Operation Nussbaum

walnut tree

This was a German operation to establish and operate a meteorological station on Spitsbergen in the Svalbard islands group off German-occupied northern Norway (13 October 1942/20 June 1943).

In the autumn of 1942 the German navy planned to establish a new meteorological capability on Spitsbergen to allow the ‘Knospe’ station in Signehamma Bay to be revived. The scientific leader of this ‘Nussbaum’, which was delivered by U-boat, was the meteorologist Dr Franz Nusser. The revived operation was able to transmit a steady flow of weather reports through the winter of 1942/43, but then on 20 June 1943 discovered an Allied presence in Signehamma Bay. The Germans alerted their base in Norway, but had to remain in concealment for almost two months before a U-boat could collect them and deliver them to Tromsø in September 1943.

At the same time as the arrival of the ‘Nussbaum’ team on Spitsbergen, in a related naval meteorological effort, U-377 patrolled off Spitsbergen as a weather ship while U-212 and U-586 patrolled off Jan Mayen island as spotters.