I have been a history buff since I was a kid. Having immigrated here from Norway with my parents in 1964 I am also into Norwegian history. I’m very proud of my countries history, as violent as it was for many centuries. I am also proud of American history and wanted to know more about why my parents immigrated here with my brother and I. Our sister was born here so is first generation American. I read so many stories of American history/heroism and it brings tears to my eyes to read or watch documentaries of them. Even pushing 50 if I had to, I would fight for this country even if it meant my death. I don’t know what an overweight near 50 bad back bad knees and bad elbows guy could do but I’d do what I could. I love the USA, ask my wife I bleed Red White & Blue.
But, I didn’t know enough about the country I was born in so I read what I could while in school and in the library. The Internet sure would have come in handy back then!
WWII was devastating for so many countries but it never touched American shores after Pearl harbor. American’s didn’t have to deal with any Japanese or Nazis up close, thank God. The Nazis invaded Norway on April 8th, 1940, the operation was called “Operation Weserubung” using Blitzkrieg tactics. The Viking’s used complete surprise when they attacked, so did the Nazis, lack of preparedness for a large scale invasion gave the Nazis room for success.
A parachute battalion (a first for warfare) was used to take out the Oslo and Stavanger airfields. 800 aircraft overwhelmed them and resistance was overcome quickly. Neutrality means one thing, weakness, the enemy could care less, if they want a fight and you don’t, they’ll bring it to you and make you sorry for not being prepared, a lesson lost on too many today.
Nazis troops brazenly marched into Oslo behind a brass band, imagine what that must have been like to see. Makes me sick to even think about. Thankfully there was enough resistance to allow the royal family to escape. After the initial shock of the surprise attack they were also able to slow the Nazis advance but superior numbers caused them to retreat.
June 10th the Norwegian 6th division surrendered after the British moved their troops to the French front, without allied support any further defense against the Nazis invasion was impossible. For the rest of the war the Nazis kept 300,000 troops in Norway to keep Swedish iron ore safe and to use its resources.
Norway had traitors who helped the Nazis, the most famous of which was Vidkun Quisling who seized power in a Nazi backed coup and the collaborationist Government proceeded to participate in Germany’s “Final Solution”. Disgusting.
After the war there was a purge of these people, Quisling was executed by firing squad 10/24/45, which in my mind, that was too good for him. Many fought the Nazis, one of the most famous resistance fighters was “Max Manus” who with other members of what became the “Oslogjengen” which translates to the Oslo Gang, drove the Nazis crazy with acts of sabotage preventing munitions, planes and troops from leaving Norway for the front.
They also saved the lives of thousands of Norwegian sons from serving in the Nazis “National Labour Duty” which was actually a Nazi scheme to send between 75,000 to 300,000 Norwegian men/boys to the German/Russian front. Factory workers would sabotage the munitions they made, tanks and everything else they could so failures of equipment and munitions was high coming from Norway. I’m sure it pissed the Nazis off but good when V2’s failed. What did the Nazis think, people would happily make them? Unfortunately many died when they were caught but they did what they thought was the right thing to do to keep the Nazis from winning the war.
After the war Norway had to rebuild its economy and this took time, when my brother was born my parents decided to move to the US. My mother had lived in the US during the 1950’s and went to school here and wanted to return permanently. A month after I was born we moved here, my father forced himself to learn English and both became productive American’s and taught us to be American’s and to love our adopted country.
What makes the United States great is people from every country on Earth has come here and with them the rich history of their heritage as well. No other country has it and when ever there is a fight people are shocked at how hard and consistent the US armed forces will fight. In WWI the Marines were called Devil Dog’s for their fierceness but along with that fierceness is the willingness to help other countries through tough times, help them fight for their freedom and help them rebuild after a tragedy.
Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend! God Bless The USA.