In a World of Total War: Norway 1939 – 1945

In a World of Total War is a five year research project on the German occupation of Norway during the Second World War.

This nation wide project draws together researchers from The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), The Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) , The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and The Narvik Centre to engage in innovative studies on the lived realities of people during attacks, occupation and daily life, and how the Second World War is remembered in retrospect.

Three primary concerns guide the project:

  1. The war in Norway must be treated as one aspect of a European and global phenomenon.
  2. Northern Norway and the Northern Cap is the geographical focus of the project.
  3. The northern point of view enables the integration of methodological approaches and concepts such as gender, everyday experiences, identity and memory. 


Northern Europe is the projects vantage point, though this does not mean to the exclusion of other geographical areas. The choice is justified by the fact that several large powers and small states had strong political and strategic interests in the north and the area increased in importance throughout the war. In 1942, questions related to the Cap of the North dominated the Norwegian exile government's political agenda. The German occupation in the north also led to an overwhelming asymmetry between Germans and the local, multi-ethnic population. Also, the overall German demand for supplies led to a strong growth in the northern Norwegian economy. The huge German armamanet initiatives in the north had the same effect. The hostilities that took place during Narvik Campaign 1940, on the Litsa front in 1941 and during Petsamo Kirkenes operations from the fall of 1944 was clearly the most comprehensive and intense in Norway and border areas.

Click to read the full project description. 


Contact us: totalkrig@hsl.uit.no

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