Saturday, July 9, 2022

Norway Stirs ...

Gefreiter Georg Schülze had learned to enjoy himself in the small Norwegian fishing village he and nine other German soldiers had been posted to. They were the sole sign of the German occupation of Norway that most of the villagers saw on a day to day basis.

A policeman, a detective in fact, assigned to Berlin before the war, Schülze had been a reservist. Called up in late 1939, he had begrudged his departure from the police to find himself in this small, wind-swept port in the middle of nowhere.

Over time though, he had learned to love the area. It was rugged and somewhat remote but had a beauty which he grew more and more accustomed to, he thought of after the war, perhaps staying here wouldn't be so bad. The villagers left the occupiers alone and caused no trouble for the Germans. For their part, the Germans left the Norwegians alone as well.

Most of the people were fishermen or those who supported them. It seemed idyllic to Schülze, though a few conversations with the locals made it clear that life on the sea, depending on the sea, was far from idyllic. As one of the fishermen had told him, "The sea, she wants to kill you, you can never turn your back on her."

But from the safety of the shore, it all looked so pretty to him.

At the moment he was sitting in the small office they were using as their headquarters, the other two men currently on duty - Schützen¹ Klaus Winter and Hans Ahrens - were out patrolling the village and its environs. It was another quiet day but rather cold. It had snowed during the night, coating the landscape with a lovely white blanket but making the troops wish that their greatcoats were a bit more substantial.

Schülze was reading the latest directives from Berlin, via occupation headquarters in Oslo, and one caught his attention. Apparently they were getting an officer to replace his current superior, Feldwebel Max Bayer.

Bayer wasn't your typical reservist posted to occupation duty rather than frontline service. The man was a decorated combat veteran who had been wounded in the fighting around Narvik in the spring. After a long stint in hospital he had been posted here, healthy enough to supervise nine reservists who sole job was watching over some 500 Norwegians, but not healthy enough to return to the front.

Apparently that was changing, one of the papers he held in his hands were orders for Bayer to return to  Germany for posting to a combat unit. His replacement, Leutnant Herbert Bär was expected any day now. Schülze actually knew Bär, the man had been a senior police official in Potsdam at the start of the war. Schülze wondered who the man had pissed off to get sent to Norway.

"So Bjorn, how are things in Oslo?" Premierløitnant Morten Henriksen asked as Bjørn Mikkelsen came into the room, brushing snow from the shoulders of his coat.

"Warmer than here, but not by much. The place is crawling with Germans and quislings², it's good to be back in the countryside." Mikkelsen removed his coat, hanging it on a wooden peg near the door, then joining Henriksen by the stove. He sniffed and then asked, pointing at the pot on the stove, "Is that real coffee?"

"Yes, have some, we liberated it from the Germans down in the valley."

"Now how did they get coffee?" Mikkelsen asked.

"We didn't stop to ask. Hildur and I went down to check out the lay of the land, so to speak. While we were hiking back she pulled the bag of coffee beans from her coat pocket, asked me if I thought the Germans would miss them. Apparently she pocketed them from the back of a German truck. That woman is full of surprises!" Henriksen had to chuckle at the memory, though at the time it had scared him. He had chastised her for stealing the coffee, she had laughed and told him to "grow up."

Mikkelsen poured himself a cup of coffee after fetching a cup from the nearby table. Only after taking a few sips of the hot brew, did he set the cup down and reach into his jacket. He pulled a long, rag-wrapped object from that pocket and placed it on the table. Which caused Henriksen to raise an eyebrow.

As Mikkelsen returned to drinking his coffee, the Norwegian officer leaned forward, picked up the object and unwrapped it. It was a rifle scope. Looking through it he could see that it was in very good condition.

"Will this fit on your hunting rifle?"

"Olaf and I hunt with the same rifle, of course in Olaf's case it's 'used to hunt.'"

"Then let's check it out, we have ample ammunition for a few test shots to zero the scope." Henriksen was excited, with a scoped rifle they could hurt the Germans from a distance. His little band of resistance fighters had been semi-idle for months. Though they occasionally sabotaged German vehicles, and stole various items from the Germans when they could, they had not really done much to take the war to the Germans.

Henriksen was a soldier, he wanted to fight the occupiers, some of the others weren't so sure that they should actually fight the Germans. Mikkelsen wanted to, as did the other surviving regular soldier, Martin Sundheim. The three reservists in their small band weren't so sure they could survive a stand-up fight with the German military.

