Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

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Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  Black Hornet on Mon 18 Apr 2011 - 0:23

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mariaroff/6269251/sizes/l/

These walls, steps, and blasted-rock depressions (with downtown Reykjavík in the backround) are the only remnants at Öskjuhlið of the WWII British fortification that once protected Iceland from hostile takeover by the dreaded Nazis. I'm told cannons once lined the upper edges of these now roofless bunkers, aimed at the seaway leading to Reykjavík harbor. I don't know enough about the history of this spot, unfortunately...all I know is that it's great fun clambering among the ruins, especially with three spunky girls in tow. .

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  kaii on Mon 18 Apr 2011 - 2:43

Great photo. Thanks for posting.

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  Black Hornet on Mon 18 Apr 2011 - 6:13

Oh sure. I was begining to think I was the only one here with any interest in that piece of real estate. It was quite important then & even after the war. Sweden almost invaded it once for it's Sulphur mines to make explosives. Germany thought about it, British & Americans did it, & Russians one has to assume pondered it as well.


Red Storm Rising.

One of the strategic master-strokes of the Soviet Union's opening moves in the war is its seizure of Iceland, capturing the NATO air station at Keflavík. This disrupts the GIUK SOSUS line (American seabed hydrophones), expected to prevent the Soviet Navy from operating effectively in the Atlantic by making it impossible for their ships and submarines to enter the Atlantic undetected. In addition, the Soviet Navy isolates and protects its ballistic missile submarine fleet, freeing its attack submarine force to engage and destroy NATO shipping. The Soviet Navy is able to act as an offensive weapon,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Storm_Rising

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  Black Hornet on Mon 18 Apr 2011 - 6:33

Mines
There are many references to 'sulphur mines' from the Middle Ages onwards, but these were almost certainly only open pits. The sulphur was exported for gunpowder manufacture (competing with Sicily), and Iceland's sulphur was sufficiently important strategically for the USA to contemplate purchasing the entire country in 1867!

http://www.xs4all.nl/~jorbons/souterrains/art/icelungr.html



None is worked now. Poor coal, or lignote, was mined from thin seams between lava flows in the NW fiords, and in the Tjörnes peninsula (Nort of Husavik), mainly during the First World War when imported coal was scarce.






And yet more boring stuff about Iceland. It has 3000 rock quarries, ( New Zealand has 1200). Great for local cement production mixed with pumice & fish bones.


the diesel-powered light railway system used in the Kárahnjúkar scheme has given Iceland its first working railway since 1913-15, when a narrow-gauge steam line was used to carry rock from a hillside quarry during the construction of Reykjavík’s first harbour.”
http://www.grantham.karoo.net/andrew/iceland.html

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  kaii on Mon 18 Apr 2011 - 12:00

Nothing is boring about Iceland, for sure! It is a fascinating place and, as you mention, a place of great strategic value in any conflict between the superpowers.
Do you have any more photos of defensive structures from there, I am sure people are interested in seeing them. The level of activity in this forum goes up and down, so just keep posting and suddenly you get a lot of responses Smile

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  Black Hornet on Mon 18 Apr 2011 - 18:34

Um, good question. I do have some RAF Hudson photos. Some other interesting points about it. It has over 50 deep water year round ice free harbors. in 1940 it had 22 frozen fish processing plants & over 40.000 horses.

Also 1000 coastal fishing vessels & 22 ocean going vessels, all run on diesel. Same as U-boats & Germans flying boats did. British submarines at Malta were supplied by other British submarines.


http://www.oca.269squadron.btinternet.co.uk/photo_gallery/kaldadarnes/Kaldadarnes_27_April_1941.jpg

http://www.oca.269squadron.btinternet.co.uk/photo_gallery/kaldadarnes/Hudson_L_at_Kaldadarnes.jpg

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  Black Hornet on Tue 19 Apr 2011 - 6:56

The three villages of Reydarfjordur, Eskifjordur and Neskaupsstadur, which make up the Fjardabyggd rural community, all have attractive, fjord-settings and charming old buildings


For a rare glimpse of Iceland's occupation by the British during World War II, the Wartime Museum at Reydarfjordur is well worth a visit.

http://www.photo.is/fly/pages/kps0704%20881.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egilssta%C3%B0ir



