Operation Wiesegrund

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This was a German unrealised plan for Generaloberst Eduard Dietl’s 20th Gebirgsarmee to take the Rybachy peninsula on the USSR’s Arctic coast (summer 1942).

The plan was first mooted as a major prospect in Adolf Hitler’s Führerweisung Nr 37 of 10 October 1941, which called for the occupation of the Rybachy peninsula ‘at a favourable moment’ as a prerequisite for the proposed advance on Murmansk. Führerweisung Nr 44 of 21 July 1942 ordered the indefinite postponement of the operation, with preparations remaining in hand for the reintroduction of ‘Wiesengrund’ at eight weeks’ notice.

For three years the Rybachy peninsula, which covered any German land advance toward Murmansk and possibly Arkhangyel’sk, both of these being ports vital to the continuance of the Allied Arctic convoys to the USSR, was an arena of a positional war between the German and Soviet forces along a front which split the peninsula into two parts, both sides having heavily fortified positions.