On the remote island of Tarva, off the coast of Trøndelag in Norway, lies this huge coastal fortress which consisted of a multitude of bunkers, trenches, gun positions, cannon emplacements, radars and more, built by the Germans after the invasion of Norway in April 1940. The fortress was equipped with 3 huge 28cm SKL/45 guns, capable of propelling a projectile almost 40 kilometres away. It also had an extensive set of defensive works in the surrounding area, to defend against land based and airborne attacks.
At it’s peak, over 2000 German soldiers was garrisoned on this island. In addition, there was an unknown number of POW incarcerated here to work on the building of the fortress. The fortress got a brief history as part of the Norwegian army after the war but after an accident during test firing of one of the canons in November 1945, in which a grenade exploded inside the canon, killing 6 of the German crew, and 2 Norwegians, further plans for a coastal fortress as this Island was abandoned. A 500Kg piece of the canon can still be found where it fell after the explosion 55 years ago, almost 1.5 kilometres from where the canon stood.
To get to this island, there’s a 2 times daily ferry, going once back and forth in the morning, and once back and forth in the afternoon, with a bit different timing during weekends. In order to get as much time as possible on the island, I decided to take the last ferry out on Friday evening, and the only ferry back again, the next day. This left me with about 16 hours between I got to the Island at 20:00 Friday evening, and until I had to be back at the ferry, to get back to the mainland at 12:25 the next day. The 5 hours of sleep I got during the night was obviously too long, since 16 hours proved wholly inadequate and I didn’t even manage to get around everything, much less take a second round to take some more proper pictures as I had planned, after doing a preliminary round just taking snapshots. I suppose this just means I need to go back some other time ; – )