Norway and Britain during WWII

WolfSpirit0909

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During the second World War, would it make sense for a British soldier to of met a female Norwegian resistance fighter and become acquainted together, having a family of their own. I figured that Britain was a top ally with Norway when Germany occupied them.
 

Tirellan

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Depends on where they were based and what their role was. If they were special forces then I would believe it, or Royal Navy as they ran small boats into Norway to bring in arms and people and brought out resistance fighters.
 

Venusian Broon

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During the second World War, would it make sense for a British soldier to of met a female Norwegian resistance fighter and become acquainted together, having a family of their own. I figured that Britain was a top ally with Norway when Germany occupied them.
It was certainly possible - there was the 'Shetland bus': trawlers that made a link between occupied Norway and Britain throughout all the time of the war. Norwegians/SOE agents would travel back and forth using this clandestine operation.

See wikipedia or The Shetland Bus. Also should be plenty of other info about it on video sources etc.

Norway was important for the Nazi nuclear program as they used heavy water, and Norway had a plant that produced the stuff, so there was a lot of interest from British intelligence in trying to sabotage or destroy that operation, if you wanted to tie in other stuff.
 
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WolfSpirit0909

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Depends on where they were based and what their role was. If they were special forces then I would believe it, or Royal Navy as they ran small boats into Norway to bring in arms and people and brought out resistance fighters.
Most likely special forces or Royal Navy soldiers, something similar to the auxiliary units?
 

dannymcg

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Not really relevant to the original query
Norway was important for the Nazi nuclear program as they used heavy water, and Norway had a plant that produced the stuff, so there was a lot of interest from British intelligence in trying to sabotage or destroy that operation, if you wanted to tie in other stuff.
But I read somewhere, many years ago, that the Allied high command had recognised, quite early on, that the heavy water route to an atomic wespon wasn't really viable back then.

The Germans were also trying a different fission programme which would have yielded results.
Therefore, in a classic piece of bluff, one minor half-cocked raid was carried out on the alternative plant, but a good few raids were carried out on the Norwegian heavy water production.

This caused Germany to concentrate it's research on the 'heavy water red herring' and thus fail in it's race for the bomb.

I'm not sure of the truth behind this - it was so long ago I read it that it could have been fiction!
 

Venusian Broon

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Not really relevant to the original query

But I read somewhere, many years ago, that the Allied high command had recognised, quite early on, that the heavy water route to an atomic wespon wasn't really viable back then.

The Germans were also trying a different fission programme which would have yielded results.
Therefore, in a classic piece of bluff, one minor half-cocked raid was carried out on the alternative plant, but a good few raids were carried out on the Norwegian heavy water production.

This caused Germany to concentrate it's research on the 'heavy water red herring' and thus fail in it's race for the bomb.

I'm not sure of the truth behind this - it was so long ago I read it that it could have been fiction!
From memory (of reading a book, I'm not that old)....

There was a meeting between Heisenberg - who was, essentially, in charge of the German research program into nuclear energy/science and Neils Bohr, both big scientists of course, in about ~1941 I think, and the British managed to get word back from Bohr that they interpreted that he said that the Germans were well on their way toward building a nuclear weapon. (At this time the British had worked out that such a weapon was feasible...but lacked the resources to really make a start on it.)

In reality they were purely paranoid and had completely misinterpreted Bohr (I think he was asking if someone he knew, a nanny I believe, was okay!)

Anyway, both sides were trying to build a nuclear reactor, as this was the first step in producing fissile material, generate heat etc, and this new material produced the Allies knew could be used in a bomb. However, I don't think the Germans had quite figured out the fissile material bit and then bomb - I think they needed to get supplies of plutonium first to test its properties and then they would have probably made the breakthrough.

However both sides, at the time, knew there were two ways they could tackle the problem of making radioactive criticality - the first step - one using graphite in a stack or pile as a control mechanism, the other using heavy water. The US, with the help of Enrico Fermi and many others successfully built a stack, whereas the Germans definitely went with the heavy water option - which was fortunate as Heisenberg never made his water reactor go critical, I think. Both decisions of either party were taken well before any spies could make them change their minds.

Anyway, the allies didn't know this and probably presumed, from their Norwegian operatives that the Germans were ordering loads of heavy water, and that perhaps the Germans had indeed built a working heavy water reactor (As they did not try to build a heavy water reactor, they did not know if it was more difficult to do). Hence their various schemes to limit German access to the stuff, just incase.

BTW it's not clear that the Germans in their program really got anywhere close to realising that they could have made a nasty weapon. They thought they were well ahead of the allies, but when the British got Heisenberg and quite a lot of the other German nuclear scientists together in captivity and revealed to them Hirosoma and Nagasaki, apparently in private (y'know spying on them with microphones and stuff), the German scientists were shocked at how far behind they actually were.

So not really a bluff, but more that the allies were paranoid that the Germans were years ahead of them., Thankfully they were no where close!
 
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Tirellan

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Most likely special forces or Royal Navy soldiers, something similar to the auxiliary units?
Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve maybe, with a background in sailing fishing boats (don't call them soldiers that would be .....wrong!)
 

WolfSpirit0909

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Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve maybe, with a background in sailing fishing boats (don't call them soldiers that would be .....wrong!)
I should've said sailors, my mistake :D

And on the subject of nuclear bombs, was this the reason Germany occupied Norway? To try and keep up with British and US resources or was it part of their plan to invade Britain which was called Operation Sealion which they failed to do?
 

Venusian Broon

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I should've said sailors, my mistake :D

And on the subject of nuclear bombs, was this the reason Germany occupied Norway? To try and keep up with British and US resources or was it part of their plan to invade Britain which was called Operation Sealion which they failed to do?
Neither reason.

I believe it was mainly there to secure Germany's access to iron ore from Northern Sweden and to stop the Allies occupy Northern Europe and threaten Germany from there.

As for Sealion, there may have been some sort of activity to perhaps attempt an invasion...but I think it was just bluffing to make the British come to the table and agree a peace. It's clear that after the fall of France, Hitler was far more obsessed with his invasion of Russia and probably believed most of his navy/army/airforce's intelligence that an invasion of Britain would have very likely failed.
 
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