Operation Kreuzritter

crusader

This was the German programme to land and maintain contact with meteorological teams on Spitsbergen island to the north of German-occupied Norway (4 October 1943/July 1944).

In October 1943 the 348-ton trawler Carl J. Busch, previously of the 'Nordsee' Deutsche Hochseefischerei of Cuxhaven, was tasked to deliver the German 'Knospe' meteorological party, led by Professor Dr Hans Knöspel, to the Liefdelfjord on the north coast of Spitsbergen. Supplied by air, the party was able to make daily reports from December 1943 to July 1944, the month in which a U-boat collected the members of the party for evacuation to Norway. The premature explosion of part of the self-destruction charges being laid to destroy the station’s equipment killed Knöspel.