Miracle At The Litza — Hitler's First Defeat On The Eastern Front
Copyright 2014 Alf R. Jacobsen
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In the early summer of 1941 a select unit of German mountain soldiers under the command of General Eduard Dietl set out in the far north of Scandinavia to attack Russia. Operation Silberfuchs was a key part of the invasion of Russia. A diehard Nazi and one of Hitler’s closest comrades, Dietl, and his similarly fanatical officer,s had every expectation of winning glory and fame by conquering the strategically important city of Murmansk.
But conditions at the northernmost section of the Eastern Front would ensure no easy victory. The trackless tundra and extremes of weather created not only major challenges for moving troops and equipment but also hellish deathtraps.
Despite this, German fire power and determination led to initial quick gains against the Russians who were perilously thinly stretched. Stalin had failed to mobilize and the British hesitated to come to the rescue of the Red Army, expecting imminent collapse. But while the situation for both sides steadily worsened, the Russians’ resistance increased. Three bloody efforts to force the river Litza were repulsed and German losses mounted.
In an exciting and authoritative narrative based on previously unpublished material, Alf Reidar Jacobsen describes the bitter and bloody fighting that would lead to Hitler’s first defeat on the Eastern Front.