Murmansk was an artificially constructed location of strategic military importance to the Russian Empire. It was the last city founded by Russia, and was a means to connect allied military supplies to the Murman Coast during World War I.
World War I: 1915-1918
During World War I the allied forces required an ice-free port on the Murman Coast to deliver supplies. To cater to this need, a military terminus, Murmansk Station was constructed which came to boast a port, naval base and adjacent settlement. As the base grew in importance, the population grew with it and soon surpassed nearby Kola and Alexandrovsk, leading to a petition to grant urban status to the settlement which became known as Romanov-on-Murman. After the February Revolution of 1917, the town was given its present name and the British North Russia Squadron was established in the settlement.
Russian Civil War and World War II: 1918-1944
During the Russian Civil War between 1918 to 1920, the town was occupied by the Western powers and the White Army forces. World War II saw the town become a link to the Western world for the Soviet Union where large amounts of goods and military equipment were exchanged and then brought to the city via arctic convoys. German forces launched an assault on the city in 1941 which caused significant damage, however a combination of resilience from the Soviet forces and adverse weather conditions stopped the Germans from conquering the territory. The resistance was commemorated at the 49th anniversary of the victory and became a 'Hero City' on 6th May 1985.
In the Cold War, the city once again saw plenty of action and became the center of Soviet submarine and icebreaker activity, even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the nearby naval base Severomorsk remains the headquarters of the Russian Northern Fleet.