Petsamo and Kirkenes 1944: The Soviet offensive in the Northern Arctic by David Greentree
This title examines the bitter conflict between two highly tactical armies as they battled across challenging terrain to gain control of strategically significant Northern Finland. On the one side were the invading Soviet troops, hoping to liberate an area full of rich resources and littered with bases that that would enable the arrival of Arctic convoys from Britain. They employed naval infantry in abundance, not only to make amphibious landings to capture strategically significant port facilities, but also on deep outflanking manoeuvres inland. Their opponents were the elite Gebirgsjager from XIX Gebirgskorps; trained to be self-sufficient and resourceful and equipped with a range of bespoke weaponry, this mountain division was ideally suited to operate in the harsh climate. Combat conditions were unique: the extremely rough terrain, laced with bogs, streams, boulder fields, and large rivers, presented a significant challenge in its own right, even without the added threat of attacks by highly trained soldiers. This illustrated title tells the story of this unique and bitter struggle in the far North, an epic battle between two elite forces fighting in a demanding environment. With bird's-eye views and maps of key battlefields, this is a comprehensive guide to one of the most challenging campaigns of the Eastern Front.