Norwegian British WWII bombing victims still waiting for compensation / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian British WWII bombing victims still waiting for compensation. Survivors of a 1944 British wartime bombing in Norway have still not received their war pensions from the Norwegian state following what is counted as being the biggest single Second World War tragedy. On the morning of 04 October 1944, 93 RAF Handley Page Halifax and 47 Avro Lancaster bombers attacked the Nazis’ Kriegmarine ‘Bruno’ Nordrevågen submarine bunker at Laksevåg in Bergen municipality, western Norway. Almost 200 died The six metre-thick roofed bunker with walls of up to four metres in thickness contained seven submarine pens. Construction had started in May 1942.

laksevaagbombing, britishwwiibombingsnorway



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Norwegian British WWII bombing victims still waiting for compensation

Published on Friday, 14th December, 2012 at 12:41 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 14th December 2012 at 17:19.

Survivors of a 1944 British wartime bombing in Norway have still not received their war pensions from the Norwegian state following what is counted as being the biggest single Second World War tragedy.

View over Laksevåg at 12.30 Oct. 4, 1944
View over Laksevåg at 12.30 Oct. 4, 1944
Photo: Norwegian National Archives


On the morning of 04 October 1944, 93 RAF Handley Page Halifax and 47 Avro Lancaster bombers attacked the Nazis’ KriegmarineBruno’ Nordrevågen submarine bunker at Laksevåg in Bergen municipality, western Norway.

Almost 200 died

The six metre-thick roofed bunker with walls of up to four metres in thickness contained seven submarine pens. Construction had started in May 1942.

A second and third bombing raid was made on 29 October that year and 12 January 1945, respectively.

12 DH.98 de Havilland Mosquito combat aircraft escorted the initial October sortie with over 1,000 personnel. 152 planes participated in the raid total, two were shot down.

The first aircraft were spotted at 09:05 local time, when the Laksevåg and Bergen air raid sirens were sounded. They approached the target from the west before turning northwards over the city of Bergen.

Six Lancaster and 14 Halifax targeted individual submarines in the harbour, whilst the remaining 120 Halifax and Lancaster were to bomb the seven submarine pens.

Accounts say only seven bombs hit these pens, causing little structural damage apart from to the electrics, putting them out of commission.

Three submarines were badly damaged, as were the shipyards nearby, but did not sink. 1,432 bombs were released over Laksevåg in course of just one hour.

Tallboy bomb, used in the third attack
Tallboy bomb, used in the third attack
Norwegian National Archives
RAF crew had difficulty distinguishing ordinary buildings from actual targets because of the smoke combined with high speed, however.

Remaining bombs hit the rest of Bergen. 193 civilians were killed, including 61 children sheltering in Holen School.

No record

The still-living Norwegian Holen School survivors claim the state promised them their war pensions in 2008. They are still waiting.

One of them, Odd Paulsen, tells NRK that, “there was an explosion, and the whole class was killed. Such things never let you go.”

“I’ve had so many nightmares [since then] I've had to start working shifts. I arrived at work too late so many times because I couldn’t sleep,” Mr Paulsen adds.

He is not alone. The broadcaster reports most of the Holen School children who crawled from beneath the rubble have reported psychological problems that have subsequently ailed them all their life.

In 2008, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) received 78 compensation applications for re-processing. They refused 31. Just 15 were approved for wartime pension eligibility that year.

The then Minister of Labour Bjarne Håkon Hanssen (Labour Party - Ap) promised the applications turned down would be reconsidered.

NAV says it cannot answer what has happened to the remaining 32 applications, according to NRK.




Published on Friday, 14th December, 2012 at 12:41 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 14th December 2012 at 17:19.

This post has the following tags: laksevaagbombing, britishwwiibombingsnorway.





  
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