In My Heart
War remains in Tana
It was the 19th Armeekorps that controlled arctic Norwegian and Finnish coastal areas.
Smalfjordnes was equipped with three L/55 (13 cm) cannons and probably one other. The range of the cannons were 12 000 metres. They started building the the fort in 1940, and it was ready for battle in July 41.
These cannons were also called the "Nina-cannons" because they came from Bergen aboard the Finnish freight ship "Nina". The cannons originally came from the Russian battleship "Imperator Alexandr III" which was scrapped i 1936.
The Smalfjordnes fort was evacuated in December 1944 after being destroyed by the Germans themselves.
At Gavesluft there were three cannons. They were ready in April 41. The Gavesluft fortress was blown up by its own crew during the evacuation in 1944, as many others were too.
The fortresses at Smalfjordnes and Gavesluft belonged to "Artilleriegruppe unterabschnitt Tanafjord" (Artillerie Group Tanafjord") Today we can see some remains of one cannon at Gavesluft. (4 photos below: Arne Josvald Sabbasen)
Norwegian army personell damaged some of the remains at Smalfjordnes a few years back. But here you can see some of the remains there:
This Gavesluft map will show where some of the war remains in Tana can be found. The best way to get to Smalfjordnes is by boat. Ask locals.
See also a list of Germans fortresses in Finnmark and Finnish Lapland.
At Gavesluft you wander between the remains of small and big buildings. There were buildings for different purposes like a mess hall, kitchen, dining rooms, living quarters, bathing house, toilet house, bunkers, trenches and a tayloring/sewing workshop.
The picture shows the remains of a big barracks at Gavesluft. In the background we see the Stangnestind mountain with its characteristic shape. (Photo: Olav E. Johansen)
According to some documents there were around 1oo soldiers at Smalfjordnes and around 400 at Gavesluft. And there were approximately 30 war prisoners (Serbian and other nationalities). In addition local civilians did work for the Germans.
Read about war remains at other places in Lapland:
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