This was a Soviet naval attack by Vitse Admiral Sergei G. Gorshkov’s Northern Fleet against the German convoy routes round the extreme north of German-occupied Norway (20 February/4 March 1944).
On 17 February the minelaying submarine L-20 departed a northern port and three days later landed a raiding party near Makkaur; houses were searched and four Norwegians were taken prisoner. A mine barrage was laid in the Porsangerfjord on 26 February.
On 20 February the submarines S-56, S-14, S-15, M-200 and M-108 departed, followed on 23 February by M-201 and on 27 February by M-119. These boats had no success, however, and on 28 February M-108 was lost after hitting a German mine in the barrage off the Kongsfjord. S-56 made an underwater attack, for the first time, on 4 March, but did not score a hit.
Early in March L-22 departed and on 7 March laid a minefield off Kvaløy and Sorøy. S-102, M-104, S-54, M-105 and S-51 followed. On 3 March, off Vardd, M-119 missed the W.109 convoy, which was being escorted by UJ 1219 and UJ 1207, which dropped depth charges again the Soviet boat. The same convoy was attacked without result on 4 March by S-56, which was in turn depth-charged by UJ 1220.
On 10 March S-54 was lost off Syltefjord on a mine. On the same day M-104 attacked the wrecked freighter Natal. On 17 March the German eastbound E.110 convoy, escorted by the gunboat K 1 and four patrol boats, was found by Soviet reconnaissance, but M-105 missed the convoy off the Syltefjord and air attacks by some 50 bombers and torpedo aircraft failed in the face of the fighter defence put up by aircraft of Oberstleutnant Günther Scholz’s Jagdgeschwader 5. A motor torpedo boat attack also failed to get within range.
On 23 March Soviet torpedo bombers sank the patrol boat V 6109 off the Busse Sound.