🇳🇴 A VIOLENT HISTORY.
- (10 photos, slide)
🚜 Next I drove to Kirkenes town (meaning "church headland" after local church of 1862, town status received in 1998).
🤠 Must admit that I prefer wilderness, so I spent just 1 day, my priority was museums + war memorials (still, very nice town & people👌), to gain insight. 📖 I learned about: Sámi, WW2, war crimes, partisans, Arctic convoys, liberation, USSR, iron mining, whale factory, ice-free port, GSV Army garrison.
💂🏻♂️”Festung Kirkenes”, occupied port, strategic base for Wehrmacht’s Kriegsmarine & Luftwaffe's Jagdgeschwader 5 during WW2, game piece of Hitler’s “Operation Barbarossa”. Fortress stocked 9-12 months supplies for 100,000 soldiers.
💥 Kirkenes is 2nd after Valletta of European towns receiving most air attacks in WW2: 1,012 alarms and 328 air attacks!
🚢 USSR sunk 80 Wehrmacht cargo ships along Finnmark, based on Norwegian partisan intel.
🔥 Wehrmacht executed Scorched Earth (burned ca 11,000 houses + 6,000 farms + infrastructure) in October 1944❄️ and fled south.
🕓 In just 4 hours, USSR 14th Rifle Division invaded, eradicating all remaining 5,450 soldiers of the Wehrmacht garrison in fast-paced streetfight bloodbath.💥
🕊 USSR 14th R.Div liberated Kirkenes’ civilian population on 25 October 1944 (regulated by the USSR/USA/UK/NOR agreement of 17 March 1944). Peace!
DEMOGR & STATS:
📊 Mix Norwegians/Sámi/Finns/Kvens/Russians, population 3,566 (2017) where 10% Russians, only town in this far north-eastern Norw. region (east of Finland). All street signs in 🇳🇴Norwegian, 🇫🇮Finnish and 🇷🇺Russian languages.
🚂 Kirkenes is terminus of world's 2nd northernmost railway, transporting ore from Bjørnevatn mines (today 🇦🇺#Australian
🌦Climate: Daily mean 0.1°C/32.2°F, Record low −41.8°C/-43.2°F, Record hi 32.7°C/90.9°F.
Polar Night: 21 Nov-21 Jan.
Time zone: CET, actual solar time 2.5 hrs ahead of Spain!
📍Location coord: 69.7269° N, 30.0450° E
📸 I shot all in Kirkenes: Borderland Museum, Soviet Liberation Monument, Andersgrotta bunker.
#explore #adventure #expedition #solotravel #Arctic #Finnmark #warartifacts #WWII #WW2 #secondworldwar #militaryhistory #WW2history #Soviet #USSR #1943 #1944 #violence #history