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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

To Narvik!

On May 28 Narvik will receive 400 guests of honour to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the battle of Narvik. Among the guests from six nations including Poland and Germany there will be quite a few veterans including the last Swedish Narvik veteran known to be alive.

What happened specifically on May 28 1940 was that Norwegian and French troops (including half a dozen Swedish volunteers) made an amphibious landing just NE of Narvik and reclaimed the town. Although they then didn´t hold the town for long what happened on May 28 can still be considered a significant first as it was the first successful, large Allied operation against the German Wehrmacht. The coming event will honour both the participants of the May 28 landing and of the whole battle of Narvik, that lasted from April 9 to June 8 1940.

There were a dozen Swedish volunteers who fought for Norway and France in the battle for Narvik. Eight Swedes, of which six have been identified, fought in the Norwegian infantry regiments IR 14, 15 and 16. In addition, four Swedes fought in the ranks of the French Foreign Legion´s 13 DBLE.

There will be fly pasts, visiting war ships, restored WWII military vehicles, bands playing and many ceremonies. I will be there too and will document it all and meet some of you who are reading this! Here is the programme, albeit in Norwegian only.

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