Norway: World War II Nazi Occupation and the resistance.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Collectors: Collectables, WWII Special Forces, British Nazis & Royal Fascists, Lebensborn: Fountain of Life, Sweden.
Why Allied special forces went after Hitler's Fish Oil factories
On the morning of December 27, 1941 the icy Arctic calm of the Norwegian islands of VÃ¥gsÃ¸y and MÃ¥lÃ¸y was shattered 8:48 AM as four Royal Navy destroyers and the light cruiser HMS Kenya opened fire on the German garrison stationed there. As RAF Hampden bombers swarm overhead to attack, 570 elite British soldiers and Norweigian resistance fighters descended on the islands in assault landing craft, sub-machineguns and demolition charges ready at hand. The raid at VÃ¥gsÃ¸y was planned with an unusual target in mind: fish oil factories.
WWII resistance fighter who thwarted Nazi nuclear plan dies
A Norwegian man who led a daring raid to sabotage Nazi Germany's nuclear weapon ambitions has died at the age of 99. The story of the World War II operation has been retold in books, TV series and a Hollywood film.
Norway apologizes to wartime German girls who were ostracized after World War II
Norway has apologized to women and their descendants ostracized after World War II for coupling or having children with occupying German soldiers. Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Norwegian reprisals were "shameful."
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What Can We Learn from the Allies' Disastrous Norway Campaign of 1940?
Campaigns that end in failure tend to be quickly forgotten. Yet there is often far more to be learned from such operations than from those that were successful. An example of this lies in the largely neglected British-led campaign in Norway during the Second World War. In the spring of 1940, the British, with French support, dispatched an expedition force to oust the Germans following Berlin's coup-de-main seizure of the country on April, 9. In just eight weeks of fighting, the Allies had committed a series of catastrophic blunders and suffered a string of defeats. Humiliated, the British and French promptly evacuated, leaving Norway to four years of Nazi tyranny. The ill-fated mission was overshadowed by another crisis: Hitler's invasion of France, Belgium and Holland in May 1940.
Mercury from WWII submarine wreck pollutes sediments off Norway
The German submarine U-864 was sunk in World War II off the Norwegian island of Fedje, loaded with 67 tons of metallic mercury. When the wreck was discovered in 2003, some of the mercury was found leaking from broken containers. Now, researchers show that this material has contaminated sediments surrounding the wreck. But surprisingly, the scientists think the marine food web may not be substantially affected by the pollution, based on their analysis of crabs sampled near the sub.
Gold Run: The Rescue of Norway's Gold Bullion from the Nazis, 1940
Robert historian Pearson has combed archives and interviewed survivors, to give us an account of the transfer of 50 tons of Norway's gold from the banks vaults of Oslo to British warships, and thence on to England, even as Hitler's hordes overran the country.
Atomic bombs, Nazis and Norwegian heroes
In his new book Winter Fortress, Neal Bascomb tells the story of how a ragtag group of Norwegian men helped prevent Nazi Germany from developing the deadliest weapon in the world, the nuclear bomb.
WWII pilot flies from Norway to the UK to reunite with the Spitfire he flew in 1945
A Second World War veteran has been reunited with the Spitfire he flew on his final mission 70 years ago. Lieutenant Rolf Kolling, now 91, returned to North Weald Airfield in Essex to catch another glimpse of the Mark IX Spitfire. He was joined by wingman and compatriot Eigel Stigset at the home of 332 Squadron, where celebrations were taking place this weekend to mark the 70th anniversary of the wartime links between North Weald and Norway. The pair are the two surviving veterans of the last combat mission flown by the RAF's Norwegian wing in the Second World War.
Heinkel He-115 recovered from fjord 70 years after it sank in 1942 (photos, video)
This is the moment a rare WWII German plane was raised from its saltwater grave virtually intact. The twin-engined Heinkel He-115 torpedo bomber was hoisted out of the water in a recovery operation in a fjord near Stavanger, Norway. Now there are hopes the plane will be restored to its former glory and may one day fly again despite it sinking 120ft down to the silty sea floor in 1942 after it was damaged during a botched water landing. The condition of the plane is considered to be remarkable, owing to it having lain in low-oxygen silt in a part of the fjord where currents are minimal.
New book: Sweden allowed Nazis to use their railways to occupy Norway and transfer Jews to death camps
A new book details how Stockholm aided the Nazis during WW2 as Norway fought and lost a decisive battle against the German invaders. Blodsporet - The Blood Track - by journalist Espen Eidum reveals how Sweden let the Germans use its rail network to transport men and materials to the battle of Narvik, where British troops were deployed in a bid to stave off the Nazi hordes. Hitler's representatives told the Swedes that Wehrmacht had a number of wounded soldiers at the front and needed to send in medical officers. Once the permission was given Germany sent 17 infantrymen with every medical officer.
