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Daily Archives: 1. October 2013 − News & Stories


World War II ammu­ni­ti­on at Advent­top­pen

The mad­ness of the Second World War has left its traces even in remo­te are­as as Spits­ber­gen. The dis­co­very of gre­na­de laun­cher ammu­ni­ti­on on Advent­top­pen, on the north side of Advent­fjord oppo­si­te Lon­gye­ar­by­en, has drawn atten­ti­on in July 2013 (see spitsbergen-svalbard.com news from July).

Now we know the sto­ry behind it. The infor­ma­ti­on is from inter­views by Prof. E. Dege in the 1980s and 1990s with Wer­ner Koehl. Koehl was lea­der of the recon­nais­sance patrol “Schnee­huhn” (“Ptar­mi­gan”) that was on a recon­nais­sance ope­ra­ti­on in Spits­ber­gen in August 1944 with the sub­ma­ri­ne U-307.

Prof. Dege kind­ly added the fol­lowing to the sto­ry about the dis­co­very of the ammu­ni­ti­on in July (own trans­la­ti­on):

“The recon­nais­sance patrol went up from cen­tral Hanas­kog­dal on 07 August 1944 to the ridge bet­ween Advent­to­pen and Hiorthfjel­let and dis­co­ve­r­ed on the ridge a ful­ly deve­lo­ped (but not occu­p­ied) posi­ti­on of the (Nor­we­gi­an) gar­ri­son in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. They found slee­ping bags, pro­vi­si­ons, (phar­maceu­ti­cal) drugs, and the said gre­na­de laun­cher ammu­ni­ti­on. The ammu­ni­ti­on was too hea­vy for the patrol to car­ry, so they con­cea­led them under some rocks near­by. After this, the patrol wat­ched the acti­vi­ties in Lon­gye­ar­by­en and Mos­kus­hamn for a while from a barack of the aban­do­ned mine Hiorthfjell­gru­va, situa­ted in an alti­tu­de of 600 m on the south slo­pe of Hiorthfjel­let, befo­re they went back again to Dia­ba­sod­den, whe­re they were picked up on 11 August 1944 by U-307.”

Visi­ble traces of the Second World War in Spits­ber­gen, harm­less in this case: air­pla­ne wreck in Hior­th­hamn, oppo­si­te Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Airplane wreck from Second World War, Hiorthhamn (Adventfjord)

Source: com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on with Prof. E. Dege

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