of the Norwegian ships and aircraft were lost during the
2 months of fighting in Norway. Only two destroyers, "Draug"
and "Sleipner", an old submarine, three observation
vessels, two torpedo-boats, seven guard-ships and four
German built Heinkel 115 seaplanes managed to get away.
battle of Britain was at its height, and it was difficult
to get newer and more modern ships. New personnel had
also to be trained. The first school that was started
was the Norwegian navy radio-school in London
1942, several courses and training sessions started recruiting
both civilians and officers for artillery duty. By 1945
this force counted 550 persons. Around 42-43, the Norwegian
naval fleet had grown to 58 vessels, most of these used
as ships escorting the convoys. Norway also received three
personnel that served in the Norwegian navy were stationed
over a wide spread area. From the Barents sea up North,
to the Panama canal in the West, and to Cape Town down
South Africa. They even operated as far as the Red Sea,
The Persian Gulf and Bombay. From a modest 600 persons
in 1940, the navy grew to 7400 in 1945. Hundreds of
these were women. Of the 118 warships carrying Norwegian
colours, 20 were lost in battle.
naval crew and officers were often exposed to horrendous
conditions during patrol of the English channel, serving
under constant attacks from German Torpedo boats ( E-boats),
and under gruelling conditions escorting convoys in
the north Ice-Sea. Several persons who escaped to England
during the Lofoten Raid, later joined Norwegian or English
Norway's biggest contribution
during the war against nazi-Germany was at sea where Norway's
vast merchant fleet was at the allied forces disposal.
Over the whole world, the Norwegian flag waved in the
wind behind grey painted and well maintained ships. 30
Norwegian skilled sailors participated in every war zone
all over the world.
From convoys to D-day in Europe, Norwegian ships
and crew participated. Even in the dramatic evacuation
of Dunkerque in 1940, Norwegian ships and crew were in
the front line. 30 Norwegian ships were central during
the invasion of North Africa. However it was during the
battle of the Atlantic the Norwegian merchant fleet made
an outstanding effort.
Norwegian Tankers were of extreme importance to the
British. Without these ships, it would have been harder
for the allied forces to keep up the intense buid up
which eventually led to the foundation of what was to
become the invasion of Normandy.
sailors were exposed to extremely difficult and hazardous
conditions in particular during the Battle of the Atlantic.
Raging at its worst, the sailors were under constant
attack by German submarines and allied escorts were
often under spread too thin.
Norwegian sailors lost their lives, and over 500 ships
costal domestic-fleet 1940-45.
the war, Norway was absolutely dependent on its domestic
fleet. This fleet consisted only of 15 % of Norway's tonnage,
but it suffered severe losses during the war. The sailors
were torn between the occupation forces and the civilian
ships like the coastal liner and smaller local boats from
time to time were forced to carry German soldiers. This
led to the false impression that domestic ships were used
as a tool of the
Wehrmacht. The fact that these ships were essential to
the local population, was a secondary consideration for