Operation Kingdom (ii)

This was a British operation at the end of World War II within ‘Doomsday’ to deliver to Oslo, in the south of Norway, a Norwegian party comprising Crown Prince Olav, members of the Norwegian government-in-exile, headquarters staff, and a mission of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (11/13 May 1945).

The heavy cruiser Devonshire and destroyers Savage, Canadian Iroquois and Norwegian Arendal provided the escort for the fast minelayers Apollo and Ariadne, carrying the Prince Olav and members of the Norwegian government, from Rosyth to Oslo, which they reached on 13 May after a safe passage had been created by the 40th Minesweeping Flotilla.

Devonshire then headed south to Copenhagen to relieve the light cruiser Birmingham and then, on 24 May and in company with the light anti-aircraft cruiser Dido and two destroyers escorted the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen and light cruiser Nürnberg, which were the only German major warships immediately fit for sea, from Copenhagen to Wilhelmshaven.

Meanwhile other destroyers, escorted by British and Norwegian motor torpedo boats, delivered specially appointed naval officers to all the more important Norwegian ports. In view of the large number of Germans still present in Bergen and Trondheim, Vice Admiral R. R. McGrigor was sent with the cruiser Norfolk to the former and Rear Admiral A. E. M. B. Cunninghame-Graham in the light cruiser Birmingham to the latter; both cruisers also took carried British troops to these ports, where the first task was the removal of U-boats, the collection of German prisoners, the control and repatriation of the large number of Soviet ex-prisoners, and the delivery of supplies for the Norwegian population.