American Marine discovers relative’s Norway World War II sorties / News / The Foreigner

American Marine discovers relative’s Norway World War II sorties. Marine Intelligence Officer Arthur Colby retraces his grandfather’s steps from Norwegian Resistance operations some 70 years ago. Arthur Colby, grandson of former CIA director William Colby, took part in Exercise Cold Response 2016 in Norway. During his stay he found old maps and photos of his grandfather’s missions in the Second World War. “I knew the history, obviously, of my grandfather being there, and then I saw that and I was like: “Oh my God; they recognize this. This is important to them as well”,” Arthur Colby, who was promoted to captain after leaving active duty in March, said in a recent interview

wwii, nazis, railways, army, resistance, troops, sabotage, paywall



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American Marine discovers relative’s Norway World War II sorties

Published on Friday, 25th November, 2016 at 19:00 under the news category, by Charlotte Bryan and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 25th November 2016 at 19:20.

Marine Intelligence Officer Arthur Colby retraces his grandfather’s steps from Norwegian Resistance operations some 70 years ago.

Nordlandsbanen engine
Many associate The Nordland Railway with Nazi Germany's ambitions for a quick construction of the railway all the way to Kirkenes near Russia. Nordlandsbanen to Fauske opened in 1958.Nordlandsbanen engine
Photo: Unknown/Norwegian Railway Museum


Arthur Colby, grandson of former CIA director William Colby, took part in Exercise Cold Response 2016 in Norway. During his stay he found old maps and photos of his grandfather’s missions in the Second World War.

“I knew the history, obviously, of my grandfather being there, and then I saw that and I was like: “Oh my God; they recognize this. This is important to them as well”,” Arthur Colby, who was promoted to captain after leaving active duty in March, said in a recent interview

In March 1945, Army Major William Colby (b.4th January 1920 in Saint Paul, Minnesota) arrived in Norway to lead the Norwegian Special Operations Group, known as NORSO. Their mission was to intersect traffic that dispersed German garrisons of 400,000 throughout the country.

It was named Operation Rype, (the Norwegian word for “grouse”), and carried out by carried out by Norwegian-American soldiers. Many were from Minnesota and the Dakotas – Minnesota being one of several areas containing 1900s’ immigrants from Norway.

His team would work with the Norwegian Resistance Army led by Lt. Herbert Helgeson of the Norwegian Resistance Army, which was active during the German occupation of Norway from 1940 to 1945.

One of his missions was to deter 150,000 German troops from reaching the Third Reich via the Nordland Railway (Nordlandsbanen). Another consisted of destroying a railroad bridge north of Tangen.

The Nordland Railway is 729 km in length. It is Norway’s longest mainline railway and is the Scandinavian country’s largest. It is also crosses the Arctic Circle, a famous destination today as an ideal place to see the Northern Lights.

“As soon as the team set off explosives that destroyed the bridge, they had to ski 30 miles to their base while being chased by Germans”, wrote William Colby in his memoirs.

“Overhead, German spotters were looking for us, and I promised the men we would lie low, keep out of sight, and sleep. But Helgeson was waiting for us. He was excited. “Nazis, fifty following you. We must leave”, [he said]".

Arthur Colby took the opportunity to see where his grandfather fought whilst in Norway recently.

He said that it was one thing to read about his grandfather’s experiences or look at maps where he operated, but seeing the actual terrain he and the team had to navigate was eye-opening. This was especially considering they were in Norway during an especially brutal winter, writes website militarytimes.com.

The US’ contribution to Cold Response 2016, held in Central Norway, consisted of mobile artillery, tanks and special operations units. A total of 15,000 troops from 14 countries joined the annual military exercise.

And the allegiance supported by Arthur’s grandfather is still going strong today.

 “It was incredible. It was also incredible of the Norwegians to recognize that and to make the effort and spend the time to go out there. It was an extraordinary moment in my life.”

The relationship between Norway and the US militaries remains strong. Last year, The American-Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX) took part in their 42nd annual military exercise.

Norwegian soldiers spend two weeks at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, whilst US Army Minnesota National guardsmen were sent to Norway. This maintains the bonds of friendship made during Operation Rype.

Moreover, a rotational force of 330-strong US Marines will be in Norway from January 2017 following approval by Norwegian parliamentarians.




Published on Friday, 25th November, 2016 at 19:00 under the news category, by Charlotte Bryan and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 25th November 2016 at 19:20.

This post has the following tags: wwii, nazis, railways, army, resistance, troops, sabotage, paywall.





  
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