Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kvam. Battle of Kvam, World War II, British Memorial.

How better to respect World War II these many years after, than going to the less-heralded battlegrounds.

Kvam is a small town north of Lillehammer, where British forces were vastly outnumbered and lacking in armaments, but managed to stop the German advance in April 1940 for a short period of 2-3 days, but gaining for the allies valuable time and deflection of German efforts.  The British Commonwealth War Graves Commission supports a memorial and set of gravesites (55 total, of which only 15 remain unidentified) at the church there, see http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/2016232/KVAM%20CHURCHYARD.

To find it, be sure to identify the "commune" because there are multiple Kvams.  This is in Oppland, Nord-Fron, and not Hordaland. Without that information, your GPS will insist on your heading back toward Oslo and parts unknown.

The place of Kvam in World War II is part of a larger military issue for both sides in any war:  how to secure flow of munitions and materiel. The Germans had run into difficulties relying on Sweden (whose neutrality apparently permitted it to keep equipping Germany), and more western routes were needed.  Enter battles at Narvik, and more southerly locations, including Kvam. See http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=93
 


For those who know the area, find specific details of the battle, weather, topography: see http://hem.fyristorg.com/robertm/norge/battle_for_kvam.html

Kvam, Oppland, NO.  Memorial, 1939-1945, Battle of Kvam and for others who perished, WWII.

No commemorative sign is on the E6, the main north-south artery in Norway passing by.  The E6 mostly reduces to two lanes after Oslo, but a simple designation of a historic site would help. The church itself dated only from 1775, and was rebuilt after its burning in WWII.  It is plain and would not draw attention on its own as you pass by on the E6.  Stop anyway, as the best bet for gravesites when no public information shows. Once there, find a display:

Battle of Kvam, WWII, Kvam Church display portion, Kvam, Oppland, Norway


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