Partisans in Finnmark during the war
The war on the North Cape
Virtually all parts of Norwegian society were affected by the German occupation between 1940 and 1945, from the political and administrative level to the everyday life of the civilian population. Nevertheless, during the war, Norway must also be regarded as part of the European and even as global phenomenon.
Being part of the international conflict, the Norwegian war experience was quite different from the general picture.
The northern perspective is central in this regard. Northern Norway had a huge German military presence throughout the occupation and tens of thousands of prisoners of war were sent to the region to build fortresses, roads and railways. Several of the European powers had strong strategic interests in the north, and in 1942 Hitler called Northern Norway the fateful region of the war. Norway during World War II still fascinates – and new research has new stories to tell.
 World War II in the North, UIT
German guard at Kibergsnesset.
Partisans in Finnmark
The first German soldiers arrived in Vardø and Kiberg in August 1940. Few locals had any idea what the Nazis had planned after the Narvik front fell on 8 June. The flow of soldiers continued throughout the autumn and fortifications and bases were built for a large army.
Jonas Lie’s archive of Varanger communists had already fallen into German hands. When the occupiers visited some of the communists in their homes, it was clear what to expect. During the autumn of 1940, several families fled across the Varanger fiord to the Soviet Union in search of protection.
Having arrived in the Soviet Union, women and children were sent to the Urals, while the vast majority of men and some women enlisted in the NKVD and the Northern Fleet. Some of the partisans became infantry soldiers and submarine pilots, while others became intelligence agents or radio operators. The Russians were in great need of intelligence information from Varanger about the Germans’ activities and their newly acquired “soldiers” with local knowledge suited the purpose perfectly.
As early as October 1940, the first “partisans” were sent back to their homeland to obtain information about “standing” in Varanger. Here, the Russians had already established a network consisting of the Communist party members who gathered information about the Germans’ military activities, establishments and developments in the area.
The first fights between the partisans and the occupiers took place in September and October 1941 in the Komag Valley and on the Lambones Cape, after the Russians had landed submarine forces to reconnaissance in the area. Here the first Norwegian soldier fell in battle. The result of the expedition was disappointing.
From February 1942, radio groups were set ashore in various places in Finnmark and North Troms to report to Lavna near Murmansk. The radio groups sent a significant amount of important information for use by the Allies in the fight against the occupiers.
The entire network was discovered in Mitternacht Sonne operation in July / August 1943. Some partisans fell in battle, some were captured and tortured, and others were executed. Some escaped to the Soviet Union and the rest fled to the mountains.
The partisan group consisted of 45 soldiers and an unknown number of informants and helpers. 17 soldiers survived and at least as many were tortured or killed in battle. After the war, the survivors became the object of persecution and surveillance.
Partisans received full recognition and rehabilitation in King Harald V’s speech in Kiberg in 1992.
 Randi Rønning Balsvik
Trygve et al in Murmansk.
Cannon position at Kibergsnesset.