Pechenga, also known by its Finnish name Petsamo, is a town and port located in northern Russia near the Norwegian border. The town and the nearby nickel mines were controlled by Finland from 1920 until 1944 when the region was seized by the Red Army and annexed to the Soviet Union. It remained part of Russia after the fall of the USSR as an urban locality (an urban-type settlement) in Pechengsky District, Murmansk Oblast. Municipally, it is incorporated as Pechenga Urban Settlement of Pechengsky Municipal District.

Pechenga in The Hot War[]

Following the destruction of six European cities by Soviet atomic bombs on February 1, 1951, U.S. President Harry S Truman ordered a retaliatory nuclear attack upon the Soviet bombers' base at Pechenga. The attack, which took place on February 4, was conducted to satisfy America's British and French allies, and in the vain hope that a limited response would demonstrate American resolve without escalating the conflict further.[1]

Instead, the Soviets destroyed Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska on February 7.[2] As Pechenga's status as a military base was actually classified in the USSR, Radio Moscow was able to score additional propaganda points by claiming American "imperialists" had attacked a "harmless village".[3]


  1. Bombs Away, pgs. 88-92, HC.
  2. Ibid., pg. 104.
  3. Ibid., pg. 106.