Operation Freethorpe

This was a British operation by the Special Operations Executive to protect the repeater station at Mo-i-Rana in German-occupied Norway, attack railway communications, and obtain intelligence on German troop movements using a group organised among local railwaymen (November/December 1944).

In September 1944 Odin Normann, a trades union courier, had offered to create an organisation among the railwaymen in Mo-i-Rana. ‘Scale Quaver’ was originally to have contacted Normann, but after this failed a group was organised in Stockholm under 2nd Lieutenant F. Baarnes, who travelled overland from Stockholm in neutral Sweden with I. Rogne, A. Solbakken and A. E. Larsen.

Through Normann and a Swedish contact, this party established a base just inside the Swedish border, and was instructed to carry out its tasks from this base, which was also to have a ‘Fulmar’ radio station to assist it. Eventually attacks were carried out against the railway at a bridge to the north of Mo-i-Rana in February 1945 and against the railway itself during April. At the liberation of Norway in May 1945, the ‘Freethorpe’ party moved to Mo-i-Rana and assisted the local Milorg military resistance organisation’s forces.