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Norwegian Gold Bullion Snatch

goldNorwegian Gold Bullion Snatch – April 1940

My name is Bob Pearson, a high school teacher from Ipswich and for some time I have been researching how one of the greatest gold snatches in history was carried out. It is a tale of intrigue, immense bravery and leadership…and a little good fortune. But the story is far from complete and I am hoping someone out there will be able to shed light on HMS Devonshire’s role…and did she carry gold or valuables from Tromso or is purely rumour?
 
The night of April 8th/9th 1940 was a very traumatic period in the history of Norway: Hitler’s Third Reich had launched a completely unprovoked attack on neutral Norway sweeping up its Scandinavian neutral partner Denmark in the process.

 Simultaneous invasion landings took place along the south and west coast of Norway as the might of the German armed forces swung into action, but the Germans had grossly miscalculated the defiance of a small coastal battery, Oscarsborg Fort, that defended the Narrows in Oslofjord leading directly to the much prized capital, Oslo – home to the Norwegian Royal Family, the government and the nation’s gold bullion.

The fort, commanded by Colonel Eriksen ordered his guns into action and as the lead German ship, the mighty cruiser Blucher, came into view, Eriksen gave the order to fire and two enormous shells ripped into the pride of the German force and set her ablaze. As the crippled ship inched forward two torpedoes fired from the battery slammed into the side of the Blucher ensuring a watery grave for the ship and a great loss of many Germans in the icy waters of Oslofjord – the invasion had been stalled had been stalled for a crucial few hours.

The Norwegians, surprised by the unprovoked attack, but taking advantage of the sinking of the Blucher immediately took steps to get the Royal Family, its government and the gold bullion to safety and an urgent cry for help was sent to Britain.

 Using any form of transport they could lay their hands on the Royal Family and the government made good their escape.

 Hotly pursued by the Germans the Norwegian Royal party were bombed and strafed at every opportunity, but fortune was on their side and after a series of lucky escapes they found themselves at the west coast port of Molde, but even here the relentless bombing continued and the party hid in the woods in their bid to escape certain death.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Norway, with the help of some of its employees and a handful of soldiers had managed to secure road and rail transport to move the bullion away from the desperate, grabbing hands of the Germans.

Dodging the enemy bombers and parachute troops the Norwegian soldiers and bank officials managed to get the bullion away to safety of the then unoccupied west coasts ports of Åndalsnes, Molde and Tromso…and into the safe hands of the Royal Navy.

Three Royal Navy cruisers – HMS Enterprise, HMS Galatea, and HMS Glasgow rescued the gold under appalling conditions…attacked in port and then constantly chased, harassed and bombed by the Luftwaffe as they made their way back to the UK. However, all three cruisers safely made it to their designated ports: Enterprise docked at Devonport, whilst Galatea and Glasgow off-loaded their precious cargo on the Clyde.

HMS Glasgow’s role was slightly different to the others as she not only liberated 23 tons of bullion from the pursuing Germans, but was further tasked with rescuing King Haakon, his son Crown Prince Olav, and members of the Norwegian Government.

King Haakon did not want to forsake his people and asked Captain Pegram if he could be taken to North Norway where he could carry on the fight. Captain Pegram obliged the King and HMS Glasgow sailed north. A short time later and having executed their duty to the King, Glasgow returned to Greenock to off-load her precious cargo of bullion.
        
In June 1940, and with the Germans over-running Norway, King Haakon and his son, Crown Prince Olav were eventually evacuated to London on HMS Devonshire to lead their people in exile.

 However, rumours at that time, and they still abound today, say that Devonshire may have carried a small amount of gold back to the UK. These rumours may have come from sailors on Devonshire or from the local populace. However, the ship’s records state that they left port without any bullion, although it is possible that a small amount of gold coin accompanied King Haakon thereby fueling the rumours.

 There have also been rumours that the gold destined for Devonshire was buried and to date has never been recovered…no, I don’t know where exactly!

