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When the Nazis made an unprovoked invasion of Norway in April 1940, the British and French sent an expeditionary force in an attempt to stem its consolidation. For a variety of reasons, the most significant of which was the Luftwaffe’s practically unchallenged command of the skies, the Allied bid failed; the evacuation from central Norway having been completed by the middle of June. Many died in the campaign, some 12,000 British and French troops embarking from Aandalsnes and Namsos on the nights of the 1st – 3rd May 1940.
Sixty years later, a British memorial was unveiled in Namsos by the British Ambassador to Norway who declared “an anomaly has been repaired at last”; the anomaly being that our French allies had erected a memorial 43 years earlier, but there had been nothing here to record even British participation in the campaign. Now, this historic site of the first ‘Dunkirk’ of the war is marked by three memorials: British, French and Norwegian, the last for those in the Namsos district who were killed during the courageous resistance to 5 years of Nazi occupation and in the blitz on the town.
These few pages are dedicated to those killed and wounded.
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