Monthly Archives: August 2013

Stories of snow suits and ‘Swedish police’ in Tromso’s Defence Museum

When I said I was going to Tromso on this trip, some Norwegians said: “But why? That wasn’t burned.” The reason for my trip to Norway in the first place for those readers just joining this blog is to gather … Continue reading

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Dark secrets and death camps: in the footsteps of the doomed at the Lyngen Line

I woke up to rain and dark clouds on my second day in the Lyngen Alps, a beautiful if brooding region of mountains and fjords where busloads of tourists flock each year to see the Northern Lights. That sense of … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Arctic Circle, coastal guns, Finnmark, Germany, Hitler, Nazi, Norway, prisoners of war, Scorched Earth, Second World War, Soviet Union, traumatic story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coastal bunker in ‘Paradise Lost’ reveals dark chapter of Soviet PoWs in Nazi-held Norway

If I had 100 Norwegian kroner (about £10) for every wartime bunker I’ve been to in the past fortnight, I would be a rich man. If nothing else, I am struck by the immense project to militarise Norway that went … Continue reading

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Storm forces switch to ocean wave for meeting with Finnmark’s famous film-maker

Things have gone a little wrong with my plans due to bad weather, but good things have come out of it. I’m sitting at the dockside of a picturesque fishing village at 6am on a Sunday morning having just alighted … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Arctic Circle, coastal guns, Finnmark, Finnmarken, German submarines, Germany, history, Hitler, Honningsvag, Hurtigrute, Norway, Scorched Earth, Second World War, traumatic story, Uncategorized, Wideroe airlines | Leave a comment

Still crying for her mother and father: 70 years and Hopseidet remains raw

The wind is gusting gale force and whips the door of my borrowed old Mitsubishi Galant out of my hands as I get out to greet the man who will translate my next encounter, Alf Helge Jensen, deputy editor and … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Arctic Circle, Finnmark, Finnmarken, German submarines, Germany, Hammerfest, history, Hitler, Hopseidet, Norway, Scorched Earth, Second World War, Soviet Union, traumatic story, Wideroe airlines | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Berries and borrowed cars feels so far from the days of scorched earth

The tiny fishing village of Mehamn clings to the Arctic coast of Norway east of Hammerfest. It’s a place for the hardy, subject to gale force blasts and driving rain in summer and unimaginably low temperatures due to wind chill … Continue reading

Posted in Arctic Circle, coastal guns, Finnmark, Germany, Hammerfest, history, Hitler, Hopseidet, Norway, Scorched Earth, Second World War, Soviet Union, Uncategorized, Wideroe airlines | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Once a burnt town, now Hammerfest’s a boom town

I guess it was the story of Hammerfest being burned to the ground that sparked my initial interest in writing ‘Scorched Earth Stories’, my book about the destruction of the north of Norway by the retreating German Army in 1944. … Continue reading

Posted in Arctic Circle, Finnmark, Germany, Hammerfest, history, Hitler, Housing, Norway, Scorched Earth, Second World War, Soviet Union, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment