Commandoes taking part in street fighting during the raid in Måløy. Photo: EG Malindine/Imperial War Museum
In December 1941, Norwegian resistance commandos took part in a raid on the small port of Måløy. Now a group of enthusiasts has opened an interactive museum at the site.
Norway's Crown Prince Haakon officially opened the centre
on Thursday, cutting the ribbon with a bayonet.
“It is important that history is kept living in this way when those who experienced it can no longer witness to it,” he said, according to a press release
from Norway's Royal Court.
Captain Martin Linge, the commander of the Norwegian Armed Forces in Exile, led 33 Norwegians on the raid, who were accompanied by a British commando force of nearly 600 men.
The raid, code-named Operation Archery, destroyed four factories which the Germans used to produce fish oil used in the manufacture of high explosives. It also sunk eight ships.
The commandoes ran into stronger than expected resistance in the town of Måløy, as a battle-hardened unit of German mountain rangers was there on leave.
Twenty one British and Norwegian troops were killed in the raid, including Linge. There were also 57 men injured. The commandos estimated that 120 German troops were killed.
Terje Sølvberg, who runs a local tourism agency has over the last 15 years collected extensive photographic, film, and audio footage of the raid, which is displayed at the “war history experiential centre”.
Historian Frode Lindberget believes the operation does deserve a stand-alone war museum.
“It was important for [encouraging] further military action in the resistance struggle,” he told NRK in 2013. “It led to Nazi Germany changing strategy. Fleet battleships and cruisers were sent to Norway, and coastal forces were strengthened.
“In addition, the operation affected Germany's rule over Norway. It is controversial exactly how significant an impact the Måløy Raid had, but we have among other things a statement from Hitler, which indicates that it was important.”