Need Help on ICELAND during world war II

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Robert Zeller
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Need Help on ICELAND during world war II

Post by Robert Zeller » 23 Jun 2002 09:39

Could someone explain to me Icelands role in World War II. Like what form of government they had, if they were allied with anyone, what major events took place there, ect.?

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 23 Jun 2002 20:27

The British occupied Iceland in May 1940, as the Germans advanced into France. Iceland a sovereign state under the King of Denmark, declared independence from Denmark following Denmark's invasion by Germany. Despite Icelands stated neutrality the British occupied Iceland with the 49th Infantry Division to prevent it falling into German hands.

The island was taken under the protection of the then neutral USA in July 1941, with British troops leaving.

:D Andy from the Shire

Rasputin17
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Re: Iceland

Post by Rasputin17 » 24 Jun 2002 14:59

Hi Cheshire

49th Infantry Division ?
Are you sure. I seem to remember that Canadian troops and British Royal Marines were also involved. Can you verify that ?

Regards

Martin
Martin

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MadJim
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Post by MadJim » 25 Jun 2002 09:25

Cheshire Yeomanry wrote:The British occupied Iceland in May 1940, as the Germans advanced into France. Iceland a sovereign state under the King of Denmark, declared independence from Denmark following Denmark's invasion by Germany. Despite Icelands stated neutrality the British occupied Iceland with the 49th Infantry Division to prevent it falling into German hands.
The island was taken under the protection of the then neutral USA in July 1941, with British troops leaving.

:D Andy from the Shire



The bold print is mine. The Icelandic people didnt want to be occupied by the British or anyone else - but they were invaded to "save" them from the distant Germans.

Iceland's staus was a concern to the "neutral" US and at war Britain. The Us wanted it occupied so badly that one crafty politicioan suggested that Iceland be moved into the "Monroe Doctrine Area" so it could be occupied.

Royal marines arrived first, and were replaced by the 49th Division. Force Z arrived later which consisted of troops from Canada,

The 49th Infantry Divison was in Iceland at first but they were replaced by the first Provisional Marine Brigade. The Marines even adopted the 49th divisional insignia as their own.

The USMC was replaced by elements of the US 5th Infantry Divison.
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Rasputin17
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Re: Iceland

Post by Rasputin17 » 25 Jun 2002 11:05

Thanks for the answer !

Regards

Martin
Martin

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Madsen
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Iceland

Post by Madsen » 25 Jun 2002 21:58

Hi im a Norwegian guy. I know that the people there where so hatful about
the UK's and USA troopers that there was several fights between soldiers and locals. Only the Norwegian sq (330sq) seemed to fit in. they were more like the iclandic people and perhaps most important. Norway was also occupied. they may see a fellowship=)

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 25 Jun 2002 22:05

Welcome to the forum.

/Marcus

arwel
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Post by arwel » 04 Jan 2003 04:13

I've just joined the forum, so I'm finding some old threads to add to! :)

To answer the question about Iceland's form of government, Iceland became an independent kingdom in 1919, sharing the same king as Denmark, with a provision that its constitutional status would be reviewed after 25 years. Following the occupation of Denmark, Sveinn Bjornsson, who had been ambassador to Denmark between 1918 and 1940 was appointed Regent of Iceland in the kings' place. In 1944 the 25 year review came up, and the country became a republic on 17th June (the birthday of Jon Sigurthson, a 19th century Icelandic leader), with Bjornsson as the first president -- a position he held until his death in 1952.

JohnW
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Post by JohnW » 04 Jan 2003 18:32

All

One other reason for the occupation of Iceland was it's strategic position. It sits in the middle of the so-called GIUK Gap ( Greenland-Iceland-UK ). It is basically the gateway from the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is the whole reason why the US continues to have a base there.

To expand on the Icelanders feelings of "occupation". I was stationed in Iceland in the early 90's and the older people did feel like we were occupying their country. They are a very independant feeling people. Just my two cents

John

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Madsen
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Post by Madsen » 12 Jan 2003 23:42

Hi JohnW.
Iceland is a new nations and has always had "visitors" on their land.
It's true that it's a strategic important island. perhaps even more this days when nature resorses become more valuble than ever.
I spooke to an old veteran who was stationed there under the war. he said the people was tired of all the strangers and wanted to be alone.
that was in the 40's and some still feel that today i guess.

