British occupation of Faroes

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Gook, Dec 18, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Apparently when Hitler stormed into Denmark, Britain sent forces to occupy the Faroe Islands (an autonomous territory, however under the Danish kingdom).

    Does anyone have any information or links on this action? If it was done at the request of a Danish government-in-exile, if the Faroese wanted & supported it, or if it was just done "like it or lump it" to keep the Axis out? Anyone know if any combat took place, or was it symbolic, similar to the Axis occupying the Channel Islands for example?

    I'm guessing they would be handily placed as a staging post for the taking back of Norway, and could serve to give early warning for Greenland and Iceland and indeed the British coast of German air/naval actions if you were to base Catalinas on the islands. Much as the Galapagos Islands were used as an airbase to overlook the Panama Canal.

  2. Could it be part of the "Weather War" ? Weather War

    A number of books were written on the topic, but focussed on Greenland. Might be an angle there?

    see also Vagar
  3. Never thought of it from the HydroMetOc view, the object was to get more accurate met predictions for air and naval actions over the North Atlantic? Crazy that the Axis could land weather parties on Greenland (who were on-side with the Allies, no?) for years without being detected, what were their forces doing, and even if they were landed sneaky-beaky, surely they could DF the transmissions of met data back to der Fatherland... O well I digress.

    Interesting to note that the RE built the Faroes only airport even today, I imagine this was to make resupplying the garrison there easier and to free up shipping from the task, not for use as a striking base against German-held Norway. The wiki doesnt say much else except that it was unused for 20 years after the war and that British Headquarters were at Vatnsoyrar.

    Guess that even if we didnt have big plans for the islands (although it seems they'd be useful for basing aircraft for sea control in those waters and aerial recce over Scandinavia, maybe to be used as a staging post for cdo raids on Norway too), it was worth garrisoning them just to stop the Germans getting them, gaining those advantages and screwing with us...

  4. Located right in the Iceland-Jockland gap, certainly couldn't allow the Germans anywhere near, especially as they could have made Scapa Flow difficult to use.

    Must have been bloody cold..
  5. about time we sorted out the viking speaking inbred retards after what their ancestors did to us ;)
  6. Hey, some of them are okay! :wink:

    I'm surprised with their position right in the missle of the Greenland-Iceland-Scotland gap and prescence of a mil airfield and Brit forces from WW2, that we weren't more interested in them during the Cold War. Put a few Nimrods for maritime patrol and AWACs for early warning on them, certainly help stop Soviet submarines getting past the SOSUS sonar nets into the North Atlantic! Apparently they only have a police and coastguard - but Denmark was in NATO with us weren't they?

  7. Yep - AMF(L) was based there wasn't it?
  8. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Overlord only happened because of a single weather report from up there somewhere. The weather over the whole period of the moon and tides selected for Overlord was against the landings, but a single weather report came in suggesting a - erm 6 - 12 hours'(?) ridge of higher pressure which offered just enough time to get the assault troops on terra firma to secure the beachhead.

    As it turned out, the next anywhere near suitable phase of of the moon saw the worst ever storms in the Channel.

    The Germans, not being privy to this snippet, didn't expect us. (It helped that IIRC the planners had deliberately chosen an unusual Moon / tide status that again the Germans weren't expecting.) Weren't we lucky? Jawohl mein Führer!
  9. BK!

    BK! Old-Salt

    The Faroese (?) were very happy and got on well with the soldiers. They issued a set of stamps a couple of months ago to commemmorate the occupation.
  10. Danes had all sorts of stuff up there in the Cold War. A feckoff big radar called Polestar linked into the UKADGE system and probably loads of SOSUS secret-squirrel sonar kit
  11. Any links to do with the last 2 posts, ie: Cold War kit there (if its not too sneaky-beaky...) and the Brit occupation/local relations/the fact they appreciated it and still remember it (stamps) etc?

    As its pretty obscure, the most I found on google was they reckon the Brits introduced multiple sclerosis as there were no cases on the islands before the occupation!

  12. I actually went on a hillwalking holiday to the Faroe Islands in 1995. The islands were occupied by us during WWII for the reasons stated above, (as well as Iceland) i.e. as an air bridgehead over the North Atlantic (mainland Scotland-Shetland-Faroes-Iceland-Greenland-Canada), for the weather reports, for the fishing (much of the eastern part of the North Atlantic can be reached from the Faroes and the Faroese had a very large fishing fleet we we couldn't let the Germans capture), and as a listening post - very useful during the Cold War. There wasn't much fighting there, but Faroese trawlers were regular targets for German shipping. The Faroese made a small fortune in selling us fish during the war. Instead of catching it, they would sail to Iceland and buy the fish from there and then ship it to Scotland. The British occupation of the Faroes was fairly popular amongst the locals. Many local girls married British soldiers and sailors.
    The Faroese are rather a strange bunch. There is only about 50,000 of them, descendents of Norwegian Vikings who settled there about a thousand years ago, speaking their own dialect of Old Norse. The Faroes are a nice place to visit for some peace and quite.
  13. the last geman unit to surrender was a met team up in the artic circle
    more out of the fact they were in the middle of nowhere than being die hard
    nazis .
  14. I've read that operation Valantine took place after the German operation Weserübung.
    Mines were placed between Shetland, Faroe Islands and Iceland.
    Maybe thats why German warships were spotted between Iceland and Greenland when they had left Norway?

    Several NATO (and US troops) were on the islands during the cold war.