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Narvik True Story: Explore the real events behind Netflix’s war movie

January 25, 2023

In recent years, Netflix has excelled in offering war movies that depict some of the lesser-known conflicts of the First and Second World Wars and in telling war stories from a perspective other than that of the British or Americans.

The Forgotten Battle and All Quiet On The Western Front are two that come to mind, exploring the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944 and also depicting the First World War from a German perspective.

The latest war movie to explode onto the streaming service is Narvik, which delves into another oft-overlooked part of WWII in the form of the Norwegian countryside – but how much of Narvik is based on a true story?


Narvik release date and plot

Narvik sailed on Netflix on Monday, January 23, 2023.

Starting in April 1940, the film focuses on the titular town of Narvik in northern Norway. The port city was a crucial location for Hitler’s war machine, as Sweden’s vital iron ore was shipped through Narvik and into Germany.

As Britain and its allies recognize the town’s importance, tensions rise and a detachment of Norwegian troops including Korporal Gunnar Tofte is sent to Narvik to maintain neutrality.

However, it’s not long before these tensions boil over and all hell breaks loose, with the innocent civilians of Narvik, including Gunnar’s wife, Ingrid, caught in the crossfire.

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Kristine Hartgen as Ingrid Tofte looking worried with a German soldier who brought her to NarvikNarvik © Netflix

Is Narvik based on a true story?

Yes, Narvik is indeed based on a true story.

At the heart of the film is the Battle of Narvik, a two-month conflict that took place in the northern Norwegian port city between April and June 1940.

However, Gunnar and Ingrid Tofte’s stories were created specifically for the film to help add personal drama to the larger battle that unfolds.

Carl Martin Eggesbø as Korporal Gunnar Tofte and Kristine Hartgen as Ingrid Tofte kissing as they stand on a crowded boat leaving the shore in NarvikNarvik © Netflix

Timeline of the Battle of Narvik

The Battle of Narvik began on April 9, 1940, when a German flotilla of 10 destroyers and a ground force of 2,000 men descended on the port town and took it without much resistance as the Norwegian defense was taken at devoid except for a group of soldiers. who escaped across a railway bridge and held out at Bjornfell for a week until 16 April.

Over the next 62 days, heavy fighting resulted in the sinking of 64 ships, the downing of 86 planes and the deaths of 8,500 soldiers according to Netflix’s Tudum.

Britain’s Royal Navy managed to establish dominance at sea but faced constant assault from superior German air support, driving the conflict to a stalemate.

In late May 1940, French forces managed to retake the town of Narvik, but the victory – and Hitler’s first defeat of World War II – proved incredibly short according to Warfare History Network.

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A few days later, on 7 June, the decision was made to withdraw all British, French and Allied forces from Norway due to the precarious situation in France as the defense against German invasion crumbled.

This left the remaining Norwegian troops no choice but to surrender on 10 June and the now ruined town of Narvik fell back into German hands.

Carl Martin Eggesbø as Korporal Gunnar Tofte standing on a boat with other soldiers in NarviikNarvik © Netflix

Narvik is available to stream now on Netflix after arriving on the streaming service on January 23, 2023.

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