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6. Divisjon

The 6. Divisjon (6th Division) of the Norwegian Army is its only remaining complete division, and embodies its main land force.


The pinnacle of this division's service was during World War II, during the German invasion of Norway. It was commanded by General Carl Gustav Fleischer, who was one of the King of Norway's favourite military officers. His division was one of the few Norwegian military commands that was ready in April 9, 1940 when the Germans invaded. With help from the British, French, and Polish militaries, 6. Divisjon and the rest of the Norwegian defenders were able to hold the city of Narvik, during what became known as the Battle of Narvik.

The Germans took the city at the beginning of the battle, but it was retaken a month later, in what would be the first victory for the Allies in the European Theatre. However, the German offensive became overwhelming, and the Allied forces eventually had no choice but to retreat, which they did in June. The Norwegian High Command and government were forced to capitulate, and they were exiled in England, where Gen. Fleischer died in 1942.

After this surrender, 6. Divisjon was disbanded. However, when Norway was liberated in 1945, the division was immediately reestablished. One long-term consequence of the action at Narvik was the close cooperation between the French, Polish, and Norwegian Armies, along with some lesser cooperation with the British military. The division fought in no major conflicts, but was reorganised in 2002, as part of an overall reform of the Norwegian military.

Current Organisation

In its peacetime organisation, 6. Divisjon consists of approximately 1,200 commissioned and non-commissioned officers (COs and NCOs), with approximately 3,000 enlisted soldiers and 200 civilian support staff. In wartime, its numbers could exceed 12,000 in total. The division trains mainly in the rugged Scandinavian terrain in Norway, which prepares it for battle extensively. Also, the large coastline and relatively free airspace allows for somewhat less limited practise.

6. Divisjon uses the most modern materiel and equipment. Its heaviest weapons include Leopard MBTs, CV-90 ACVs, along with MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems) and M109 Paladin howitzers. The infantry uses BV 206 tracked all-terrain vehicles, and both the infantry and special forces use snow scooters and light off-road vehicles. Their airlifting capabilities are provided for by the Tactical Helicopter Group, which is stationed at Bardufoss. The division's motto is "Styrke for fred, evne til strid", or "Capability for war + Capability for peace".

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