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Den Britiske krigskirkegård på Stavne

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Minnestøtte på den britiske krigskirkegård ved Stavne
Gravplasser Stavne kirkegård
Stavne kirkegård har også en britisk krigskirkegård fra 2.verdenskrig
Den Britiske krigskirkegård på Stavne ligger inne i Stavne kirkegård

Her er 155 krigsgraver for alliert personell her. 27 sjøfolk, 24 fra hærstyrker, 99 fra Royal Air Force, 5 fra handelsflåten. 140 var britiske, 6 canadiske, 5 fra Australia, 3 fra New Zealand og 1 fra Sør-Afrika.

Her ligger krigens første ofre, 6 menn fra jageren HMS Glowworm som eksploderte etter å ha rent den tyske krysseren «Admiral Hipper» i senk 8.april 1940. Kapteinen på Glowworm ble etter sin død tildelt krigens første Victoriakors.

Her ligger også soldater fra aksjon Mauriceforce, landgangsstyrken ved Namsos i 1940, og fra raidet mot Lofoten 26.- 28. oktober 1941, fra Ruperforce som ilandsatte franske og britiske styrker ved Harstad 16. april 1940, og fra aksjonen Sickleforce som ilandsatte britiske soldater ved Åndalsnes. Falne flysoldater som angrep Tirpitz 30.- 31. mars 1942 ligger også her.

I alt 988 soldater fra Samveldelandene som deltok i kampene i Norge under 2. verdenskrig ligger gravlagt i Norge. Av disse er 166 fra Marinen, 343 fra Hæren, 450 fra Luftforsvaret og 35 fra Handelsflåten.

Av marinestyrkenes døde soldater kom disse fra:

Minelunden vedlikeholdes av Samveldets krigskommisjon. Dessverre er minnetavlen vanskelig å lese.

Sitat fra Archie - A Pilot in RAF Bomber Command;

The invasion disrupted the Norwegian Army's mobilisation, but the Norwegian Navy and the coast defences inflicted serious losses on German warships and transport, which were also attacked in the Skagerrak by British submarines. On 10th April a flotilla of five British destroyers sank two German destroyers and six supply ships in Narvik harbour. Two British ships were lost. On the 13th the Battleship «HMS Warspite» and seven destroyers with air cover from the carrier «HMS Glorious» sank the remaining German ships.

Although Southern Norway was lost, there seemed a chance of holding Central Norway if the Gudbrandsdal and Osterdal could be held and the German garrison in Trondheim overcome. Norwegian troops were stoutly defending the routes through these valleys and Allied forces were landed, 'Moriceforce', at Namsos on the 14th and 'Sickleforce' at Åndalsnes on the 17th, to capture Trondheim by a pincer movement.

Mauriceforce, comprising the British 146th Brigade and three battalions of French Chasseurs Alpins, advanced southwards but were held at the head of Trondheim Fjord by a German column which had come out to meet it and had shelled from the fjord by warships which also landed troops to threaten it's flank. Sickleforce, comprising the British 15th and 148th Brigades, advanced to Dombås which was held by Norwegian forces after a German parachute attack had been repelled, then southwards in reinforcement of the Norwegian defenders who were under pressure in the Gudbrandsdal. Although the German advance was checked twice at Kvam and Otta, the positions could not be held under threat to the lines of communication to Andalsnes from a parallel German advance up the Østerdal.

Only very limited air support could be given from carriers and from a squadron of fighters, which operated from the frozen Lesjaskog Lake near Dombås. When the depleted squadron was forced to withdraw, the consequent German aerial dominance exposed the troops to constant harassment while the Namsos and Åndalsnes bases were made nearly useless by bombing. Both Mauriceforce and Sickleforce were now being driven back and on 27th April the decision was taken to withdraw from Central Norway. The evacuation was completed by 3rd May.

On 16th April a force, codename 'Ruperforce', comprising the 24th (Guards) Brigade, three battalions of Chasseurs Alpins and two of the Foreign Legion and a Polish Brigade, began to land at Harstad, selected as the base for the assault on Narvik. Several Norwegian units, comprising both infantry and mountain artillery participated.

Harstad was at first frequently raided by German aircraft, but on 21st May the airfield at Bardufoss was brought in to full operation and a squadron of Gladiator fighters and one of Hurricanes based there. This gave the Royal Air Force a local ascendancy, which greatly assisted the conduct of the land operation.

The Guards Brigade, reinforced by five 'independent guerrilla companies' was deployed to defend the ports of Mosjøen, Mo and Bodø against German landings. Mosjøen was held until the 10th, Mo until the 18th and Bodø until 31st May. The remainder of Rupertforce, in which the British component was and anti-aircraft brigade, meanwhile attacked Narvik and recaptured it on 27th May. Allied reserves in France then compelled withdrawal of the force, which was completed on 8th June. The troop convoys, one of which carried the King of Norway and his Government, reached Britain unscathed ,but «HMS Glorious», destroyeren «HMS Ardent», destroyeren «HMS Acasta» were sunk by the battle-cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau with heavy loss of life.

Supported by supplies dropped by the Royal Air Force, by bombing raids and by British/Norwegian Commandos, raids along the coast, the Norwegian Resistance movement effectively prevented any reduction in the German garrison for the remainder of the war, at the cost of many lives.

On 8th May 1945, Norwegian and British troops landed in Norway, followed on 13th May by Crown Prince Olav and representatives of the Norwegian Government. With the return of King Haakon on 7th June 1945 exactly 5 years to the day after he left the country - the liberation of Norway was a fact.

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  • Engelsk side
  • Minnetavle på krigskirkegården