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200x150 cm. Oil on canvas.


Painting by Rolf Groven

The 9th of April 1940 Norway was attacked by the Nazies. Seven towns
along the coast were occupied at first, none at the north-western part,
however, was taken by the Germans, and therefore Molde became an
important centre of military forces. Both Norwegian and British
battleships frequented the fjord and the military activity made Molde
an obvious goal of the German bombs. Only a week after the invasion the
first bombs fell. They were aimed at a ship alongside the quay, but
many bombs fell far from the ship and several houses were damaged.

Molde, the capital of Norway for a week.
King Haakon, Crown prince Olav and members of the government arrived at
Molde the 23rd of April after a dramatic flight from Oslo. They settled
down at the outskirt of the town.
The Norwegian stock of gold was also conveyed to Molde. The national
poet Nordahl Grieg took part in the transport. The gold was hidden in a
clothing factory. German intelligence was well aware of what was going
on and the 25th of April they started an intense attack. For one week
fire- and ?bombs sifted down on the town. The continuous howl from the
air-raid siren on the chimney of the dairy strengthened the sinister
The 29th of April was the worst day in the history of Molde. The town
was transformed into a sea of flames. The church was still undamaged,
but late that night a firebomb got stuck high up in the tower. When the
beautiful church caught fire, all hopes faded.
Unbelievably only seven were killed these horrible days of April.

Help from England.
The British cruiser Glasgow was ordered to head for Molde in order to
bring the King and his entourage to safety. Followed by two destroyers
the large ship (180 meters) docked in the evening of the inferno. The
night was filled with roaring noise from machine guns, motors, sirens
and bombs. The road to the quay was very difficult and dangerous, but
the King and his company eventually reached the Glasgow and entered
safely. Nobody was injured and all ships escaped bombs. in spite of
intense artillery no planes were shot down either.
In the middle of this drama, the crew on two smaller boats were working
against time bringing the gold on board Glasgow. They did not succeed
in getting all the gold on board before the ships had to leave the
burning town. The rest of the stock was brought northward by
One hour after midnight the three ships were off to the ocean and
headed for Tromsø.



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