Operation Grouse (ii)

This was a British operation by the Special Operations Executive to deliver a four-man Norwegian commando team into Norway in preparation for ‘Freshman’ (18 October/23 November 1942).

Early in 1942, J. Poulsson had been chosen for involvement in the plan to sink the Tinnsjø ferry, and later to place flares in the valley around Rjukan to help guide the bombers undertaking ‘Clairvoyant’. In February 1942 Poulsson presented a paper to Malcolm Munthe suggesting the establishment of resistance groups in Telemark, and this paved the way to ‘Grouse’ (ii).

The team was scheduled for parachute delivery toward the end of April, but the undertaking did not take place.

In mid-September it was decided the party could also act as advance party for the British airborne troops committed to ‘Freshman’ and also help in the organisation of resistance groups in Øvre Telemark. The four-man party (Poulsson, K. Haugland, A. Kjelstrup and C. Helberg) was delivered during the night of 18/19 October and sent its first message on 9 November.

The party’s orders laid it down that after the completion of ‘Freshman’ it should train local groups and target ‘Hirdmen’ (Quisling vigilante guards) and informers. On 23 November, after the failure of ‘Freshman’ and for security reasons, the party and its task were renamed as ‘Swallow’.