- "DE KJEMPET DE FALT. DE GAV OSS ALT. (They fought here and they fell. They gave us everything)."-Norwegian World War II Resistance memorial in Oslo
The Norwegian Armed Forces, also known as Forsvaret, are the military of the Kingdom of Norway.
The Norwegian Military consists of five branches, the Army, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, the Home Guard, and a recent addition: the Cyber Defence Force.
The Forsvaret can trace it's roots all the way back to the 9th century. For much of its early history the military was involved in conflicts with neighboring Sweden.
On April 9th, 1940 Nazi Germany invaded Norway. Despite the growing threat, the Norwegian military was not mobilized at the time and so was unprepared to resist the attack. The Nazis took Oslo (only after the defenders sank a German heavy cruiser with artillery they had purchased fifty years before from Germany) and Norway's government and king were forced to flee to exile in Britain. However, the Norwegian military soon started giving the Nazis a rather hard time. Most notably, they held off, along with their British allies, the Nazis at the Battle of Narvik. The Germans only captured it following an Allied withdrawal.
As the Nazi occupation began, many Norwegian soldiers went underground to join the resistance. Others fled to Britain and joined up with the British, fighting in Free Norwegian units. These forces famously carried out the daring raid at Telemark, sabotaging a heavy water production facility that was critical to Hitler's atomic research program. Actions such as these coupled with the possible threat of an Allied invasion from Scotland, caused Hitler to station over 200,000 troops in the country, instead of in places like say...Normandy.
Norway was freed following Germany's surrender. In 1949, it became one of the founding members of NATO. Determined to never get caught off-guard again, Norway built up its military and defenses all across the country, just in case the Soviets got any bright ideas.
After the Cold War ended, Norway reorganized its military to play an international role in addition to its defense purpose. Norwegian troops have participated in the War on Terror as part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
In 2012, Norway created a brand new branch of its armed forces called the Cyber Defence Force. As you can probably guess, their mission is to guard against cyber attacks.
Norway also stands out as the first member of NATO and the first European country in general to have compulsory service for both men and women alike.
The origin of the title of this page is a failed attempt to replace the lead in the rifle bullets with more environmentally friendly non-lead bullets. Things went horribly wrong, when it not only turned out that the new bullets made soldiers sick as a result of the fumes when they where fired, but where more environmentally unfriendly then the original lead bullets. This is of course a never live it down moment for the Norwegian Army.
The Norwegian Military in Fiction
- The Norwegian military plays a prominent role in Worldin Conflict, which takes place in an alternate history where the Soviet Union invades Western Europe. The Norwegians appear in the flashback missions of the main storyline, in which they team up with the Americans to launch a daring raid on the Soviet Union's north coast to recover a downed stealth bomber and destroy a nearby naval base.
- The expansion pack Soviet Assault, which adds Soviet missions to the campaign, shows that at the exact same time the Norwegians and Americans were raiding Soviet bases, the Soviets were staging their own raid on Norwegian soil (unaware of what was happening in their own country). The Soviets attempt to take out Anti-Air defenses and have to fight through the determined Norwegian defenders before being called back to Russia to deal with the NATO raid.
- The Norwegian army is featured in Wargame: AirLand Battle, as a NATO sub-faction. Their forces specialized in close combat infantry, along with flexible air support.
- The film Heroes of Telemark tells the tale of the resistance raid on the hydro plant being used for the German atom bomb project in World War II