Narvik is a Northern Norwegian town with a population of 19,000. It is located at the head of Vestfjorden/Ofotfjorden, close to the Swedish border. Narvik celebrated itís centenary in 2002. It was founded when the Swedish iron-ore company LKAB was looking for a transhipment harbour for the iron-ore excavated in Kirunaís mines. A railway was built from Kiruna to Narvik to carry the iron-ore to an ice-free harbour. The early name of the town was Victoriahamn, but was later changed to Narvik which was the name of a local bay. Narvik is also known for the battles that took place here during World War II. German forces invaded Narvik on the 9th April 1940. Narvik was important to the Germans because of the iron-ore which they used in the weapon industry. In the days following April 9th British Naval ships sailed into the fjord and fierce sea battles were carried out in the harbour and in nearby fjords. This resulted in 40 vessels being sunk both in the port basin and in the fjords. Among them were 2 Norwegian armoured cruisers, 2 British and 10 German destroyers, giving a serious blow to Hitlerís Naval force. On May 28th 1940 the Allied Forces (Norwegians, British, French and Polish) forced the Germans out of Narvik, driving them, with their backs against the wall, up the mountains towards the Swedish border. This is known as the first Allied victory over Nazi-Germany during World War II. Unfortunately, events in France in May 1940 caused the Allied Headquarters to withdraw their troops from Narvik, giving the Germans space to re-enter and this time occupy Narvik. Narvik remained occupied till the end of the war.