Gunnar Sonsteby, one of the key members of the Norwegian WWII resistance movement, dies
Norway's most decorated citizen Gunnar Sønsteby has passed away in Oslo at the age of 94. He was one of the most prominent members of the Norwegian resistance movement during the Nazi occupation of Norway during the Second World War. Sønsteby led the famous "Oslogjengen" ("Oslo Gang") and was involved in several activities such as sabotage, intelligence, and courier activities. He played cat and mouse with the German occupation forces with 30 different identities during the war, the most popular ones being No. 24 and Kjakan (the chin).
The Wehrmacht invades Norway - One of the broadest-gauged combined-arms operations
April 1940 witnessed the Norwegian campaign - The first, arguably the most economical, and one of the broadest-gauged combined-arms operations in modern military history. The German invasion plan of Norway was daring in its conception, economical in its use of force, and almost successful in paralyzing an entire country in a matter of a few days. As a neutral state, Norway transshipped Swedish iron ore vital to the German war effort through the northern port of Narvik. But by the spring of 1940, British pressure on these shipments had reached a point where a preemptive strike by Germany seemed a reasonable strategic move.
Search begins for forgotten Norway WWII heroes who may deserve a medal for their actions
The government has given the go ahead for a project designed to find Norwegians involved in WWII who may deserve a medal for their actions. Three historians, who will go through archives and tour the country in order to discover local history, have been given the task. Medals like the War Cross are Norway's highest military honour and could be awarded for "outstanding execution of combat actions or similar". Norwegian resistance member Gunnar Fridtjof Thurmann Sønsteby DSO (Distinguished Service Order) is the only person ever to have been awarded the War Cross with three swords.
Photo album shows German soldiers having the time of their lives in Nazi-occupied Norway
Photos of German soldiers having a roaring time in Nazi-occupied Norway months before they murdered hundreds of local Jews have been discovered. The pictures show members of Wehrmacht enjoying picnics in a sunny meadow and sipping tea at a tranquil garden party. Other images depict four uniformed troops indulging in drinking games in a bar. Nazi leader, Reichskommissar Josef Terboven who ruled Norway during the occupation, is pictured in many of the photos. Terboven, despised by Norwegians, killed himself by detonating 110lbs dynamite in a bunker at the end of WW2. It is not known who compiled the album, entitled "With the Reichskommissar North Norway and Finland 10-27 July, 1942", but it would have been for Nazi propaganda.
Nazi spy - a blonde ballerina - enabled the Germans to turn certain defeat into victory in Norway
A beautiful blonde Nazi spy may have been behind one of the biggest Allied defeats, files released by MI5 suggest. Marina Lee, a blonde ballerina, allegedly stole battle plans which led to the fall of Norway to Nazi Germany in 1940. German General Eduard Dietl was about to pull out of Norway before she passed on the British plan. Lee is said to have infiltrated the HQ of the British Expeditionary Forces in Norway and learned about General Claude Auchinleck's plan. The Lee case emerged after German agent Gerth Van Wijk recounted the story he had heard from von Finckenstein, a German intelligence officer.
Norwegian Nazi-collaborators repeatedly asked Hitler for Russian land
Nazi-occupied Norway's puppet government repeatedly asked Berlin to establish Norwegian territories in the Soviet Union. The fascist National Unification party requested several different territories. The National Archive Service posted 281 documents showing the Norwegian "lebensraum" ambitions, out of 5,000 WWII documents published in connection with the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Norway. Not long after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the collaboration government under Vidkun Quisling set up a "Russian office" and an institute called "Austrveg" to promote the idea.
Norwegian WW2 movie Max Manus details the life of brilliant wartime saboteur (Article no longer available from the original source)
In recent years smaller nations have begun making their WW2 films - it was a world war, after all. The 2005 documentary film "The 11th Day" tells of civilian resistance against the Nazis on the Greek island of Crete. 2008's "Flame and Citron" took its title from the code-names of two Danish freedom fighters. Now "Max Manus" tells of one of Norway's best wartime saboteurs. With a budget of $8-million, it was both huge by Scandinavian standards and tiny on the Hollywood scale. Manus, who penned two books after the war, was granted Norway's War Cross medal two times.
