War in Arctic and Karelian front
The German High Command during the summer offensive of 1941 planned to take control over the strategically important soviet seaport of Murmansk and the Kirov Railroad, which connected soviet Arctic with the rest of the country. However, all their attempts were heroically repulsed by the Soviet troops in the summer and fall of 1941.
By the autumn of 1941, the frontline in the Arctic had finally stabilized and the focal point of the struggle shifted to maritime communications. The Soviet Union received supplies from its allies through the arctic seaports. Their convoys were being assembled in Iceland and sailed to the USSR by Arctic Ocean. The first allied convoy reached the port of Arkhangel on August 31, 1941. The Northern Fleet of Soviet Navy guarded these convoys in its operational area, as far as the meridian 20° east of Greenwich. The German Command tried to disrupt the Soviet maritime communications and to secure their own supply roots to German troops deployed in Norway and to protect the delivery of nickel ore from Norwegian port of Kirkenes to Germany. In April of 1942 the Soviet troops made an unsuccessful attempt to break through the German defense near Murmansk and Lokhi.
During the war 41 convoys of 738 cargo ships arrived at the Soviet arctic ports and 36 convoys of 726 ships departed from them. The Soviet Navy together with Allied naval forces disrupted the plans of Hitler’s High Command to cut the USSR off from the Great Britain and the USA in the north. The Soviet Northern Fleet with its submarines, torpedo boats and air force constantly stepped up its activity off the northern shore of Norway up to Tromsø area in order to disrupt German communication lines. Over 400 enemy cargo ships and other vessels with the total tonnage of about 1 million metric tons were sunk there during the war.