Most of the fighting took place in the north of Norway. Many people lost their lives in towns like Narvik, well-known for its iron ore production. This was a product the Germans were in great need of. The Swedish border is only a few miles away, and the iron ore was sent by train across to neutral Sweden. Honningsvåg, which is one of Norway’s most northern towns, was burnt down, and had to be completely rebuilt after the war. On a cruise to the far north in 2003 we stopped at Honningsvåg, now a thriving community full of colourful houses. Only the church – a miracle really – was still standing after the great fire destroyed the town. The British and Norwegian forces fought hard and sank a few warships. But the Germans were too strong and on June 10th 1940 they capitulated and all of Norway was under German command.
King Håkon VII, Crown Prince Olav and the Norwegian Parliament fled to England. They ruled, unofficially, from London until the war ended.
Here is Quisling with his hero – Hitler
It was strange how life almost ‘became normal’ in spite of being occupied. My friends and I were very young, and accepted the situation, like children normally do. Our parents were there and we were well looked after. The Germans were not brutal in their approach towards the general population, and tried to make friends with us children. This would naturally benefit them in the long run. We were blond, blue-eyed and of the same Germanic race. But the story was quite different for those – who in German eyes – became traitors. As soon as the started the Norwegian resistance movement came into being and groups were formed, ready to fight the intruders.