University of Oulu

Birger, S., Suzie, T., Oula, S., Wouter, G., Guy De, M., Ville, H., & Gertjan, P. (2021). Operation Northern Light. In Conflict Landscapes. In: Saunders, N.J., & Cornish, P. (eds.). Conflict Landscapes: Materiality and Meaning in Contested Places. (pp. 202–220). Routledge.

Operation Northern Light : remote sensing a Second World War conflict landscape in northern Finland

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Author: Stichelbaut, Birger1; Thomas, Suzie2; Seitsonen, Oula2,3;
Organizations: 1Ghent University
2University of Helsinki
3University of Oulu
4Utrecht University
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Routledge, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-12-25


The temporal proximity of the Second World War in particular has allowed archaeologists to integrate ethnographic approaches to the study of memory and heritage-making. In 2010–2015, the Finnish National Board of Forestry mapped all heritage sites, including those of the Second World War, found within their forest regions, partly directed by LiDAR data. This chapter presents the results of an interdisciplinary investigation of a Second World War conflict landscape in northern Finland. During the Finnish–German Lapland War the German Army retreated towards Norway and made use of extensive defensive positions in northern Finland. During the Continuation War Finland and Nazi Germany co-operated in northern Finland in the war against the Soviet Union. Historical aerial photographs are a rich and textured source of Europe’s past.

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ISBN: 978-1-003-14955-2
ISBN Print: 978-0-367-71153-5
Pages: 202 - 220
DOI: 10.4324/9781003149552-14
Host publication: Conflict landscapes : materiality and meaning in contested places
Host publication editor: Saunders, Nicholas J.
Cornish, Paul
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
616 Other humanities
520 Other social sciences
Funding: The fieldwork of 2019 was funded by the University of Helsinki Future Fund.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. "This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Conflict Landscapes: Materiality and Meaning in Contested Place on 25 June 2021, available online: