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King Haakon’s War

In this lecture, we examined the fate of Occupied Norway during World War II and the steady growth of an effective resistance movement within the civilian and former military population. We traced the path to the Norwegian throne by Prince Carl of Denmark, who assumed the title King Haakon VII of Norway in 1905, taking for himself the motto “Alt for Norge,” or “All for Norway.”

We witnessed Norway’s efforts to maintain neutrality in World War I, and King Haakon’s growing concerns about the country’s inability to remain neutral in the face of Germany’s growing might. We charted the invasion of Norway and the escape of the King and government-in-exile to London as the Quisling government tried to impose Nazi rule on the country. Norway’s unique position in Europe and her challenging topography were both a help and a hindrance to the growing opposition to Nazi rule. We then looked at one of the more daring acts of sabotage: the destruction of the Vermork Norsk Hydro Plant in Rjukan, which kept the Germans from developing an atom bomb.


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