Knut Haugland: Last Kon-Tiki sailor, WW2 resistance fighter who stopped Nazi nuclear program
Knut Magne Haugland, the last of 6 persons who crossed the Pacific Ocean on board Thor Heyerdahl's raft Kon-Tiki, has passed away at 92. During World War Two he worked for the Norwegian resistance movement, and with 9 others raided a heavy water plant that helped stop the Nazi nuclear program from getting heavy water to make nuclear weapons. For his wartime feats he was granted numerous awards, including Norways's highest decoration for military gallantry, the War Cross with sword; Britain's Distinguished Service Order and the Military Medal; the French Croix de guerre and Légion d'honneur; and the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.
Norway grants WWII hero Eiliv Austlid the War Cross with Sword
Norway awarded its highest military decoration for the first time in 60 years, honoring a soldier who was killed while helping the wartime government flee the country as Nazi troops invaded in 1940. Captain Eiliv Austlid was granted the recently reinstated War Cross with Sword, a military medal created in 1941 by King Haakon VII and suspended since 1949. Austlid fell to Nazi bullets as he led a small Norwegian unit in an attack on a German detachment in Dovre on April 15, 1940. The assault held up the Germans long enough to allow the Norwegian government to escape to England where they ruled in exile.
Invasion of Norway explored in Axis History Forum thread
This Axis History Forum thread explores the invasion of Norway (Operation Weserübung, 1940). The invasion included some 14,200 German soldiers in several naval landings and in one airborne landing at Stavanger. The thread has good links about Order of the Battle, Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe & Heer units involved, while articles look into the effectiveness of Norwegian resistance.
Norway: Nazi u-boat U-864, which contains 65 tons of mercury, to be raised (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Norwegian Government has decided that the wreck of the WWII German submarine U-864 which contains 65 tons of mercury, is to be raised, and that the seabed be overlaid with clean sand. The wreck, located off the Norwegian west coast, near Fedje, has long been viewed as an environmental hazard. However, experts have disagreed on whether or not the wreck should be raised or if it would be better to build a sarcophagus which would isolate the mercury from the marine environment. The head of the Marine Safety Directorate, Magne Roedland, decided the u-boat wreck should be raised.
Remains of Norwegian Elite Waffen SS SkijÃ¤ger battalion discovered (Article no longer available from the original source)
Remains of an elite SS Alpine unit of Norwegians vanquished in World War II have been found on the Karelia peninsula in Finland. The bones of 100 soldiers of the Norwegian SS Skijäger battalion (idea of SS volunteer Gust Jonassen) were id'd by their tags and one ring with inscription. The last stand of the battalion - on 25 June, 1944 - was one of the more vicious hand-to-hand fighting actions of the war. Troops fought with hand grenades, small arms and eventually bayonets against the vastly superior numbers of the Red Army - allowing their (German) comrades to get away. 50,000 Norwegians joined Waffen SS, mainly to the save the Europe from the Communism.
The Shetland Bus: History comes to life as boat that resisted the Nazis returns
It seems like just another boat, gliding into Scalloway harbour on Shetland. But those who have come down to the pier are excited. This is the first time that the MK Andholmen has been back to Shetland since World War II, and its crew have come back to tell a WWII story. They called it the Shetland Bus: a network of fishing boats that ran a secret operation between Scotland and Nazi-occupied Norway: keeping hope alive. Andholmen and 20 other boats saw service from 1940 onwards. Together with 3 sub-chasers, loaned later in the war by the US, they made 205 crossings, in spite of the risk of detection by Nazi planes and boats.
The wreck of a Royal Navy destroyer HMS Hunter found in fjord in Norway
The wreck of a Royal Navy destroyer has been discovered in a Norwegian fjord, 68 years after she sank during the Battle of Narvik. HMS Hunter has stayed untroubled since April 1940 when she sank, killing 110 people. It was detected 305m under water by Norwegian mine control vessel Hnoms Tyr on a training mission. The site will be marked as a war grave. Major General Garry Robison said discovering HMS Hunter had been a "poignant moment". HMS Hunter was one of 2 Allied destroyers lost during the first Battle of Narvik, the Germans lost 4 destroyers.
Lebensborn: The war children of a nazi eugenics scheme speak out
They were the blue-eyed blonds born into an ominous SS scheme to further the Aryan race. But the defeat of the Nazi Germany left Norway's 'Lebensborn' (the spring of life) facing the payback of an entire nation. Here, 5 war children speak about their ordeal: and their fight for compensation. The Lebensborn Society was born on 12 Dec. 1935, the brainchild of Heinrich Himmler. He had planned a project to promote an "Aryan future" for the Third Reich and turn around a falling birth rate. People were given motivators to have more children in the Fatherland, and also in occupied countries, like in Scandinavia, where the Nordic gene was regarded Aryan.
