• NOK40.5bn (€5.4bn): total annual defence budget.
  • Around 23,000 personnel in the Norwegian armed forces.
  • More than 120,000 Norwegians have taken part in over 40 international peace operations since 1947.
  • All fit males are obliged to serve in the armed forces, but only around 60,000 men and women are invited to interview each year.
  • 153 professional musicians make up Norway’s military bands.
  • 1107-1110:
    Norwegian Crusade King Sigurd was the first European King to embark on a crusade, leading a force of 5,000 men and 60 galleys to the Holy Land.

  • 1643-1645: Torstenson/Hannibal War
    Sweden captured large tracts of Danish territory. Stung by defeat, Denmark acquired German mercenaries to train the Danish and Norwegian armies with remarkable success.

  • 1700-1721: The Great Northern War
    An offensive launched by Denmark-Norway, Saxony-Poland and Russia to recapture territory that Sweden had amassed a century earlier.

  • 1814: Swedish-Norwegian War
    In return for her part in the defeat of Napoleon, Sweden was promised the territory of Norway. Norway, which longed for independence after centuries of Danish rule, had other ideas.

  • 1914-1918: First World War
    Although neutral by definition during The Great War, Norway’s merchant marine fleet played a pivotal role in supplying Britain.

  • 1940-1945: German Occupation
    Under the guise of protecting Norway’s neutrality from Allied aggression, an overwhelming German force invaded Norway for its key strategic position in the North Atlantic.

  • 1947-1991: Norway shores up defences
    Norway’s northern stretch of land bordering the Soviet Kola Peninsula made the country the first line of defence against the growing threat from the east.

  • 2002-ongoing: Afghanistan
    Norway entered the war in Afghanistan as part of the Nato-led ISAF force, with a focus on reconstruction efforts and the training of the Afghan National Army.

Monocle 24

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