Arne Dagfin Dahl
|Arne Dagfin Dahl|
24 May 1894|
|Died||26 October 1990
|Place of burial||Vestre gravlund, Oslo|
|Years of service||1912–1956|
|Rank||Generalmajor (Major General)|
|Unit||14th Infantry Regiment (1915-1916)|
St. Olav's Medal With Oak Branch
|Spouse(s)||Astri Thinn Christophersen (m. 1921)|
|Relations||Ragnvald Dahl (father)
Anna Othilie Stablum (mother)
Ørnulf Dahl (brother)
Arne Dagfin Dahl, CBE (24 May 1894 – 26 October 1990) was a Norwegian military officer most renowned as the commander of the Alta Battalion during the fighting at Narvik in Northern Norway in 1940.
Early and personal life
Born in Kristiania on 24 May 1894, Arne Dagfin Dahl was the son of postmaster Ragnvald Dahl and Anna Othilie Stablum. He was brother of fellow army officer Ørnulf Dahl. He took his examen artium in 1912, graduated from business school in 1919 and entered law studies at the Royal Frederick University in 1921. In 1924, he dropped out of university, to become director of the Norwegian Automobile Federation. Dahl had gained an international pilot licence in 1918.
On 17 September 1921, Dahl married Kristiania-born Astri Thinn Christophersen (b. 12 July 1901). By 1930, the couple had three daughters.
In the years 1920-1924, Dahl worked as a physical education teacher at the school St. Hanshaugens gymnasium. From 1920 to 1924 he worked as a secretary at the Oslo Forsvarsforening, and from 1923 to 1929 he edited the automotive magazine Norsk Motorblad.
First World War
Dahl graduated from the Norwegian Military Academy in 1915, with the rank of first lieutenant. During the First World War, Dahl first saw service in the Norwegian Army's neutrality guard in 1915-1916, with the 14th Infantry Regiment. He then served as the Norwegian military attaché to the United Kingdom (1916-1919) and Belgium (1917-1919).
In connection with this assignment to Belgium Dahl spent time at the front lines as an observer. According to a report on the Alta Battalion by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, Dahl saw action during his time at the front, fighting in a British unit at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
Second World War
Dahl assumed command of the Alta Battalion in 1939 and led it through the 1940 Norwegian Campaign. He has since been considered perhaps the best Norwegian battalion commander during the fighting at Narvik.
Dahl was given charge of the Norwegian forces that were transferred to assist in the Liberation of Finnmark from November 1944. Once there, he assumed control of the front from the Soviets, commanding the Free Norwegian Forces that had followed him from Britain, locally raised militias, and recently arrived police troops from Sweden. At the time of the German capitulation in Norway on 8 May 1945 Dahl had under his Finnmark command around 3,000 soldiers. Although involved in very little fighting, the force under Dahl's command was heavily involved in helping the civilian population of Finnmark and served as a symbol of Norwegian sovereignty in the area. Dahl on his part was concerned that the Russian forces which had been stationed in Eastern Finnmark since the October 1944 Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation might not leave after war's end. These concerns turned out not to come true as all the Soviet forces left Norwegian territory by 25 September 1945.
Honours and awards
- Gjems-Onstad 1996: 201
- Arne Solli (October 31, 1990). "Obituary Arne Dagfin Dahl". Aftenposten, morning edition (Oslo, Norway: Aftenposten). p. 13.
- Eriksen, Knut Einar (1995). "Dahl, Arne Dagfin". In Dahl, Hans Fredrik. Norsk krigsleksikon 1940-45 (in Norwegian). Oslo: Cappelen. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- "Tidsperiode Dahl". Tysklandsbrigaden - Veteranforeining for Voss og Omland (in Norwegian). Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- Holtsmark, Svein G. "Arne D Dahl". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- Steenstrup, Bjørn, ed. (1968). "Dahl, Ørnulf". Hvem er Hvem? (in Norwegian) (10 ed.). Oslo: Aschehoug.
- Barth, Bjarne Keyser (1930). "Dahl, A. D.". Norges militære embedsmenn 1929 (in Norwegian). Oslo: A. M. Hanche. p. 103.
- Mjøen 1990: 51
- "Alta bataljon: 2 Alta bataljons deltagelse i felttoget på Narvikfronten 1940". Ministry of Health and Care Services (Norway) (in Norwegian). 1998. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- Borgersrud, Lars (1995). "Alta Bataljon". In Dahl, Hans Fredrik. Norsk krigsleksikon 1940–45 (in Norwegian). Oslo: Cappelen. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- Karle Henrik Eriksen (26 June 2006). "Kampen om Narvik: Landgangen". Kristiansten Fortress home page (in Norwegian). Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- Eriksen, Knut Einar (1995). "frigjøringen av Finnmark". In Dahl, Hans Fredrik. Norsk krigsleksikon 1940–45 (in Norwegian). Oslo: Cappelen. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- "Meny Brigadebok". Tysklandsbrigaden - Veteranforeining for Voss og Omland (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 17 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- Gjems-Onstad, Erik (1996). Krigskorset og St. Olavsmedaljen med ekegren (in Norwegian). Grøndahl Dreyer. ISBN 82-504-2190-6.
- Mjøen, Jarle (1990). Minneskrift over Alta bataljons innsats ved krigsutbruddet 1940: 9. april 1940 - 9. april 1990 (in Norwegian). Alta Battalion.