Discussion in 'Scandinavia' started by Drew5233, Nov 3, 2009.
Cheers chaps.....Non-war holiday? Perish the thought
I don`t know what you may find in Iceland but heres a quick run down of DLI involvement (The lighter moments)
The 10th and 11th DLI were indeed in Iceland.10th DLI arriving on the 16th September 1940 at Reykjavik where its Companies were scattered over a wide area, the Southern most company was at Akranes whilst the most extreme Northern personnel were at Skagastrond with another company at Blondous,another at Borganes together with the battalion HQ.
The 11th were stationed around Reykjavik where it took over billets from The Royal Regiment of Canada,like 10DLI the 11th Battalion personnel were well dispersed with posts at Thingvettlar Lake(possible Sea plane Landings), and at Hafnafjordur.
Colonel Marley (10DLI)on a tour of the tiny village Skagastrond remarked to his guide Corporal Lowe how respectful the Icelanders were with each touching their hats as a remark of respect as he passed by,it was not until later that Colonel Marley found out it was not he who was the object of their respect but Corporal Lowe who was regarded by villagers as a sort of unofficial Mayor of the village!
During one particularly blustery day the roof blew off one of 11 DLI`s huts,turned over the brazier and burnt the outpost to the ground forcing the occupants to seek shelter at a distant Farm.
In February 1941 heavy snow with drifts of six to seven feet high were not uncommon and 10DLI managed to lose a man for three hours when he was found it was established he had not even gone beyond the perimeter fence but had stumbled around in the snow going around in circles!
Many of the coast watch posts had been set up jointly with the Navy who had direct telephone communication with their own headquarters and regularly monitered the various signals..One night Force signals in Reykjavik picked up strange signals apparently in code and quite a scare was started until it was discovered that two companies of the 10th DLI one at Blondous the other at Reykosloli were playing each other at darts and the Geordie and Durham lads were using the telephone system to relay the scores!
In August Iceland was visited by Churchill who gave his customary V sign salute and was answered by a few of the `Durham’s`more traditional version.
At the end of 1941 the 11th DLI returned home to the UK with 10 DLI joining them in the new year (1942)from that time it was agreed that Iceland was to become an `American` responsibility
at the darts match !
Andrea wants to go to Iceland .....
NOooooooo!!! Don't Go There, Andy! MacDonalds? They eat hacked in half Sheeps Heads on the way home from the bloody pub!
Just ask Andrea how she'd fancy a mouth full of Soured Rams Testicles
It's all here, and more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3831013
You tell her; We're trying to warn her .....
Urban warfare, combat patrols, snatch squads, souvenir hunting, photo opportunities, monstrous hangovers and recognisable rations. Join a Blackpool Hen Party and experience real fear. The one and only time I drove a Minibus full of inebriated females. Iceland sounds sort of peaceful.
YouTube - Churchill Reviews US & British Troops at Iceland 1941/8/29
From The War Illustrated, June 14, 1940
If Andrea really wants to see The Northen Lights in a non war situation - come to Canada where - at Whitehorse in the Yukon at this time of year - you can see the sun nearly set and bounce back up again in minutes - and read the football scores in the newspapers at 3.am. when it is broad daylight - quite a sight - I used to arrange my trips there to inspect our branch in Whitehorse at this time of year - glorious sight -
my son has also been there - done that !
From The War Illustrated, Dec 27, 1940
From The War Illustrated, Sept 20, 1940
At the beginning of World War II, Iceland was a sovereign kingdom in personal union with Denmark, with King Christian X as head of state. Iceland officially remained neutral throughout World War II. However, the British invaded Iceland on 10 May 1940. On 7 July 1941, the defence of Iceland was transferred from Britain to the United States, which was still a neutral country until five months later. On 17 June 1944, Iceland dissolved its union with Denmark and the Danish monarchy and declared itself a republic.
I have never visited Iceland but the country has a fascination for me. They have one of the highest standards of living in the world and declined to apply for EU membership. They are in NATO. Were there many marriages between British troops and the local ladies while they were there and were the natives friendly or otherwise; after all we did technically "invade" their country.
Just returned and I can recommend it, a fascinating and beautiful country. Coincidentally (or perhaps luckily) we were leaving at the precise time England were being dumped out of Euro 2016; I'm sure the locals would have been far too polite to make fun of us. This monument in Reykjavik was apparently once outside the Parliament - but, for some reason, they moved it (the statue not the building).
This remarkable sculpture is on Reykjavik's waterfront.
I can't remember but did you ever get there ?
The British Invasion of Iceland 1940
Recent episode of "We Are History" podcast - 35mins audio.
"The British Invasion of Iceland 1940
On the very day that the Nazis struck west against Holland, Belgium and France, Britain launched the politest invasion in the history of the warfare, waking up the Icelandic army (and his friend)."
Edit: from p9 - "Breaking the Panzers" - by Kevin Baverstock -
Remember it was all forested and built up until 49 Div needed clear fields of fire...
Iceland forested? Odd - selling timber to Iceland used to be a Viking way of making money and may have been the motive behind the Vinlander settlement in North America.
Surely that's a photo of the main street after the demolition work!
How Iceland is regrowing forests destroyed by the Vikings Looks like plenty of trees to me.
From the weekly 'Keswick Reminder' newspaper, Friday July 6th 1945:
Photograph of Aircraftman Frampton, RAF, of Keswick, Cumberland reading a VE week edition of the newspaper while on station in Iceland.
Separate names with a comma.