"Lieutenants' Letter" of 27 April 1942

View previous topic View next topic Go down

"Lieutenants' Letter" of 27 April 1942

Post  Mark C. Jones on Sat 17 Apr 2010 - 22:04

I am hoping someone can provide information about an event involving the Royal Norwegian Navy that occurred in April 1942. I am aware that a group of 28 junior officers in the Royal Norwegian Navy sent a letter on 27 April 1942 criticizing the Nygaardsvold government for incompetence before the war and mismanagement of the war effort after arriving in Britain. A statement of this sort by active duty naval personnel is most unusual, and particularly so in wartime. Can anyone provide more information about this event such as:

specific criticisms of the Nygaardsvold government
the name and rank of the 28 naval officers who signed the letter
what actions, if any, were taken by the government against the officers who signed the letter
whether the letter had any effect on the Norwegian government's actions or policy

I cannot read Norwegian, except brief passages about naval matters and only then using a dictionary for most words. If someone can direct me to an internet source, or give the title of a published source in any language, I would appreciate it.

Mark C. Jones

Mark C. Jones

Posts : 19
Join date : 2008-05-08

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: "Lieutenants' Letter" of 27 April 1942

Post  Bjørn on Tue 20 Apr 2010 - 13:33

Hello!
Were these 20 officers in the UK, or back home in Norway at that time?

B.

Bjørn

Posts : 388
Join date : 2007-11-27
Age : 54
Location : Bodø

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Løytnantsklubben (The Lieutnants' Club)

Post  kaii on Tue 20 Apr 2010 - 22:46

I know this letter was written formally by the organisation called Løytnantsklubben (The Lieutnants' Club) which was founded in 1923 to "Further the interestes of personell in the Royal Norwegian Navy.
I also seem to remember to have seen a copy of the letter, and will have a look through my archives and get back on this.

Kai

kaii

Posts : 81
Join date : 2008-04-30
Location : London UK

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: "Lieutenants' Letter" of 27 April 1942

Post  Mark C. Jones on Tue 20 Apr 2010 - 23:26

My understanding of the so-called Lieutenants' Letter is that the officers were all serving on active duty in Britain and most/all were professional naval officers with pre-war service. Some were the commanding officer or executive officer (first lieutenant) of warships. These were not retired officers, reservists or officers serving in support duties, who could be ignored or dismissed from service as a group. I have to think that some Norwegian language book has information about the letter and its signatories. I thank any forum member who can shed light on this most unusual event.

Mark C. Jones

Mark C. Jones

Posts : 19
Join date : 2008-05-08

View user profile

Back to top Go down

"Lieutenants' Letter" of 27 April 1942

Post  hoh on Wed 21 Apr 2010 - 22:48

Hei.
This event is mentioned with an excerpt of the original text in "Norge I krig", vol. 7, p. 186, ISBN 82-03- 11422-9.It is also fairly superficial featured in Reidar Hirsti's biography of Johan Nygaardsvoll: "Gubben". I have also read about the matter in other sources, but can not remember which for the moment.
When the letter was written Prime Minister Nygaardsvoll visited in the United States, and was not aware of the matter before he went back to UK late July. Members of the government who had treated it had not added so much emphasis on the accusations, but perceived it as an expression of frustration over the situation in General and believed that others, with a more political agenda, may had used the lieutnants as advocates for their purpose. Later that year, a similar letter from four politicians of the opposition arrived.
Over the past few months Oscar Torp had taken over as Minister of Defence. He had immediately carried out a reorganization of the armed forces to create a Supreme Military Command, which led to frustrations amongst officers both in the Army and Navy, both of which appeared the second branch got too much resources and influence.
The one who reacted strongest was King Haakon, who sent a pretty sharp letter to the Commander of the Navy, Admiral Corneliussen and commanded the Admiral to make his views known for the lieutnants.
According to "Norge i krig" only five members of the Association had signed the letter (the board?). I know only the name of one of them: Lt. Atle Svardal. He served by the way in SIS, but was possibly officially drafted in the Navy, which was often the case with SIS agents. I don't know that this event had consequences for him or any of the others. Lt. Svardal became KIA near his hometown Florø, March 13, 1945. He was awarded the decorations St. Olav's Medal with Oakleaf, (Norw)War Medal and DSC.

mvh hoh

hoh

Posts : 20
Join date : 2008-07-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: "Lieutenants' Letter" of 27 April 1942

Post  Mark C. Jones on Thu 22 Apr 2010 - 12:38

Thank you, Hoh, for contributing this material. I am hopeful that other forum members can identify sources that address this incident. Through multiple sources, a sort of triangulation emerges to confirm the main issues and double check the details.

Mark C. Jones

Mark C. Jones

Posts : 19
Join date : 2008-05-08

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: "Lieutenants' Letter" of 27 April 1942

Post  Sponsored content Today at 17:25


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum