WWII veterans from the Norwegian Police Troops in Sweden still meet weekly for lunch at Akershus Fortress in Oslo. “Naturally, we are fewer now than just some years ago,” says one of them, Thor Hofsbro.
World War II began on September 1, just after the confusing covenant between two ideological archenemies, Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union.
The German attack in Norway) 9 April 1940 came as a result of a carefully scheduled and extremely bold plan where information about the very weak Norwegian defense was a part of the German’s considerations. Norway resisted, but surrendered June 10, 1940. The king and the government moved to England to continue the fighting from there.
During the occupation of Norway about 10,000 Norwegians fled to Sweden to escape from the occupiers. Sweden rendered invaluable aid to Norway during this terrible time and saved several lives.
Back home in Norway it became more and more risky to be a young man “not taking part
in the struggle against Bolshevism on the eastern front”. Nearly 50,000 registered refugees arrived in Sweden during the war. Around 15,000 men, recruited from these refugees, were trained at a number of secret camps in Sweden and became the Norwegian Police Troops.
The Norwegian Police Troops also included female soldiers, often referred to as lotter (Women’s Royal Army Corps).
The liberation of Finnmark
was a military operation, lasting from 23 October 1944 until 26 April 1945, in which Soviet and Norwegian forces wrestled away control of Finnmark, the northernmost county in Norway.
The Norwegian police forces who participated in the operation were very well equipped. In the most active period there were a total of 2,500 men.
In May 1945 the police troops – taking with them about one month of supplies – were transferred to Norway to help with keeping order and arresting collaborators following the German capitulation.
After the war, the army was broken down and had to be rebuilt. The Police Troops became one of the foundations on which the restored army was built.
* * * *
Norwegian Police Troops in Sweden During World War II, written by Tor Kjolberg