LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
SVOLVÆR - LOFOTEN

THE LOFOTEN RAID
 
THE SHACK, BELONGING TO M. LARSEN, AND 8 OTHER BUILDINGS IS BURNED BY THE GERMANS AFTER THE LOFOTEN RAID.
 
March 4th 1941, the allied forces underwent
operation Claymore, the raid on the Lofoten Islands.
9. APRIL
THE LOFOTEN RAID
GESTAPO
OCCUPATION
THE NAVY
MIL.ORG.
RUSSIAN PRISONERS OF WAR
GRINI
BURNING OF FINNMARK
THE MURMANSK FRONT
LIBERTY
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Svolvær

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After the Lofoten raid
4.mars 1941
Terboven
arrived in Svolvær by seaplane
6th march
.


THE LOFOTEN RAID

It was the first significant raid during 2.w.war. It saw the participation of 350 British and 52 Norwegian soldiers.

Among the Norwegian forces was the now famous captain Linge. Martin Linge and his men were the forerunners of what's later known as the famous "Linge company".

The allied forces occupied Henningsvær, Brettesnes, Stamsund and Svolvær for some 6 hours. Many ships were sunk. Land based fish and herring oil factories were blown up.

Even the worlds most modern fish factory-ship, the "Hamburg" were sunk at port. The Hamburg (about 9000 tons) still rest at the bottom of Svolvær harbour at 18 m deep.

Another tragedy was the sinking of the civilian coastal liner, the "Mira", which didn't stop after being fired upon by a warning shot from the British destroyer "Bedouin". 7 civilians lost their lives.

Later it has been clamed that a German officer threatened the officers on "Mira" to go on, but this is been denied by the still living helmsman. The reason that "Mira" didn't stop was that they did not understand what was going on. They thought that the warship was Germans on manoeuvre.

Hitler wasn't exactly thrilled with the friendly reception the British soldiers got. And the fact that some 300 volunteered to return with the British forces to join them back in England. Nor did it amuse Hitler that 212 Germans were captured and brought to England.

A "Führer befehl", an order directly from Hitler's headquarter was issued to annihilate the city of Svolvær. Very aggressive SS soldiers were assigned to Svolvær, Kabelvåg, Stamsund and Henningsvær. They spread fear troughout the whole civilian population. In Svolvær, seven houses were burned to the ground before these acts of terror stopped. Houses in both Henningsvær and Stamsund was set on fire as well. And the first Norwegian prisoners of war who were put in the Norwegian concentration-camp "Grini" ( placed in Oslo) , came from Svolvær and Lofoten. About 100 all in all. They were nicknamed "The Svolvær hostages".

An extensive fortification of Svolvær started after the "Lofoten raid". Bunkers, fortresses and machinegun-nests were built, and construction lasted up to the German capitulation in 1945. Svolvær was in fact the most fortified city in Norway, with all it's bunkers and military structures within a 2 km area.

The attack on Lofoten, led to Gestapo establishing their main headquarter (SD) for the region (Lofoten & Vesterålen) in Svolvær. The "Wehrmacht" didn't feel safe at all after the Lofoten raid, resulting in more German soldiers being assigned to Norways northern areas. (about 100 000)

The "Lofoten raid" is considered the first total victory against Germany during 2.w.war. (even considering the fact that the Germans were driven out of Narvik earlier, but the Germans weren't defeated.) British press made a huge number of the "Lofoten raid", and it had an enormous boost on morale. On the other side, the "Lofoten raid" led to an enormous fortification of Svolvær.


COMPANYLINGE

THE FISH FACTORY-SHIP HAMBURG
WERE SUNK OUTSIDE SVOLVÆR 4 MARS 1941


LUFTWAFFE SOLDIERS ARRESTED
IN KABELVÅG.


The picture shows a tapestry made
in 1994 bypupils of the elementary school in Svolvær, showing the
British raid on Svolvær
 


COMMANDOSOLDIER


After the invasion of Lofoten, the SS burned down seven houses in Svolvær. Here are the remains of the home of Konrad Tobiassen. His son, Kåre Tobiassen returned to England with the British forces and joined the Norwegian air force in Canada, "Little Norway". Tobiassens other son "Tore", was captured by the SS and sent to "Grini".




 


COMANDOSOLDIER BADGE


After the "Lofoten raid" the Wehrmacht made
Svolvær and Lofoten into a giant fortress down left.

German torpedo boats, and to the right, a German military brass band. Not a lot of spectators, just a bunch of curious children. Both pictures from 1944.




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