Seaport in Nordland county on Ofot Fjord, north Norway; population (2007 est) 14,100. To secure the supply of iron ore mined in the region, Germany seized Narvik in April 1940. On 13 April 1940 a British flotilla forced its way into Narvik Fjord and sank four German destroyers. British, French, Polish, and Norwegian forces recaptured the port on 28 May but had to abandon it on 10 June to cope with the worsening Allied situation elsewhere in Europe. Narvik was destroyed during World War II but was rebuilt.
The town owes its rise to the construction of the Ofoten railway, completed in 1903, and its prosperity was based on the export of iron ore from the mines in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland, as its port is ice-free all year round. However, the decline in the export of iron ore has prompted the development of other industries such as mechanical and electronic engineering, printing, waste treatment, consultancy, research, and tourism (with a skiing area at nearby Fagernesfjell).