Iceland, other views.

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Iceland, other views.

Post  Black Hornet on Tue 31 Jul 2012 - 7:41

Many english observers thought tha Force Sturges had preceded a German initiative, and some indications seem to support this thesis. As we have seen, in the prewar years, the germans set up many suspicious initiatives, and the position of Iceland in the long run could represent a key point in the region. But, at the present state, there are no evidences of a german military plan for invasion to be at an operative stage.
Approximately 30 years after the events, Donald Bittner had an interview with english general Arthur Willimas. In his memories, Williams reported a dossier made by Intelligence Service: after a lunch of parachitists, a strong garrison of 50,000 germans already in pre-alarm position in facilities along the river Elba would have followed to complete the invasion. So, the british manouvre had to prevent this eventuality (40). Some pubblications of the US Marine Corp found in the archive of the Keflavik base report anecdotes and second hand stories of this tone: an icelandic employee at the German consulate, when giving Gerlach the news about the arrival of the british soldiers, was replied that he was wrong, they were germans, even if in advance of 10 days. (41)

The orders were to occupy and defend the area of Hvalfjourdur (a natural harbour near Reykjavik, considered suiteble to establish a naval base) and the few landing grounds of the island. The decision of the occupation was taken on the base of logistic consideration: according to Secretary of the British Admiralty, Faroer Islands could not support a major naval base in the North Atlantic

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Re: Iceland, other views.

Post  Opaque Hornet on Fri 19 Sep 2014 - 4:58


There were no lighters at Reykjavik, he pointed out, no cargo cranes on the piers, and the availability of coastal shipping for lighterage purposes was questionable. It was feasible, he continued, to dock vessels with a maximum draft of twenty-one feet. He therefore based his calculations on berthing all the cargo vessels alongside the piers and discharging them by means of the ships' booms

Only three cargo ships of less than twenty-one feet draft were provided, and these were intended for the northern and eastern outports. To mitigate unloading problems at Reykjav�k, three steam lighters were to be taken along, under tow, in the first convoy

three of the four troop transports were completely combat loaded, the vessels finished discharge sooner than Colonel Iry and Major Whitcomb expected. In four days the ships were ready to return. Perhaps most noteworthy was the fact that the two cargo ships Hamul and Arcturus, though drawing twenty-two and twenty-three feet, were able to berth at the inner harbor docks at high tide, where, by speeding up the operations as much as possible and by keeping the ships evenly trimmed so that they could rest on the bottom in safety, they were able to unload without particular difficulty in spite of the shallow depth at low water. The other vessels discharged over the beach.

Displacement: 14,225 long tons (14,453 t)
Length: 459 ft 1 in (139.93 m)


Displacement: 8,560 long tons (8,697 t) light
18,900 long tons (19,203 t) full
Length: 492 ft (150 m)

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