Today it is syttende Mai, And what would suit better than a mountain history from the World war II, and as if by mere coincidence it starts in Trondheim.
Secrets in the Mountains…
This week I will write abut secrets in the mountains. During the world war II there were some actions in the mountain area. First, we should get acquainted with the Sorko Battalion. It stood clear for the Germans that it must be by the land way to control the northern part of Norway. This since the royal navy got control over the North Sea. The choice of the mission fell on the Austrian 2. nd Mountain division. In the night of the 4th of May in 1940 one of the Austrian battalions started its succor of the German troops in Narvik. The Germans had met great resistance from the allies in the area and needed support. The German General Dietl was in a precarious situation at the time. The plan was to move troops trough a trail close to the Swedish border and North worth towards Narvik. About 2531 soldiers should be involved in what would be called the operation Böffel. A group of twenty soldiers from the Sorko Battalion would be the reconnaissance unit of the operation. The supply for the group must be handled from the air by the Luftwaffe whom need to drop supply from air. The group started from Trondheim area at the 2nd of June at 02.00 in the night. the first day’s planned march was about 20 kilometers, but what kilometers it was! After 20 hours they were still struggling over log and stone. The first part of the Operation the weather condition was in real bad, and the Luftwaffe couldn’t drop the supply to the group. But as can be reading from the diary at the time -We were between Hellemobotn and Skjomen when a stork came flying with the message that Norway has surrounded and that the allies has left.
(Since Norway has surrended, the unit could use all possbile solution to get to Narvik)
Now the group could increase their speed, and after 900km the 13 of June, 13 days later Lieutenant Fritz Gessel could shake had with General Dietl in Narvik. The operation did not make any imprint for the result of the battle in Narvik, but it has a great signaling impact of that the German got a connection between Fauske and Narvik. The Austrian 2. nd Bergsjaeger regiment was a very skilled unit. Very well known with warfare as well as mountain warfare, and still it took over 20 hours for the first 20km of the march. So, this tells us two things; we got challenging terrain in the Nordic mountains, and I think our military mountain units stands well comparing to other countries comparable units. The military historian Lars Gyllenhaal has a very good view of the Nordic Scandinavian during world war II, and he tells us that the Operation Böffel was not a success, but at least it gave the soldiers good skills and training of the terrain in the area. Lars also told me that he got a plan to hike the march the way that the unit done. (I might enjoy him) He thinks he still can find rests from the march.
He also will release a new book I June; Trail to 200 Swedish monuments during WWII. Here he describe how you can hike to memories from the WWII. And here you can hear him talk about bargains from the war….
And if have got enough of the historical wingspan you might like this movie as well. A German and British air crew think they have destroyed each other but both survival, but have to cooperate to outlive the wilderness together.
Another good suggestion for the outdoor libary will be this book:
And a bonus quiz this week, how many bloggs has been made so far? A: 298 B: 398 C: 498 Guess and send the answer to +46-702509028.
See ya soon…