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To July part 2: July 2007 part 2

Photos: Arild Burud (you may use the pictures if identified).

Rotvaag - to the caveWhat about Rotvåg
Rotvåg was a small village on the north side of Arnøy. It was inhabited until almost 1950, even though it could be hard to get to or from the village. It could be dangerous to dock and the foot walk required a lot of climbing. Now a rope is fastened along most of the steep passages. The village's site yields a very good overview to the traffic north and south  along the coast.

The left hand picture shows the distance from Rotvåg (down) to the caves I will tell about later.

The cave they lived inWorld War II
Norway was occupied 1940-1945, the first major battle Hitler lost, was in Narvik, 400 kilometer south. One or two partisans from Soviet and one or two Norwegian partisan were hiding in a cave near Rotvåg. They had a radio transmitter and reported to London and Moscow, what they knew and could see about vessels and ships passing in the area. A few months had passed, when one of the islanders told the Germans about the partisans activities. This was March 1943. The Nazi's found, after some trouble, the cave in which the resistance cell were hiding, and started firing at them.

A "fortress"
The barricade our heroes used, was enough a fortress to make it possible for the partisans to shoot back on the Germans, without getting hit. The occupation forces started firing grenades and using flamethrower. Then the fight ended. Those who were not killed on the spot, were sent of to Tromsø and executed there or sent to concentration camps. All males from Rotvåg and some women and men from Årviksand were captured.

A small room
Looking at the cave in 2007 (right hand picture), it's hard to understand how tree people managed to live there the whole winter. It's small and narrow, but have two exits. It's assumed a part of it collapsed during the fight, but all the same, its small.

Comment: The sources I've read and heard, vary a bit. The main story are the same. This is the only source I've found in English, but differ a bit from most of the other versions I've heard of the story.


To July part 2: July 2007 part 2

Added July 26. 2007, last updated April 5. 2010