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Post by Peter » 15 Jan 2003 13:36

I took an interest in British & Commonwealth units based on Iceland after searching for and finding the grave of 15 year old British Boy Seaman Tom Dixon from Sunderland in Fossvogur Cemetery at Reykjavik. His ship the “Empire Wave” was torpedoed and sunk 2 Oct 1941 by U562 and he died approx 18 Oct 41 after spending time in an open boat. There are several merchant seamen from this ship and from the British tanker “Shirvan” sunk by U300 on 10 Nov 1944.

The graves of many men from British & Commonwealth units are found on Iceland and indicate the service of :

RAF Squadrons and service dates
No.53 (Sep 44-Jun 45)
No.86 (Mar 44-Jul 44)
No.120 (Apl 43-Mar 44)
No.204 (Apl 41-Jul 41)
No.209 (Aug 41-Oct 41)
No.221 (Sep 41-Dec 41)
No.251 (Aug 44-Oct 45)
No.269 (Apl 41-Jan 44)
No.330 (Norwegian) (Jul 41-Jan 43)
No.612 (Dec 41-Aug 42)

And

4 Bn Lincolnshire Regt (known in Jul 40, May 42)
Hallamshire Bn, Yorks & Lancs Regt (known in Jan 42, Jul 42)
1st/4th Bn Kings Own Yorks Light Infantry (known in Jul 40, Jan 42)
10 Bn, Durham Light Infantry (known in Sep 40, Sep 41)
11 Bn, Durham Light Infantry (known in Jan 41)
1st Tyneside Scottish, Black Watch (known in Feb 41, May 41)
49th Divisional Signals (known in Apl 41)
711 General Construction Coy, RE (known in Feb 42)
1/6 Bn Duke of Wellingtons (known in Oct 40, Apl 42)
1/5 Bn West Yorks Regt (known in May 40, Jun 40)
1007 Docks Operating Coy, RE (known in Mar 42)
Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (known in Dec 40, Mar 41)
86 Coy Pioneer Corps (known in Jan 41)
140 Coy Pioneer Corps (known in Apl 41)
30 Field Bakery, RASC (known in Mar 42)
Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (in Oct 40)
143 Field Regt, RA (in May 41, Apl 42))
Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal (in Oct 40)
1/9 Bn Manchester Regt (in Aug 41)
249 Battery, 12 HAA Regt, RA (in Jul 42)
29 Field Coy, RE (in Jul 41)

Hope this helps anybody with an interest in the units.

Pete

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Kokampf
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Re: Iceland

Post by Kokampf » 15 Jan 2003 16:52

LILLEBROR wrote:Hi im a Norwegian guy. I know that the people there where so hatful about
the UK's and USA troopers that there was several fights between soldiers and locals. Only the Norwegian sq (330sq) seemed to fit in. they were more like the iclandic people and perhaps most important. Norway was also occupied. they may see a fellowship=)


Was there any Icelandic partisan activity during or following the allied invasion? Did anyone try to leave the country in order to volunteer for the Axis forces?

Peter
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Post by Peter » 15 Jan 2003 17:55

That is a shot out of the blue, never even thought of that angle before, never heard or read of any, its not as if it was an Army of occupation.

I think the nastiest things ever got was a few punch-ups outside beer bars.

Pete

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Madsen
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Post by Madsen » 15 Jan 2003 18:02

Kokampf wrote:
Was there any Icelandic partisan activity during or following the allied invasion? Did anyone try to leave the country in order to volunteer for the Axis forces?

not as i know about. They were too few i guess to bee able to hide properly. But some lone "partisan" could always have been there. Like sugar in fuel tanks sand in oil etc.

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Re: Iceland

Post by Iceman1 » 29 May 2011 02:02

Rasputin17 wrote:Hi Cheshire

49th Infantry Division ?
Are you sure. I seem to remember that Canadian troops and British Royal Marines were also involved. Can you verify that ?

Regards

Martin
This was the 49th West Riding division.

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