HMS Hunter, Sunk During First Battle of Narvik 10 April 1940, Found in One Thousand Feet of Water – Part 27

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British Royal Navy helicopter over the resting place of HMS Hunter.

When Germany attacked Norway on 9 April 1940, only Great Britain and France came to her assistance. (A unit composed of Polish émigrés and refugees fought under British command.)

Soldiers of the Polish Independent Highlander Brigade during the Battle of Narvik in 1940.

Units of the French Foreign Legion fought in Norway along with French alpine troops. Unfortunately, the entire effort was disorganized and ineffective. The Norwegian Army itself was not even mobilized until after the Germans landed and when it was finally mobilized, it was one muddle after another since many of their key supply depots had already fallen into German hands.

Fortunately, almost every time the Germans were about to trap an Allied unit, that unit fought its way to the shoreline and was snatched from the Germans by the Royal Navy — often in the most perilous of circumstances with Royal Navy ships engaging land based German artillery.

The Norwegians have never forgotten the help they received from the British and the French. Eventually there was little the Allies could do in the face of overwhelming German air superiority and all Allied troops were withdrawn. The King of Norway and the Royal Family were taken off in a British destroyer and brought to England to form the Norwegian Government in exile. One good thing about a monarchy is that if you have the King or the Queen, only they can give legitimacy to a government.

Memorial speech in honor of the British officers and ratings killed in action aboard HMS Hunter.

[Images courtesy of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Wikipedia, and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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