Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 248 May 5, 1940

HMS Seal comes to the surface at 1:30 AM with no power or steering. 2 Arados & a Heinkel attack at 2:30 and Seal surrenders using a white table-cloth. All 60 crew are taken prisoner 3 hours later but fail to scuttle Seal, which is towed to the new German base at Frederikshavn, Denmark. She will be repaired & commissioned into the Kriegsmarine November 30 as UB. http://www.naval-history.net/WW2Ships-Seal.htm

To support the landings of British Independent Companies (intercepting 2nd Gebirgsjäger advance towards Narvik), destroyers HMS Juno & Veteran arrive at Mosjöen while HMS Nubian & Firedrake go to Bodö.

At 5.25 AM, Hegra Fortress surrenders (under siege since April 12, resisting infantry and artillery attack plus Luftwaffe bombing), following Allied evacuation around Trondheim and the surrender of Southern Norway. 190 volunteer soldiers and civilian nurse Anne Margrethe Bang become POWs. 150-200 Germans have been killed or wounded attacking the Fortress while 6 Norwegians died (14 wounded).

(The next day, 6 May, the prisoners from Hegra were marched 50 kilometres to Berkåk where a PoW camp was established. At Berkåk the prisoners were set at work at building an improvised road from the river Orkla near Berkåk across the woods to Brattset, to help the German logistic system that had been severely hampered by the numerous blown bridges. Due in part to the poor physical condition of the prisoners after the harsh siege they had just experienced the road was never completed. At the end of May, Adolf Hitler personally ordered their release as an act of recognition of the defense they had put up under difficult conditions. The release happened in groups and by mid-June the last PoWs had been let go.)

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