Narvik, in Arctic Norway, was an important harbor at the outbreak of World War II, and was the site of an intense battle between Norwegian, German and British forces.
Narvik is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to dive and see wrecks from the Second World War. At the bottom of Ofotfjorden, it is possible to explore more than 10 historical wrecks, including the Norwegian costal defense ship PS Norge and Jager Z2 Georg Thiele.
Narvik was a strategically very important location, being the only efficient port for shipping out iron ore from the Swedish mines in Kiruna. Consequently there were several battles over the city and its harbor, which littered the close by waters with the wrecks of cargo and war ships.
The area around the harbor became a graveyard for ships, and while some have been salvaged there are still many left.
Germany’s newest destroyer Jager 72 Georg Thiele was to be used in the planned attack on Great Britain. It is also possible to dive and explore cargo ships and aircraft that were involved in the war.
M/S Stråssa, is a 121 meter long freight ship that got hit with a torpedo in 1940 and lies in rather shallow waters, well within OWD certification, full of visible marine life.
Uniquely, you can see three German warships on one dive – the destroyer Anton Schmitt, Dieter von Roeder and Wilhelm Heidkamp lie close together at just 12m-24m outside Framnesodden.
The main attraction is the destroyer Wilhelm Heidkamp, which is standing upright in the bottom. You can see the fastening points to the torpedo launchers, the barrels of some 5cm guns the ship had and you can also take a peek through a hole in the side and see the washrooms of the ship.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battles of Narvik, Visit Narvik, Narvik War Museum and Expedia have created an interactive infographic about the history of what happened in the yown during several dramatic days in early April 1940. The piece provides historical material, including unique interviews and photos, highlighting why Narvik was so important for everyone involved in the Second World War, and why it is now a diving hotspot on many divers’ ‘to-do’ lists.
Narvik’s wrecks aren’t as well preserved as the 126m MS Frankemnwald, considered Norway’s single best wreck, which is among other WWII wrecks in the Sognefjord, north of Bergen.
Feature image (on top): Wreck diving in Sognefjord. Photo: Gulen Dive Resort
Wreck Diving In Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg