenishments were distributed equally amongst the German forces, due to the Wehrmacht system being such it was.

This proved to be an unfortunate system because the climate at the artic front is not the same as the climate around the Black Sea…


A horrific snowstorm became a reality and this gave the Soviet forces an advantage - whilst the German soldiers, who had no winter clothing, foughting desperately for survival when the Russians attacked.

A terrible battle followed. The whole front line began to fall apart. The German Commander of the sixth Gebirgs division, General Schörner, was ruthless. Anyone who could so much as stand upright was sent to the front line. Cooks, horse wranglers, office staff and stores personell. A rifle was given them and they simply marched towards the front line.

Many committed suicide during this march. Both German and Russians simply got lost in the snow storm and in the ice cold and barbaric conditions, the result was death. Many died whilst bringing replenishments to the German front line. One Russian infantry division didn't even see battle. Half of the infantry were lost due to freezing temperatures and snow blindness.

The storm continued and the conditions combined with confusion resulted in some of the German and Russian soldiers united - trying to save their lives. They were found later on after the battle - frozen to death. The strength of the storm weakened after 3 days. The Soviet infantry battalions and the marine brigade of approx 4500 men who had lead the attack had also weakened. The intended battle had caused much suffering. The Russians suffered 8000 dead. Only 192 was taken as prisoners.

The German losses were more difficult to estimate and these are calculated examples. The company "Schoeber" had 148 men. After four days, the company had been reduced to 10 men…. The pioneer company had 494 men. After four days battling through a snow storm, only 12 returned. Kirkenes was the closest town to the front and the wounded were taken there. It was a long way. The wounded and injured kept arriving all summer, during the autumn, the spring end ever the following summer.

They kept arriving right until the Litsa and Salla fronts fell apart in the late autumn during 1944. the telegraph in Kirkenes is by the jetty where the wounded were received and taken onboard the large hospital ships, The Meteor and the Stuttgart. The screams and cries from the wounded who were being carried out from the ambulances, sounded terrible to the telecommunications ladies. Once the ships had no more space onboard, they headed south passing the Lofoten Islands and on course for the huge hospitals in Germany.

Kirkenes was the most bombed town in Norway during the second world war. Soldiers from Litsa and Salla front came to Lofoten in late autumn of 1944. They were of a meaner "calibre" than those the population had been used to, and people were afraid of them.


German gebirgsjäger
GENERAL HUBAART LANZ

GERMAN PANZERSOLDIER. OFFICER

GERMAN WEAPONSHIELD

GERMAN PLAQUE FOR MINESWEEIPERS
 



 The conditions at the
 "Litzafront"
was at times inhuman'

 Long distanses in a roadless, bare landscape

To the left, a soldier frozen to death
  
To the right a soldier standing guard against
"bolsjevism".

Notice the supply of handgranades stacked in front of him.




GERMAN MILITARY CEMETRY IN MURMANSK
LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
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