Norwegian war film Narvik has become the latest movie to take Netflix by storm, rising to the number one spot in the streamer's UK top 10 after it was added to the library on Monday 23rd January.


The film tells the story of a battle that took place in the titular Norwegian town – which had been a major source of iron ore for Nazi Germany's war machine – in the Spring of 1940, which led to the first major defeat for Hitler's army on the battlefield.

Throughout the film, much of the focus is placed on the Tofte family, following a young Corporal who returns from the front to surprise his wife Ingrid, and their son Ole. But how much of Narvik is actually based on real historical events? Read on for everything you need to know.

Narvik true story

Although the events that form the backdrop to the film are very much based on true history, the storyline involving the Tofte family is fictional – with Netflix's site Tudum explaining that they were intended simply as a representation of the real Norwegian families caught up in the war.

That said, many of the other characters involved in the film, including the mayor of Narvik Theodor Broch, and the Nazi General Eduard Dietl, were real people who were heavily involved in the actual Battle of Narvik.

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Meanwhile, a number of the specific events depicted in the film are also based on real events– including the nature of the advance by Norwegian, French, British and Polish infantry from their position in the mountains and the British strategy of firing on German targets using offshore warships.

Narvik – which had a population of just 10,000 – was first captured with relative ease by German forces on 9th April 1940, which led to a two-month struggle from Allied forces to win back the town, with fighting initially ongoing until an Allied victory on 28th May, marking the first significant land loss for the Nazis during the conflict.

Unfortunately, the victory was not a long-lasting one, and the withdrawal of British and French forces following the Nazi invasion of France allowed the Germans to once again capture the town on 8th June – with surviving civilians evacuated by local fishing boats before Narvik was heavily bombed.

To this day, the Battle of Narvik remains the largest ever thought on Norwegian soil. A Narvik War Museum was opened in 1964 while a number of shipwrecks remain visible in the surrounding waters.

Narvik is streaming now on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

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