I am always interested to hear stories from veterans, relatives or people with a sincere interest in the events in Norway during 1940, especially anyone with connections to HMS Devonshire, Glasgow, Galatea and Enterprise.

 I am also interested in any information, no matter how small, on two Britons, Sir Charles Hambro and Captain Frank Foley – both men may have played significant roles with the gold transport. All contributions are welcome and are treated with the utmost respect and formally acknowledged.

Bob Pearson

By Robby G:

It was at this time (transfer of Norwegian Royalty & Government) that the aircraft carrier, HMS Glorious with two of her escorts were lost. It was rumoured that “Devonshire” ignored the signal from “Glorious” that she was under attack and did not go to her aid but increased speed to 30 knots toward Scotland., leaving “Glorious” and escorts to their peril.

From HMS Glorious and her two escort destroyers HMS Ardent & HMS Acasta, 1,115 men lost their lives. Only 41 survived the icy waters.

The reason for these terrible losses has been kept secret, and to this day is still shrouded in mystery. There is no doubt though, that “Devonshire’s” prime roll was to get her precious cargo of Royalty and no doubt GOLD, to the UK without deviating in any way whatsover.

Nothing, regarding the true actions of  this event can be found in the National Archives. I suspect this has a 100 year release stipulation!

See this interesting link HMS Glorious

36 Responses to Norwegian Gold Bullion Snatch

  1. Leanda

    December 22, 2009 at 16:12

    Dear Bob, hello! I am sure it was you with whom I was in touch in 2006. So annoying I lost your details. Please get in touch again! Leanda ps niece of Sir Cecil Dormer

  2. robbyg

    December 28, 2009 at 12:25

    Bob, if you do not have Leanda’s contact details, please contact me.

  3. Michael

    September 4, 2010 at 00:12

    Dear Sir,
    My father served on the HMS Devonshire (1939-45) as a first class stoker. He told me many stories about the Devonshire, including this one about the transport of the Norwegian Royalty. He barely mentioned anything about the Devonshire carrying significant quantities of Gold Bullion, although he did mention something about gold bullion being on board.
    I have a picture of my father on the HMS Devonshire standing beneath the 8 inch guns. My father told me other stories of the HMS Devonshire including the escort engagement by anothe battleship in the sinking of the Vichy French submarine the ” Surcoffe”. My father had many stories about his Her Majesty Royal Navy service during WWII.

  4. John Fredrik Hansen

    September 11, 2010 at 12:26

    Hi!
    My great grandfather was a part of this transport . His name was John Johnsen and were stationed at Jørstadmoen (military camp south in Norway) when he 18.April was commanded out to guard the gold.
    There is right now a book in stores written by Robert Pearson which is a good description of this rather spectacular journey they were a part of.
    Please contact me if I can be of any help.
    Cheers!
    John

  5. Jim Eagles

    October 5, 2010 at 05:49

    The story is laid out in full in Alfred Draper’s book “Operation Fish” published
    by Corgi in paperback in 1979. It tells the full story of how the gold from various countries was moved out of Europe and the UK to Canada and the USA ahead of the invading Nazi invaders.
    Other interesting details can also be found in “Secrets and Stories of the War”
    Readers Digest 1963, Vol 1, page 130, in an article entitled “How Britain’s Wealth Went West” by Leland Stowe an American journalist. The gold bullion was the lifeblood that fed the ‘cash and carry’ purchase of arms from America.

  6. Peter Ross

    March 29, 2011 at 22:33

    My brother John was a boy seaman on HMS Glasgow. He has told me the story and the daring rescue.

    He now lives in Australia near his son also named John. Formerly living in Brisbane, area of Hamilton, he now lives in a residential home in Tweed Heads on the border with New South Wales.

