Already in 1940 the German navy started construction of a gun battery on Smalfjordneset in Tanafjord in northern Norway. The guns were three Russian 130 mm. guns that the Germans had captured from a French ship in Bergen.
The battery was fully operational in April 1941.
In autumn 1944, the German forces in northern Norway were pushed further west by the Red Army. After Finland, in September 1944, had signed a ceasefire with Russia a massive withdrawal began. 200,000 German soldiers were involved in Operation Nordlicht (Northern Lights) in which all positions were abandoned, houses, bridges and roads were demolished. Everything that could fall into the hands of the Red Army was removed. 45.000 Norwegians were forced to evacuate and over 10.000 houses, churches, agriculture, schools, etc. were burned. Animals were slaughtered, fishing boats were sunk and over 20.000 telephone poles were felled. In addition, crops were burned and large areas eroded.
As part of this withdrawal, the guns in the battery were blown up in October 1944.
After the Germans capitulation civilians quietly returned and in September 1945 the last Russian troops left Northern Norway.