Henriksen decided that if need be, he, Sundheim, and Mikkelsen would separate from the group and make war on the occupiers elsewhere. There were any number of places on the roads into the mountains where the Germans could be attacked.

He was growing impatient.

Schülze heard a vehicle pull up outside of their small  headquarters, it sounded like a Kübelwagen, so it had to be Leutnant Bär. He stood up, adjusted his greatcoat and donned his helmet. Might as well look presentable for the new boss, he thought.

Before he could get to the door, it swung open, it was indeed Bär.

"Well, well, Georg, napping at midday?" Bär was insufferable, Schülze remembered that about the man.

"Herr Leutnant, I was going through our message traffic when I heard your car pull up. We weren't expecting you until later today."

"Very well, let's have a look at my new domain, take me around, show me this little outpost of the Reich!" With that, Bär turned on his heel and headed back out the door, Schülze following.

Schülze had the feeling that things in his quiet little fishing village were about to become less quiet. Bär was not the "live and let live" type.

Stepping into the street, one of the locals nodded at Schülze and waved, sending Bär into a fit.

"You there, that man!" he yelled in German, pointing at the local. "Doff your cap and bow when speaking to a German officer!"

"Sir, things have been ..."

"Silence Schülze! I know you've been coddling these primitives. The whole town smells of fish! Things are going to change and change today!"

The local man, who did speak a bit of German, actually took off his cap and bowed slightly in the direction of the loud German. As the officer stormed down the street, the fat German, the one who seemed nice, simply shrugged and followed his officer.

The Norwegian frowned. He knew a man in a village up the coast who supposedly was in touch with the resistance in the hills. Perhaps they should know of this new development. He assumed this meant trouble.

Sten Rike had done his stint in the army long ago, but he still remembered the officers who liked to throw their weight around. This new man smacked of such an officer. Rike had a feeling the quiet times were over.

And the war had been so "peaceful" for them up to now.

Damn it.

¹ Privates, lowest rank in the military (German)
² A Norwegian term used for those who collaborated with the Nazis. It came from the name of a Norwegian politician, Vidkun Quisling, who worked closely with the Nazis during the occupation.


  1. A fishing village that stinks of fish - imagine that! Nice Touch. Looking forward to more from the Norwegians.

    1. Looks like everybody, one and all, is just sitting around with their tongues hanging out - tomorrow can't come soon enough

  2. Sarge, are you and the Muse mind readers or did you do some semi-subtle foreshadowing? I found myself wondering about the Norse after reading yesterday. Great to hear of Hildur again, gal's got grit.
    On the cafe in France; the touch of "I won't have the cafe owners killed yet, they have good wine" speaks volumes of occupation by a "master race" doesn't it? Klaus Schwab and George Soros, call your offices
    Boat Guy

    1. Would dearly love to find a way to do that. Might have to settle for some of their minions.

  3. A new Leutnant hits the scene as does a rifle scope..........hmmmm.........

    1. The term for that as I recall is "foreshadowing".

    2. Someone needs to be a bullet-stop. Oh, look, an arsh-hole...

    3. Don't judge Bär too quickly ...

      Oh wait, he is an arschloch.

  4. Perhaps Herr Leutnant didn't even arrive! Did he have a driver? Did he make a wrong turn and get lose in the woods? Deep woods along there, reaching up to the sky, as the sea reaches down to its bed.

  5. There is nothing more disruptive months or perhaps years of any working situation than to bring in the proverbial "fresh blood" that wants nothing more than to shake things up for the purposes of making themselves feel important.

    1. Happens far too often and almost never really makes anyone happy.

  6. Sighting in the scope should be a challenge. Rifle shots attract attention. But an hour's hike into the woods should provide enough pine tree based muffling of the shots.

    1. Away from the villages and up in the mountains there are very few people to rat you out.

  7. This Bär guy sounds like a real bear.

    1. I was kinda wondering when you'd show up. 😁

    2. I've been busy with life (and mourning the recent passage of a friend), so I don't make it here as often as I used to.

  8. I always read and learn and enjoy. You've got a way of capturing me and many others in your net of Kraut terminology and a desire to use a few rounds downtown. I can't imagine what it must have been like, day upon day. Thanks Sarge.


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