    John has three times been invited back to Norway courtesy of the Norwegian Government. Their story has been related with photographs in Navy News.

    peter

  7. Mrs. Tiggywinkle

    June 16, 2011 at 00:06

    AN ANALYSIS OF THE NORWEGIAN RESISTANCE
    DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

    …Ch 3
    System Analysis of Norway and Germany

    Care had to be taken of the gold of the Bank of Norway, the reserves so
    vitally important to the future of the Kingdom of Norway. Loaded on
    trucks, drawn on sledges where the condition of the road was bad,
    unguarded but protected by the instincts of a whole nation, the gold came
    all the way through the Gudbransdal and across to the fjords. How it was
    taken out of Oslo, how all those many tons of bullion worth more than a
    hundred million dollars, were carried along with the Army, in front of the
    Army, is a fantastic modern romance.

    —Mr. Carl J. Hambro
    President of the Norwegian Storting, 1940
    Pimpernel Gold…. >>

    The chapter follows….

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA394028

  8. Mrs. Tiggywinkle

    June 16, 2011 at 00:20

    Also found these links —

    Norwegian Gold Bullion Snatch

    http://royalnavymemories.co.uk/norwegian-gold-bullion-snatch/

    *

    Flight of the Norwegian National Treasury

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

    *

    M/S BOMMA
    The Transport of Norway’s Gold

    http://www.mlms.logan.k12.ut.us/~ckircalli/snow%20treasure/Bomma.htm

    *

    The world’s biggest coin deal
    http://www.dokpro.uio.no/umk_eng/blanding/gullbehold.html

    *

    The gold transport
    http://www.monthuset.com/English/always-looking.html

    *
    Hitler’s gold: the story of the Nazi war loot – Google Books Result
    Arthur Lee Smith – 1996 – Business & Economics – 256 pages

    Much of the credit for rescuing Norwegian gold went to Oscar Torp. minister of finance. He personally supervised the transport of the gold from Oslo to the …

    books.google.com/books?isbn=1859739210…

    *

    Precious Gold Cargo Escapes

    http://www.annassecretlegacynovel.com/gold_escape.html

    *

    Invasion of Denmark and Norway
    World War II Database
    9 Apr 1940 – 10 Jun 1940

    ww2db.com › Events › The European War

    *

    Nini Haslund Gleditsch – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Nini Haslund Gleditsch (22 June 1908 – 25 July 1996) was a Norwegian … Nini followed the transport of four truckloads of gold by ships from Molde to …

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nini_Haslund_Gleditsch

    *
    FAQ – Gold reserves – Norges Bank
    Apr 4, 2011 … If you visit Statistics Norway’s website, you will find the price of gold under “Spot prices metals”. Gold transport in 1940: How large were …

    http://www.norges-bank.no/en/faq/gold/

  9. steve

    July 14, 2011 at 23:25

    hi,yesterday i spoke with a fella who was on the devonshire as a signaller!-he also had a friend on hms hood & once visited the ship-cannot be many men alive to say that.i am interested in all ww2 matters & remembered that devonshire was “involved” in the norway debacle-my grandfather was in the first battalion irish guards who were in norway i believe.i stood at my fence for 2 hours whilst this 89 year old man regailed lots of stories.now i have read this site i will ask more detail about his experience of the norway business-he has an incredible memory & stamina!! i prefer not to give his name without his permission. he mentioned a probable mix up of “feint” signals regarding “pb”(pocket battleship) & another translation.hope to speak to him soon.

  10. James Ramsay

    January 16, 2012 at 04:34

    Hi Bob,
    Hope you’re still checking these comments from time to time.

    Both my father and my maternal grandfather were serving aboard Devonshire at this time.My father had joined as a Boy sailor in 1938 and Devonshire was his first ship. My grandfather had served as a regular before, during and after WW1 and, as a reservist, was called back to the service in 1939 when war appeared imminent.

    I recall both of them speaking of this episode, neither knew what the ship was carrying (other than the King) but they recalled that two Marines were constantly present at the locked door of one of the forward chain lockers. The Marines were not ostensibly ‘standing guard’, they often were just chatting or playing cards, but, significantly, both wore side arms.

    Neither my father or grandfather, both gone many years now, of course, ever knew what was in the locker but their presumption was that it was either bullion, the Norwegian crown jewels or perhaps both.

    Sorry I can’t give you anything more definite but I hope it adds a little colour to some small part of the jigsaw.

  11. Bob Pearson

    January 18, 2012 at 20:12

    Hi James, many thanks for the comments – much appreciated. Rob Guyatt gave me the nod, so thanks to him as well. My book, ‘Redd Gullet’ – aka ‘Save the Gold’ (Norwegian text only, unfortunately, but I am working on an English edition) was published in 2010, but i am always interested in new info coming forward.

    It is believed that Devonshire was carrying cash – a large amount and possibly government/royalty papers/jewells. We know a Norwegian lady boarded the good ship just as she was about to depart. That lady has never been fully identified. She landed close to the cruiser via a Norwegian seaplane, taken off and then embarked Devonshire. The time is given in Devonshire’s log, but I cannot recall the exact time at the moment. Earlier, she had been taken off a Hurtigruten ferry along with a large suitcase. This lady was obviously important, but all attempts to identify her have drawn a blank, although some think she was the ‘mistress’ of a senior government official (nothing changes!)

    To say I was pleased when I saw your posting was an understatement as it confirms that something of interest was aboard, but I don’t think it was gold the marines were guarding as there would have been a stricter prescence, but Norwegian cash/important papers etc., would have seem less worthy of a strict guard, but accompanied by sidearms of course just to put off the ‘enterprising’ types, i could be wrong of course.

    There is no mentioning of removal of valuables in the log, but later in London a suitcase appears with cash and papers. The code name for this was ‘light luggage’ whilst the gold was understandably called ‘heavy luggage’. I think it’s fair to say that not a lot of effort went in to those code names!

    A bigger mystery is that HMS Enterprise sailed to UK with the last cargo of gold – Devonshire was just behind her, but although badly beaten up due to ops, weather and near misses, she made for Plymouth rather than a Scottish port – which would seem logical considering her state and what she was carrying – she was also unescorted and sailed down the west coast of the UK.

    Thanks again, James – as you say another part of the jig-saw slots together.

  12. peter worrall

    January 20, 2012 at 15:19

    Hi Bob
    Give us a bell-I have a side story for you with regard to Devonshire-my great Uncle Cecil I was informed allowed numerous Poles to be taken on board and down into the bilges who had walked across Europe to get away from the Germans-Verification of this would also be interesting as after being Minister to Norway he was made Polish Minister in Exile to the Poles

  13. Bob Pearson

    January 20, 2012 at 19:53

    Hi Pete, can you post your number to me at bakerstreetrebel@yahoo.co.uk? I will then give you a call.

    Kind regards,

    Bob

  14. Philip Geddes

    April 5, 2012 at 13:19

    Hi Bob

    I can fill in a bit of a gap on Sir Charles Hambro (1897-1963). Early in 1940 (before the invasion) Hambro was sent by the Ministry of Economic Warfare to negotiate a War Trade Agreemnt with Norway on the supply of vital raw materials to the UK, and of shipping to carry these goods. My father, David Geddes, whose family had traded with Norway for many decades, was asked to join the team because of his extensive knowledge of the whaling industry. At the same time a German delegation was trying to negotiate a similar deal. On 22nd February 1940 Hambro signed the War Trade Agreement, and the team returned to London. The result was that vast quantities of materials were sent to Britain, and in Norwegian ships (as a result of a separate matching shipping agreement, virtually the whole Norwegian merchant marine was contracted to Britain.) Germany only captured around one sixth of the merchant marine when it invaded Norway. I do not know if Hambro was involved in the gold episode, but as he went on to run SOE operations in Scandinavia for some years and had impeccable high level contacts, it would seem likely that he was involved .

