NORWAY: The Narvik War Museum and the history of warfare in northern Norway

Norway initially proclaimed neutrality during the world wars. But due to its strategic location, ie, with the ice-free port of Narvik deemed important for the transportation of iron ore from Sweden, along with its other resources, the Scandinavian country was attacked and occupied by the German troops in 1940. All this and more about the war I learned first in the Narvik War Museum. I was at peace about Norway and Sweden’s neutrality during the wars, but then, I was wrong. Only Sweden managed to keep itself neutral, although they continued to sell iron to Nazi Germany to generate income.

Statues of playing children by Trygve Thorsen

Many war artefacts, weapons, vehicles and aircrafts, and photographs are exhibited in the museum, providing a comprehensive presentation of the history of warfare in the northern part of the country. Norway was invaded by Germany for 5 years, and based on what I saw on the museum, it was a terrible time for Norwegians, as they were forced to leave their homes and volunteer. I also saw some films about resistance forces like Max Manus, so without doubt, the country was deeply affected by the wars just like the Philippines under Japanede occupation.

On the way to Narvik War Museum
On the way to Narvik War Museum
On the way to Narvik War Museum
On the way to Narvik War Museum

The photos above shows the Norwegian government’s effort to build good infrastructure not just in the big cities, but also in the countryside. This is to maintain balance between the two sectors of society, such that people living in the rural areas would no longer want to leave.

Back to the museum, it is located in the new Narvik city center. For information about visiting hours and rates, click here. Here are some shots taken from the museum:

Welcome to the Narvik War Museum!
The allies
Narvik War Museum
Narvik War Museum, an English mine
Manhole cover from the armoured ship “Norge”
Models of P/S Norge and Eidsvoll
A one-man, two-man submarine
Artilleries in Ofoten
War machines
Banners of the region

And here are some of the interesting war memorabilias and artefacts that I saw at the museum:

A doll given to Bjørn Rognmo in 1939 when his family had to evacuate from Narvik to a cabin in Herjangsfjellet.
A wooden bird made by a Soviet prison
Ration cards
An old REX electric iron produced in Norway in the 1930s
Forms of entertainment
Many Norwegians volunteered as nurses and doctors
Narvik war literature
The Narvik fjord

As I’ve said, I learned a great deal about Norway’s involvement in the world wars at the museum. Some presentations were actually funny, like how Germany spread the news of the British forces coming to invade Norway, and thus, Norway needed Germany for protection. When in reality, it was the other way around. The British forces came to help Norway against the Nazis eventually.

I also had the time to look around the main square, where some statues by Trygve Thorsen gave life to the plaza. Trygve came from Arendal, a town in the south which inspired the Kingdom of Arendelle in the animated film, Frozen.

Statues of playing children by Trygve Thorsen
Just me in Narvik
Just me in Narvik

This is all for now. The museum is a must-see in the city of Narvik, to fully understand the city, the people, and the history. It provides a little bit of contrast from the beautiful nature surrounding it. 🙂 Cheers to more understanding of the human nature and the world we live in! #spreadlove

Narvik War Museum, “The one who does not know his own history is doomed to repeat it.” 
Statues of playing children by Trygve Thorsen

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