Conflict Historiography of the Barents Region

By Lars Gyllenhaal

The following books and seminar digests can be considered as major works about conflict within the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.

As English is the de facto language for co-operation within the BEAR most books presented below are in the English language. This means that there may exist ”better” books in other languages. Exceptions have been made when simply no equivalent book in English exists. An effort has been made to present books/digests by authors from several member-countries of the BEAR.

Obviously, there is a lack of books in English that provide an overview of all the conflicts within the Barents Region. Hopefully, this deficit will be rectified by future joint Barents projects.

Not only traditional conflicts between nation-states are presented among the below books but also books about repression and resistance of ethnical minorities as well as the environmental consequences of the hopefully last major conflict within the region: the Cold War.

As there was virtually no fighting in Arctic Europe during WWI there are very few books on the region during this war. However, thousands of German and Austrian WWI prisoners of war (POWs) were in the region, working on the construction of the Murman railway. A book on these prisoners and their contribution to the infrastructure of the region has therefore been included.

The largest section below is on WWII literature, as the Second World War was the first truly large-scale war that affected the region, and also because of the popularity of the subject.


  • Lundholm, Kjell O., Groth, Östen J. & Petersson Rolf Y. (1996): North Scandinavian History. Luleå: I-Tryck/Grafiska Huset.
  • Eriksson, Johan (1997): Partition and Redemption. A Machiavellian Analysis of Sami and Basque Patriotism. Umeå: Umeå University, Department of Political Science.
  • Ravna, Øyvind (2002): Kampen om tundraen: nenetserne og deres historie [includes summaries in English, Russian and Saami. The title in English would be: The Battle for the Tundra: The Nenets and their history]. Guovdageaidnu: Sámi instituhtta.
16th–19th CENTURIES
  • Hellstrand, Johan & Usov, Alexey, Ed. (1999): Arkhangelsk and the Nordic Countries. From the End of the 16th to the Beginning of the 20th Century [in Russian but with summaries in English]. St. Petersburg: Information Office of of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
  • Tingbrand, Per (1999): Forna konflikter inom Nordkalotten. Strövtåg, gränsfejder och krig till och med 1809 [available in Swedish only]. Piteå: Piteå kommun.
  • Ushakov, I.F. (1997): Izbrannye proizvedeniya, v 3-kh tomakh [available in Russian only]. Murmansk: Murmanskoye knizhnoye izdatelstvo.
  • Goldin, Vladislav Ivanovitj (1993): Belyj Sever 1918–1920 gg.. Memuary i dokumenty. Part I-II [available in Russian only]. Arkhangelsk: Informatsionnoye agentstvo ”Argus”.
  • Halliday, E.M. (2000): When Hell Froze Over. New York: ibooks.
  • Nachtigal, Reinhard (2001): Die Murmanbahn. Die Verkehrsanbindung eines kriegswichtigen Hafens und das Arbeitspotential der Kriegsgefangenen [available in German only]. Grunbach: Verlag Bernhard Albert Greiner.
  • Bergström, Christer and Andrey Mikhailov (2000): Black Cross/Red Star. The Air War Over the Eastern Front. Pacifica: Pacifica Military History.
  • Gebhardt, James F. (1998): After the Battle, Issue No. 99: Soviet Victory in the Arctic. London: Battle of Britain Prints International Ltd.
  • Gregory, Barry (1989): Mountain and Arctic Warfare. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens Limited.
  • Leonov, Viktor N. (1993): Blood on the Shores. Soviet Naval Commandos in World War II. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press.
  • Munch-Petersen, Thomas (1981): The Strategy of Phoney War. Britain, Sweden and the Iron Ore Question 1939-1940. Stockholm: Militärhistoriska Förlaget.
  • Petersen, Joachim (1992): Hitlers Polareisenbahnplaene 1940 bis 1945 in Nordnorwegen. Podzun-Pallas-Verlag GmbH.
  • Suprun, Mikhail N. (2001): Voyna v Arktike (1939-1945 gg.) [partly in English, the English title would be War in the Arctic]. Arkhangelsk: Pomorsky nauchny fond.
  • Van Dyke, Carl (1997): The Soviet Invasion of Finland 1939-40. London: Frank Cass Publishers.
  • Voss, Johann (2002): Black Edelweiss. Bedford: The Aberjona Press.
  • Axensten, Peder & Weissglas, Gösta, Ed. (2000): Nuclear Risks, Environmental, and Development Co-operation in the North of Europe. Proceedings from the Conference in Apatity 1999. Umeå: CERUM.
  • Goldin, Vladislav Ivanovitsj & Nielsen, Jens Petter (1996): Frykt og forventning. Russland og Norge i det 20. Århundre. Arkhangelsk: Pomoruniversitetets forlag.
  • Polarområdet i brændpunktet. Fra den nordiske ´”Folk og forsvar” konferensen 1978 (1979). København: Forsvarets Oplysnings- og Velfærdstjeneste.