    Regards

    Philip Geddes

  15. Bob Pearson

    April 7, 2012 at 17:36

    Hi Philip,

    many thanks for your reply – very interesting. By chance, do you know if Hambro returned witht he team? Incidentally, Hambro was tasked with sorting out the trade agreement after earlier problems between the Norwegians and Lord ? whose surname escapes me at present. Hambro was trusted by the Norwegians, as was your father. I guess Hambro assembled a team that the Norwegians knew and could work with.

    Hambro was chased out of Oslo on April 9th. The Germans knew where he was and he escaped with minutes to spare. His route was Sweden – where at one point he met his cousin, the Norwegian President, CJ Hambro. This appears to be where Notraship started – backed by Hambros Bank of course.

    Hambro’s step-daughter was 9 at the time, but she recalls the escape and how Hambro was convinced the flat they were in was bugged. The route back to England was via Russia and then the wrong way around the world back to UK.

    Thanks again for your message – it adds another piece to the jig-saw.

    Kind regards,

    Bob

  16. Eric Downer

    May 2, 2012 at 11:54

    My Dad, Stuart (Dingle or Digger) Downer, served on HMS Glasgow throughout the Russian Convoys. I believe he was the youngest CPO in the Royal Navy at the time, having been at sea with the NAAFI since the age of 16 and signed up for “Hostilities Only” at the outbreak of war. King Haakon of Norway and his family were taken on board during this time and brought to England. Three “Survivors Leaves” in 9 months were part of the picture of what he endured, but his pride in being on the Glasgow stayed with him until he passed away in 2004, aged 84.

  17. Mike Brown

    May 6, 2012 at 22:27

    My father Eric was a Marine on the Devonshire, related how, after berthing in England, the Captain addressed the crew to explain why they had to leave their mates in the water back in the North Sea. The “Order,” Not stop Under Any Circumstance” could not forsee that survivors from Glorius would be needing rescue.

  18. stephen smart

    May 17, 2012 at 22:11

    my grandfather served on the devonshire i think as a steward and was taken under escort to the wine seller because of the gold stored near by , his name was jack giles , he was also on The Hood but was sick in hospital when she set out and sunk . he did’t talk about it very much.

  19. Jacky Field (nee. Miller)

    July 3, 2012 at 18:33

    My Father was on the Devonshire on the gold/ King mission, in 1940. just before he died in 2002 he was to go back to Noway to receive a medal, but sadly he died one week before. I asked if his grandson could receive it on his behalf, but was told no. His Grandson was in Molde last week but could not find the memorial to our brave men. Has anyone seen this memorial, or know where it is sighted. My fathers name was A E J Miller RN (Alfred Edward Joseph Miller) does anyone have some info. on this. Kind regards Jacky

  20. Bob Pearson

    July 11, 2012 at 17:18

    Dear Jacky, many thanks of your posting. The only commemoration in Molde to any HM ship as far as I know is HMS Glasgow. This is at the Rica Hotel in Molde – you can’t miss it because it looks like a giant sail. Inside there is the ‘Glasgow Saloon’ which has various items affixed to the walls. Just down from the hotel and along the harbour wall – walking back towards the town – is a memorial to what happened in 1940. This is approximately the site of where HMS Glasgow docked when she took off the majority of the gold.

    This bit is quite controversial, but it was deemed correct by HM Government. Only Glasgow men were issued with Norwegian war medals. The last of these was issued to Horace Grant RN a few years back. There was an official medal ceremony in 2005 (I might be a year or so out) in Molde to veterans who were on the Glasgow. I was fortunate enough to attend this ceremony and can say that the Norwegians were fantastic hosts and very grateful and respectful of the efforts of the Royal Navy during that dark period.

    As far as I know, Devonshire was not at Molde, but it was at Tromsø, which is a long way north of Molde.

    Please contact me at bakerstreetrebel@yahoo.co.uk for further info on the gold.

