Liberation of Norway
On May 17, 1944 the USSR, the USA and the UK signed an agreement with the Norwegian government-in-exile in case of the outbreak of hostilities on its territory. The enemy’s heavy military presence in northern Finland, Soviet Arctic and northern Norway posed a serious threat to the Soviet seaport of Murmansk and Lend-Lease supplies delivered by the Allied northern convoys.
During the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation, the Red Army went on the offensive on October 7, 1944. Petsamo (Pechenga) was liberated on October 15, and soon Soviet troops entered Norwegian territory.
The fighting took place under difficult conditions of the Far North. The Germans equipped numerous bunkers and pillboxes in the granite rocks. The Soviet troops approached Kirkenes, the largest Norwegian settlement in this area, on October 25 and liberated it on the same day. The Red Army was assisted by local population. Local fishermen provided their boats to help Soviet soldiers to overcome water obstacles. Norwegian patriots carefully protected supply routes of the Red Army and organized sabotage actions in the enemy’s rear. The Red Army stopped the advance on October 29. It remained on the territory of Norway until September 1945.
Over 2,000 Soviet soldiers were killed or wounded fighting for the liberation of Northern Norway.