Despite its neutrality, Norway was not able to avoid occupation by Germany in World War II. In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. The current focus is on containing spending on the extensive welfare system and planning for the time when petroleum reserves are depleted. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU. - US CIA World Factbook

Armor before 1940

Only three armored vehicles were tested before the German occupation in April 1940. These were two home-built armored cars and a Swedish-built Landsverk L-120 tank chassis. The armored cars were improvised on trucks and armed with a MG.

Landsverk L-120---Photo published on 10 May 1940 showing the sole Norse tank in a defensive posture against the invading Germans.
Landsverk L-120

In 1936 Norway bought a L-120 tank chassis from Swedish AB Landsverk to test tracked vehicles. It was delivered in 1937/38 and were fitted with ordinary steel plates and a simple turret housing a Colt MG. It was demonstrated all over Norway and were known as "Kongstanken", while other nicknames were "Norgestanken" and "Rikstanken".

German tanks in late 1940's

After the end of WW2, Norway used approximately 32 PzKpfw. III (5cm and 7.5cm) and StuG III Ausf. G under the designation KW-III. Later on they were replaced with American M24 Chaffee light tanks.

In early 1950s, a contract of arms assistance were signed with USA who supplied some 124 M24 Chaffee, M8 Greyhound and M20 armored cars, M3A1 White and GMC. Further weapons and softskins were also supplied in quantity.

U.S. M24 Chaffee Light Tank, NM-116

The NM-116 was a modification of the U.S. M-24 Chaffee light tank. The bow MG was removed to allow for additional ammunition storage, a 90mm main gun and a 50cal coaxial heavy machine gun installed, a laser rangefinder added, and the diesel engine was replaced with a gasoline engine. The NM-116 was built by Norway and also exported to Taiwan. Norway had 70 vehicles in inventory.

War Posters

People who helped make this page possible

Dag Sundkvist

Daniella Carlsson
Daniella Carlsson

Thorleif Olsson
Thorleif Olsson



Last Update: Thursday, February 13, 2003