    Kind regards

    Bob

  21. Larry Paulus

    July 8, 2013 at 14:27

    Do you know of any facts backing up the story written by Marie McSwigan entitled “Snow Treasure”?
    Copyright 1942 by E.P. Dutton Inc. published by Scholastic Inc.
    Thank you.
    This purports to be a story of Norwegian children helping in the moving of the gold. There is a disclaimer at the front of the book that the story was believed to be true for 40 years, but it has never been verified. That disclaimer made the statement that the basis for this story was made by the captain of the Bomma ship that landed in Baltimore on June 28, 1940. He said that he could not reveal the specific location in order to protect them, the war still being ongoing, Norway’s occupation continuing.

  22. Rob Durante

    November 9, 2013 at 18:41

    Hello Bob,

    My grandfather , Edward “Ted” Garner, served on the Devonshire for what I believe to be the entire war. Sadly, he passed away in 2005 or else he would have gladly filled your ears with the escapades of his ship. Ted told me and all my friends his adventures of the war.
    The most interesting was evacuating Norways King, I was under the belief that he received recognition for his involvement.

    Other stories included: boarding a U-boat, shelling refineries, shooting down a German plane, D-Day shelling, convey escort, part of the Bizmarck hunt, assisting with the Tirpitz sinking, depth charged a whale believing it to be a U-Boat, operations around Australia (something about “Japs hide in trees and the Bren doesn’t stop when pointed up”).

    Ted was a twin Oerlikon gunner and ships recorder. He also had 2 pet birds he picked up along the way, I don’t recall what they were.

    Being Canadian I didn’t get to spend as much time with him as I would have liked but he did cross the pond to visit yearly.

    Rob

  23. Kristina Egleton

    January 5, 2014 at 22:40

    I wondered if anyone on this forum has any primary source material on Norwegian citizens during the occupation of Norway by the Germans? I have a recording that my mother did for the Imperial War Museum that talks about her time in Norway at this time. I am studying for an MA in Historical Research and my subject is British Foreign Policy towards Norway 1939 to 1945 and the consequences for the Norwegian people. My mother came from Stavanger and unfortunately died some years ago. She married my English father in 1945. He was part of the liberation army. Thank you in advance, as any help with sources would be appreciated. Kris Egleton

  24. stephen smart

    March 3, 2014 at 14:59

    hi, re the Jack Giles story, I have found out he served on HMS ENTERPRIES.

  25. Lois Hansen

    March 30, 2014 at 22:49

    I see no mention here of the book PIMPERNEL GOLD, by Dorothy Baden-Powell. It’s a fascinating and exciting nonfiction account of the gold’s travels from Oslo to the ships. My question is why the word “pimpernel” in the title. Pimpernel is a small flower.

  26. Bob Pearson

    March 31, 2014 at 16:29

    Hi Lois,

    Dorothy Baden Powell wrote Pimpernel Gold in 1978. At the time, DBP would have probably had to have adhered to the Official Secrets Act – DBP had worked for Norwegian SOE during WW2 hence the need to follow the OSA.

    Whilst the book is heavily based on fact, and makes for a good read, it is not accurate. This is not a criticism of her work, far from it, because it was DBP who inspired me to write about the gold transport. My book is in Norwegian only, but I am trying to get it published in English, so even I can read it!

    The choice of title, Pimpernel Gold, is an inspired one and frankly it’s a title, which cannot, in my humble opinion, be bettered. Here’s a quote taken from
    Wikipedia:

    The Scarlet Pimpernel is a play and adventure novel by Baroness Emma Orczy set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution.

    Sir Percy Blakeney is a wealthy English baronet who rescues individuals sentenced to death by the guillotine. He soon reveals himself to be a master of disguise, an imaginative planner, a formidable swordsman and a quick-thinking escape artist.

