07 JULY 1941, SALLA-KUOLAJARVI ROAD, LAPLAND
SS Kampfgruppe Nord's attack on Salla was an unexpected failure for the Axis high command. This gave the Soviet 122nd Rifle Division time to conduct an orderly retreat towards Kuolajarvi where the River Salla made a bend. However, the pressure on General P.S.Shevchenko's division was mounting. The advance of the 169th Wehrmacht Division in the North and the Finnish 6th Division in the South exposed both flanks of the 122nd Division. The Russian command didn't have the forces to defend against 3 full divisions, even though their performance was far from the Blitzkrieg of other theaters. General Shevchenko was ordered to conduct a fighting retreat from Kuolajarvi to Alakurtti where Russian troops were preparing a main defense line.
596th Rifle Regiment was scattered in the crossroads and passes around Kuolajarvi sector. It’s task was buying time for the main body which was retreating eastwards. Meanwhile, Kradschützen Kompanie of the SS Kampfgruppe "Nord", supported by armor from the Panzer Abteilung 40, was slowly approaching the wooded area near the Salla River. Their advance hit a roadblock manned by soldiers from Pavel G. Danilov's Battalion.