Operation Conan

This was a British naval undertaking to secure the Norwegian ports needed for the entry of ground forces to take the surrender of the occupying German forces in ‘Doomsday’ and ‘Apostle I’ (13/15 May 1945).

Under the command of Rear Admiral J. S. McL. Ritchie, the flag officer Norway, on 13 May two destroyers landed a naval control team, naval disarmament parties and initial army and air force parties in each of Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim and Tromsø, while motor torpedo boats from Lerwick in the Shetland islands group landed smaller parties in a larger number of less important ports. The effort was greatly aided by the efforts of the Milorg (Norwegian military resistance organisation), many of whose units seized essential locations in advance of the British arrivals and were soon supplemented by Norwegian ‘police’ troops from Sweden, where they had been raised, trained, equipped ands awaited the day of liberation.

‘Conan’ was quickly increased in capability by the seaborne arrival of the first of the air force’s main parties in ‘Doomsday’ on 15 May, followed by the Norwegian-manned Nos 331 and 332 fighter-bomber squadrons to Gardemoen, and then the first of the main British land forces in ‘Apostle I’.