    Essentially, the gold story is much on the same lines if you substitute Sir Percy for the main character in charge of the gold transport, Fredrik Haslund. There were notable others such as Nordahl Grieg, Bjorn Sunde etc. There are still some mysteries to unravel front he gold transport. One of them being Captain Johan Olsen – mentioned and pictured in DBP’s book – in reality this is Kaptein John Rognes – later leader of Milorg and then with Norwegian FOIV in London and the Shetlands. I have been unable to prove he was on the gold transport, but almost certainly he followed in its path.

    I hope that has gone a little way to answering your query and apologies for rattling on, but the story is an excellent one. Kind regards, Bob

  27. Donald Evans

    May 11, 2014 at 00:32

    Hello Bob.
    My father Andrew Evans was a leading seaman/ gun turret A on HMS Devonshire. Sadly he died last year age 91. (Wish I had found this site before) I recal him telling me of their mission to rescue the king/royal family of Norway, in his words right from under the Germans noses. I am sure he mentioned Crown Jewels being recovered as well. Sorry it’s not much, I will talk to my brother to see if he has any more information. My dad has 2 surviving brothers I will see if they have any information.

  28. James Jamieson

    June 8, 2014 at 16:39

    Hi

    My grandfather (from Motherwell Scotland) served in the Royal Engineers who assisted the effort to bring the Royal Family and gold out of Norway.

    Apparantly the small group of Royal Engineers who came out with the help of a Norweigand fisherman to Shetland Islands then train from north of Scotland to London for debriefing.

    My grandfather went into Norway with brown hair and came out with almost white hair……he managed to write a letter that he had passed out of the train when it stopped in Motherwell. The letter reached my grandmother saying he was safe and well……a relief to my grandmother and their children at that time.

    If anyone has any history on the Royal Engineers in Norway to assist the Royal Family and gold removal, I would appreciate information.

    Thanks

    James

  29. Margaret Boodhoo

    June 10, 2014 at 19:42

    I have tried to leave a message for anyone from H.M.S. Devonshire, but think that I have been unsuccessful. I wanted to thank Devonshire, as I believe, from Bob, that my Dad was evacuated by her, on June 7th 1940, from Tromso.

    I put a short message in a “box”, at the end of the comments from people connected with Devonshire, right at the bottom of Bob’s article about the gold bullion taken out of Norway. However when I checked to see if it was there, it was not. My computer skills are very limited, so I must have done some thing incorrectly.

    As it was the 74th anniversary of this event, I really wanted to thank Devonshire, and anyone who may have been her crew.
    Could you do this for me, without leaving my email address please? or tell me how to do it?

    My Dad was L/Bomb 1460359, James Nelson Leedam. Royal Artillery. Dad was born in Burnley, Lancashire.

    Best wishes,
    Margaret Boodhoo, (nee Leedam)

    By Robby G
    Sorry Margaret, your previous message I must have deleted in error. No Email addresses are passed on without the originators consent. Privacy is respected.

  30. Pingback: Gold Run by Bob Pearson | Royal Navy Memories

  31. james eagles

    May 2, 2015 at 03:19

    Try ‘Operation Fish’ by Alfred Draper, very interesting information regarding getting gold out
    of Europe ahead of the Germans
    Best of luck

