Is Narvik based on a true story? Netflix war movie explained

A still from Narvik, a new war movie on NetflixNetflix

Is Narvik based on a true story? The new war movie has jumped straight to number one on the Netflix chart, but is it based on real events?

While fans continue to air their frustrations over canceled shows like Warrior Nun, 1899, and Inside Job, it’s been quite a week for Netflix, racking up a whopping 16 Oscar nominations.

Most of these are for All Quiet on the Western Front, Edward Berger’s harrowing, thrilling anti-war movie, that’s established itself as a frontrunner against the likes of Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Fabelmans.

However, another war movie has quickly proven to be a success on Netflix: Narvik – but is it based on a true story?

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Is Narvik based on a true story?

While Narvik features fictional characters, it is based on a true story.

Set during the spring of 1940, the Norwegian movie revolves around the Battle of Narvik, described by Netflix and other historians as Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany’s first defeat in World War II.

The film follows Gunnar Tofte (Carl Martin Eggesbø), a soldier caught up in the warfare, Ingrid (Kristine Hartgen), his partner who is fluent in German and translates for Narvik’s occupiers, and their son Ole (Christoph Gelfert Mathiesen).

“Under German occupation from 1940 to 1945, many Norwegians faced agonizing choices over whether to collaborate or resist, and while the Toftes are not real people, they represent the many Norwegian families caught up both in the Battle of Narvik and the years of war that followed,” Tudum said.

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What happened in the Battle of Narvik?

The Battle of Narvik was sparked by Hitler’s army invading Norway, aiming to control its exports of iron ore. It was fought between April 9 and June 8 in 1940, with more than 25,000 Norwegians and Allied soldiers teaming up against the Germans.

As per the Visit Narvik page, “the iron ore was crucial for the German armor industry and both Hitler and Churchill were painfully aware that the one who wins the iron ore, wins the war.

“In 62 days, 64 ships were sunk and 86 aircrafts shot down. 8,500 soldiers were killed and the relentless climate north of the Arctic Circle placed inhuman demands on both soldiers and civilians.

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“The infantry wars in the mountains around Narvik were characterized by blizzards, cold and lack of equipment and supplies. From the sea, warships and submarines with torpedoes, artillery and bombs ravaged. And in the middle of these two fronts, Narvik’s civilian population was trapped, with no opportunity to escape.

“But through the brutal battle of Narvik, the Allies succeeded in proving that the overwhelming German war machine could be overcome. President Roosevelt summed it up best in his famous 1942 speech: Look to Norway, he said, but what he really meant was probably: Look to Narvik.”

Narvik is available to stream on Netflix now.

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