Operation Scale

This was an Allied operation by the Special Operations Executive and Office of Strategic Services to to advise and assist the home front organisation in German-occupied Norway, with support from Sweden, in the organisation of all available forces, to co-ordinate action within Norway with that taken by Allied forces outside the country, to help hinder German counter-scorch plans, and assist in the arrival of military and civil supplies (September 1944).

The ‘Scale’ sub-operations which were originally planned were ‘Scale Octave’ for Oslo, ‘Scale Minim’ for Stockholm, ‘Scale Quaver’ for Nordland, ‘Scale Semi-Quaver’ for Trondheim, and ‘Scale Semi-Breve’, ‘Scale Crotchet’ and ‘Scale Sharp’ which together were to cover Bergen and the Stavanger area. Eventually only ‘Scale Quaver’, ‘Scale Semi-Quaver’ and ‘Scale Minim’ were undertaken.

The closely related ‘Scale Quaver’ and ‘Scale Semi-Quaver’, launched on 16 October and based on a four-man party comprising J. Adamson, M. Watson, P. Dahl, Sergeant Lindsay), were to provide intelligence on German troop movements through the county of Nordland, assist local organisations, establish contact with the Milorg military resistance organisation, and consider possibilities of railway sabotage between Mo and Mosjøen. This was the only operation sent to Norway as a party comprising mainly British recruits, including a SOE officer.

The strategically important area north of Trondheim had not had contact with the UK since the break-up of the ‘Falcon’ operation during the previous August. The operation was a disaster as, soon after its delivery by parachute, the party was surprised by a group of German soldiers. This led to the capture of Adamson, his imprisonment in Norway and eventual transportation to Germany, although he survived the war. The other three recruits eventually escaped to Sweden.

‘Scale Minim’ involved the air transport of Major H. A. Nyberg to Stockholm in neutral Sweden on 16 December 1944 to represent Special Forces HQ at the SOE and Office of Strategic Services missions in Stockholm on all matters for which SFHQ was responsible to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces.

To assist in co-ordinating the activities of both missions, Nyberg arrived in Stockholm as the Honorary Assistant Military Attaché. He liaised on the preparation of the Norwegian police troops in ‘Beefeater’ and sent regular reports on their progress, which also included intelligence on conditions in Norway. After the liberation he accompanied the police troops into Norway.