Norwegian Waffen-SS nazi in Costa del Sol: Got Gold Cross by Hitler (Article no longer available from the original source)
A Norwegian Nazi Fredrik Jensen who served in the Waffen-SS and was awarded the Gold Cross by Führer has been discovered living in Marbella on the Costa del Sol. He served in a number of Waffen SS units, including the SS Panzer-Grenadier der Fuhrer, SS-Panzer-Division -Das Reich, the Panzer-Grenadier Regiment 9 Germania and the Panzer-Division Wiking. He fought on the frontline, which earned him the rare accolade of being one of the few foreigners to receive the highest decoration granted by Adolf Hitler to Waffen SS troops: the Gold Medal. He joined the SS after the Norwegian Nazi party seized power under the puppet-regime of Vidkun Quisling in 1942.
Norway: Court to Consider Compensating Nazi Lebensborn Children
In 1935, Nazi SS-leader Heinrich Himmler launched the "Lebensborn" program to breed a blond-haired blue-eyed master race. After decades of discrimination, 150 surviving Lebensborn children, all with a German father and Norwegian mother, have come forward to ask for compensation from Norway, before the European Court of Human Rights. During the years of Nazi occupation in Norway, a half million German soldiers were urged to father children with "pure blood" Norwegian women - "descendants of the Vikings" - thus, helping create a master race. In Oslo's Nazi Resistance Museum, there's no mention of the Lebensborn children - "war children".
Norway's Aryan children go to court over years of prejudice
The victims of a Nazi scheme claim they were locked up in mental homes, denied education and faced decades of prejudice. Now a group of Norwegian "war children", born as part of a German plan to create a genetically pure race, are taking their case to the European court, demanding compensation and recognition of their suffering. Up to 12,000 children with a Norwegian mother and a German father were born in Norway during world war II under the Lebensborn (Fountain of Life) scheme, introduced by SS chief Heinrich Himmler in 1935 to propagate Aryan children. Outside Nazi Germany, Norway was the jewel of the programme.
On 9th. April 1940, Hitler invaded Norway
The main spur for the invasion of Norway was Hitler’s experiences as a corporal in WWI, when he had seen the British naval blockade strangling Germany. To avoid making the same mistake again, he needed access to the North sea, which meant control of Norway. Any attack there had to be by sea, so Adolf went to his chief sailor, Admiral Raeder: who replied that such an expedition was impossible. Norway was different from other campaigns: (1) Amphibious attacks are the most risky in all warfare. (4) Only limited number of panzers, backbone of Nazi campaigns, could be carried and they would be less effective in the terrain.
Lebensborn program still a source of pain - Norwegian view
Anne-Lise Fredriksen was walking one day when her husband told her to straighten up so her back wouldn't ache later. To his shock, she burst into tears. Her husband's remark had dredged up a far darker memory, from the time when she was a girl growing up in Norway. Because her father had been a Nazi soldier during the occupation of Norway in World War II, children threw rocks at her, adults chased her away from public gatherings. She is one of 9,000 to 12,000 Norwegian children part of the Nazis' Lebensborn program, begun by SS chief Heinrich Himmler to increase the supply of blond-haired, blue-eyed "Aryan" children.
Ove Pederson served in a special Army unit - Viking Battalion (Article no longer available from the original source)
During World War II, Ove Pederson served in a special battalion, the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) or Viking Battalion, made up mostly of Norwegian-Americans. After victory was secured in Europe, they entered Norway to move German soldiers and their Russian prisoners of war out of Norway. During the war he saw a lot of combat, in the hedgerows of France and during the Battle of the Bulge. Once a sniper ignored his Red Cross armband, which he held up in the air while helping a wounded G.I. The sniper shot right through the armband.
Unknown Documentary of German invasion found
Professor Jostein Saakvitne has found a previously unknown German documentary of the invasion of Norway by Germany during World War II. He stumbled across the film "Kampf um Norwegen" -- or "Struggle for Norway" -- at a German Internet auction. The 80-minute documentary of the invasion of Norway in 1940 was commissioned by the German Armed Forces High Command. "The film contains both known footage, but longer than we have previously seen, and a range of new scenes that have probably never been made public before."
