Miracle at the Litza

Hitler's First Defeat on the Eastern Front

Alf R. Jacobsen

Date Published :
September 2017
Publisher :
Contributor(s) :
Frank Stewart
Illustration :
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ISBN : 9781612005065
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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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In an exciting and authoritative narrative based on previously unpublished material, Alf Reidar Jacobsen describes the bitter and bloody fighting that would lead to Hitler’s first defeat on the Eastern Front.

About The Author

Alf Reidar Jacobsen is a former investigative journalist in the fields of finance and political surveillance, and has served as head of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s Brennpunkt team, which is similarly devoted to indepth investigation of topical issues. In 1998 he was awarded the Riverton Prize, the Norwegian equivalent of the Silver Dagger, for his crime novel Kharg. He has written several books on World War II, most of which have been translated into English.


Prologue: August 1940, The Northern Front.

Chapter 1: The Jigsaw Puzzle
Chapter 2: Bluff or Business?
Chapter 3: Into the Finnish Corridor
Chapter 4: The Bunker Line is Broken
Chapter 5: The Battle of Fisher Neck
Chapter 6: The First Attack
Chapter 7: Bloody High Summer
Chapter 8: The Royal Navy Ventures North
Chapter 9: Red August
Chapter 10: A Very Effective Offensive Along the Coast
Chapter 11; Defeat

Epilogue: A Heroic Struggle
Appendix I: Missed Opportunities -- A Futile Campaign

Index of People


"Jacobsen is a brilliant story-teller."

- Solgunn Solli, Altaposten

"Miracle at the Litza is written with presence and suspense and takes the reader on a tour-de-force of the battlefield."

- Guri Hjeltnes, VG

"Miracle at the Litza proves to be an outstanding book about an interesting subject. It becomes the go-to resource in English on Operation Platinfuchs, and stands as one of the best new books of 2017.”

- Stone & Stone Second World War Books

"Miracle at the Litza fills the gap in knowledge about Hitler's first defeat on the Eastern Front… Despite the significant effect Operation Barbarossa had on the Arctic war, we have until now lacked an in-depth work about what happened on the northern sector of the Eastern Front in the summer of 1941 and its relevance to the negotiations about aid to the Soviet Union. Miracle at the Litza, an exciting and authoritative narrative, takes readers several steps forward in understanding that mystery.”

- Sir Read A Lot, November 2017

"Authors Jacobsen and Stewart provide thrilling and detailed information about Hitler's first defeat on the eastern Front, and the entire book reads like the premise for a new blockbuster film. An amazing tale, mde all the more enthralling by the fact it remained untold for more than three quarters of a century.”

- Books Monthly

"The author does a good job of weaving the various parts of the thread together; German feuding, Britain's concern that the Russians might collapse and the Soviet Union's vulnerability to Stalin's delusions.”

- Army Rumour Service


- Miniature Wargames

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