  32. jonny5

    August 5, 2015 at 01:50

    there was a ploy, the orama was a decoy and the glorious ran cover for the thing when the ugly sisters went hunting, the germans went to bag the king annd the gold and got an empty troop carrier, no info officially but haakon was a naval officer, was a good ploy sorta, cost my grt grandads life aboard the acasta, maintaining radio silence and running the king of norway past as the glorious headed them off…
    obvious gambit …the captain of the glorious was off to court martial his men…
    he coutered admiral marhsall on the scahrnhorst …get it?
    they got wind of the ruse when the germans only found an oiltanker and jospital ship and the juniper,,,,the orama following up as the decoy for the devonshire…they spli t the froce on the 8th of june and scahrnhiorst and gnesianau headed straight for the devonshire… whilst the hipper went ot intercept the empty orama that had no fuel , and was sent back at the same monet as the glorious almost,,,,
    glorious didnt have her planes up s if spottte she would draw the germans east toward the big prie aboard the devonshire ….whose radio silence orders ensured the survivors couldnt be rescued,,,
    its pained as a fuck up but its a suceesfful mission froma royalis point of view…
    noones ever stated this before but its the truth that falls out of the lies and the battle,,,just like churchill tioo… the orama was a decoy,,,it was this plan that saved the king the jewekls and the devonshire from the germans.
    theres footage too,,,watch the acasta go down firing to the last,,,the germans enamed the cabins on the svharnhorst after the ardent and acasta

  33. Roberts

    October 1, 2015 at 15:23

    My father, TW Griffin, (Bill) was the signal man on HMS Devonshire who took the SOS from HMS Glorious. Devonshire notched up its speed and continued on its course. There was a nr mutiny on board. The King of Norway was on-board too. My father handed his log-book in which was eventually returned to him empty. I believe the crew of Devonshire was dispersed to other ships.

  34. Per Eivind Eliassen

    December 16, 2015 at 19:15

    What an impressive discussion. After the past four years I’m not sure if the correct story of the norwegian gold has been told. Have me excused if I’m not up to date.
    8 tons of the gold was shipped with HMS “Galathea” direct from Åndalsnes, just inside Molde, to England.
    23 tonn stowed on board HMS “Glasgow”, and followed the king to nearby Tromso. The gold was hardly unloaded in an open fjord, to the “Heimdal”, and must have been transported to England with “Glasgow”.
    In Molde another 19 tonn of gold was loaded on board a local coaster, but she went aground.
    The gold was then loaded on five small fishingvessels, and transported to Frøya, outside Trondheim. Then loaded on bigger fishingvessels, and sailed to Tromso. The 19 tons were then loaded on board HMS “Enterprise”, which arrived in Southampton the 29th, of May. A special train tok it to Bank of England in London.
    Then the entire goldstock was shipped on four norwegian merchant ships to Canada and USA. Just in case of beeing torpedoed, the gold was stowed in solid oak barrels on deck, with three empty barrels connected to each. If the ship went down, the gold was still traceable.
    By autumn 1940 the british government started to lean heavily on the norwegian exile government, to overtake the gold, that they so kindly had saved.
    The answer was clear – it’s shipped out of the country.

  35. Robert Pearson

    January 18, 2016 at 14:49

    Hei Per Evind,

    Many thanks for the posting. You`re right, not all of the story has yet been revealed. From the research carried out I can confirm that the following remains a mystery.

    1. Who exactly was the Quisling known as `Sandersen`? Probably not his real name, but worked closely with Erich Opitz, the Abwehr officer. He was assigned to search for the gold, along with `Sandersen`.
    2. What was Admiral Diesen doing in Lillehammer and requesting the gold to be moved? He had no authority of course, as Oscar Torp, the Finance Minister, had already assigned Haslund to lead the evacuation of the bullion.
    3. What was the name of the spy at Romsdalhorn? This man was reputed to have been a Norwegian working for the Germans, but in reality could have been German. This man was caught with a `radio-type object strapped to his chest`.
    4. Was any gold carried on HMS Devonshire? This is highly unlikely. However, she certainly carried valuables – Crown Jewels?

    I`m currently working on the above. I am reasonably certain the spy was taken away and shot. However, it`s Sandersen that still bothers me. If you know anything on the above, then please mail me. Any information is much appreciated. Mvh, Bob

  36. Martin Johnsen

    December 2, 2016 at 22:56

    Did the conversation really just end there?
    The trail is almost a year old, and Mr Pearson’s website is almost as cold.
    It seems there remain many unanswered questions, despite all the research, books, articles and conversations like this one.
    Thank you anyone for an update…

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