Akureyri
http://www.videosurf.com/video/boeing-757-take-off-in-akureyri-iceland-83473073?vlt=kosmix

Some 3,500 men were stationed in the neighborhood of Akureyri for the protection of the port and seaplane anchorage and for the defense of the landing field at nearby Melgerdhi.
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-WH-Guard/USA-WH-Guard-19.html

A detachment of the Norwegian reconnaissance squadron, consisting of 4 planes, was at Akureyri, and another of 3 planes at Búdhareyri

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  Black Hornet on Tue 19 Apr 2011 - 7:52

25 Apr 1941
S
No 330 Squadron formed in Iceland to operate Northrop N3P-B floatplanes purchased by the Norwegian government in exile and flown by Norwegian personnel.
http://www.oca.269squadron.btinternet.co.uk/history/squadron_history/chronology/1941.htm

Wish I had photos of the 330 squadron.


Bingo, found some.
http://www.thescale.info/news/publish/printer_N-3PB_photos.shtml



I believe this is from the landing grounds at Melgerdhi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k30jgGZiUU

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  Black Hornet on Sat 23 Apr 2011 - 22:52

Mr Galvin remembers the hostility of the Icelanders.
"We had to have armed guards on the planes at night or they'd sabotage them," he said. "It was bitterly cold."

http://www.couriermail.com.au/extras/ww2/Joegalvin.htm

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  SecondFront on Tue 13 Sep 2011 - 17:20

I believe this is from the landing grounds at Melgerdhi

I'm sure you do - but if you read the 269 Sqn. history and other material a LOT more closely than you have done - then you'll realise that the single 1940 gravel strip was replaced by 1942 by three hard surface strips! Which that glider strip is most definitely NOT....

Gliding Club of Akureyri is located at Melgerðismelar, about 20 minutes drive south from Akureyri and the modern airport Rolling Eyes


Last edited by SecondFront on Tue 13 Sep 2011 - 18:13; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  SecondFront on Tue 13 Sep 2011 - 17:22

Mr Galvin remembers the hostility of the Icelanders.
"We had to have armed guards on the planes at night or they'd sabotage them," he said. "It was bitterly cold."

It's worth noting that Galvin was stationed at Reykjavik...where relations with SOME of the locals were indeed frosty, because of issues over the extension to the airport there, with a couple of small strikes organised by one of the limited-circulation communist newspapers in Iceland. But this is not typical of relations with the islanders elsewhere...

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Re: Defensive walls near Reykjavic harbor built by British

Post  Black Hornet on Wed 14 Sep 2011 - 7:23

Not true, British soldiers were pelted at the Reykjavic theater. Wrong yet again. A mixed bag I'm sure it was, some friendly, some not. They are not fond of foreign incursions, never have been, still aren't today. Cod wars, protests at US base there etc. Denmark before that.

Er, yes we've covered the transformation of Gravel strips to concrete ones elsewhere, thanks so much.





there are testimonies by journalists
or servicemen which mention that soldiers had to walk in Reykjavik “in parties
of three, well-armed and on their guards against stabbing and shooting” and to be
watchful for “empty bottles aimed at them from the top of the buildings” (see below
January 13, 1941 and January 1944).



The following excerpt of an article on how Icelanders viewed the
occupation of their country which was published in Time Magazine on 13 October
1941 shows that at this time auto-censorship was still limited:
“Premier Hermann Jonasson of Iceland thought Icelandic conditions last week
were approaching the outlandish. If 15,000,000 soldiers were dumped in London,
said he, it would not be any worse off than Iceland is now. Further, the
British-American occupation has upped living costs for Iceland’s residents 70%,
disrupted the island’s foreign trade, upset many an Icelandic lass. Last week
four U.S. Marines got 10 to 20 years in Portsmouth (N.H.) prison for rape committed
in Iceland.”


can't get link to copy, go here.

RELATIONS BETWEEN ALLIED FORCES AND THE POPULATION OF ICELAND
If 15,000,000 soldiers were dumped in London, said he, it would not be any worse off than Iceland is now. Further, the British-American occupation has upped living costs ...

parthe.lpthe.jussieu.fr/~roehner/oci.pdf ·

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