Expedition to recreate heroic Arctic trek of Norwegian commando
A former Welch Guard will lead a team in a bid to recreate the epic journey of one of the WW2's bravest resistance heroes. Baalsrud was a Norwegian commando who survived against all the odds when his boat was blown up near the Norwegian port of Tromso in 1943. He escaped alone into the icy wilderness north of the Arctic Circle after German troops had killed all his compatriots. His struggle to survive led to an trek across northern Norway, Finland and Sweden during which he killed a German officer with a single shot, survived an avalanche, lived in a snow-hole for almost a fortnight and was forced to cut off his own toes to avoid gangrene after he contracted frostbite.
Nazi invasion of Norway - For 5 years no outside connection to the world
Henry Aadahl stood on a dock in a Norwegian shipping town as 1,500 soldiers from Nazi Germany unloaded from a troop transporter. Adolf Hitler had ordered the invasion of Norway and Denmark for the spring of 1940. The Nazi invasion cut off Norway from the rest of the world. In the first year of the German occupation, the Aadahl family was lucky to salvage some potatoes or salted herring. A neighbor had "turned Nazi" and reported Aadahl. On his 16th birthday the neighbor and a Gestapo officer arrived. Aadahl was not the only American citizen who had been rounded up 10 months after Third Reich declared war on the US. 85 men and 129 women were sent to a Nazi camp.
Mother of Mine delivers vivid child's view of WWII
Finland's evacuation of more than 70,000 children to Sweden, Denmark and Norway during World War II, the world's largest such undertaking, receives affecting treatment in "Mother of Mine," the official Finnish submission to the Academy Awards.
Story of a Norwegian Resistance group member during WWII (Article no longer available from the original source)
He was only 18 when he was taken from his parents’ home in Oslo, Norway by the Norwegian Nazi police. Arne Brun Lie was in the Special Forces for the Norwegian government and was part of a Resistance group working against the Nazis during World War II. He was captured and taken under Hitler’s Nacht und Nebel, the Night and Fog Decree. Lie spent weeks in a Nazi prison on death row. Above his cell, a red-lettered sign read, "very dangerous prisoner." Three of his friends were executed at the prison. Lie’s military papers were lost and the Gestapo could not execute him, instead they sent him to Dachau.
Kon-Tiki adventurer cooperated with Nazi scientist
Celebrated Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl, best known for his daring expedition to Polynesia on the Kon-Tiki raft, briefly cooperated with a Nazi scientist, according to a new biography. In February 1938, the acclaimed anthropologist traveled to Germany to visit Nazi racial scientist Hans Guenther and honor him with the skull of a native of the Marquesas Islands. -- "We (Guenther and Heyerdahl) both hold everything French in real contempt. One cannot find a people more fake, more impolite and more uncultured," Heyerdahl said.
For a Nazi Outpost of Vidkun Quisling - An Ethical Retrofit
Vidkun Quisling was the head of Norway's collaborationist government during the 1940-45 Nazi occupation, and the imposing Villa Grande was his home and headquarters. "This is a house that has a strong aura of power and an authoritarian style." In spring of 1945, Norwegian resistance fighters entered Oslo. They made their way to the wooded peninsula on the fjord and surrounded the villa. Quisling had planned to fight, but his supporters deserted him and he surrendered without a shot fired. Within months, he was tried by a Norwegian court, branded a traitor and executed.
Norway finally forgives women who slept with Nazi soldiers
Norwegian women who slept with German soldiers during the WW2 and have been denied a special pension ever since as punishment are finally to be forgiven. Known as "tysketöser", German whores, they have until now been excluded from the war pension paid to all who remained true to "good national principles" during the occupation. Now Norway's government has quietly reversed its policy of discrimination against the women and will start paying the money to the few dozen still left. "These women are no longer to be punished for the love stories of their youth that took place 60 years ago."
Lebensborn - Nazi past haunts "Aryan" children
Between 1935 and 1945, around 10,000 German and 9,000 Norwegian children with "Aryan" characteristics of blond hair and blue eyes were born into a Nazi-run programme called "Lebensborn" or "Fountain of Life". It was part of the Nazis' plan to create a "master race". 60 years later, many are still living with the psychological scars. Gisela Heidenreich was born out of an affair with an SS commander. Her mother also worked as a secretary for Lebensborn. Heinrich Himmler encouraged affairs between SS soldiers and Aryan women, to increase the stock of "racially valuable" Germans in response to falling birth rates.
Play through the German Invasion of Norway
In spite of British control of the seas, Germans launched a risky operation to invade Norway in 1940. By making handful of different landings all across Norway, Germans made the supply situation very hard for themselves, as the more northern, more faraway landings needed to be supplied via British controlled sea routes. Can you find the perfect balance between the complicated supply situation, and combine the landings zones into a effective campaign to seize Norway -- before the Allies make their own attempt by landing forces and making the bad situation worse?