Occupied is a new Netflix Original series that was released in the United States this past January and for which I am completely hooked. Set aside the notion that I am presently working on a novel that covers the occupation of Norway during WW II, this serial set in Norway is chock full of plausible current event scenarios that could lead to just such an occupation. Politics, geography, resources, culture and war. I just started watching the serial and while I have been doing a bit of binge watching, I am only as far as episode #6 out of I believe, 12. Half way there.
In addition to watching the serial, I am listening to an unofficial accompanying podcast which features four young souls that episode-by-episode critic and reflect on everything from the premise, setting, acting and cultural significances of each scenario and action.
Today on the podcast covering episode #4, they discuss a little about Norway’s history and they touch on the occupation, even bringing up the fact that in present day Norway, the term Quisling is an adjective reference to someone being a traitor. This comes from the actual person of Vidkun Quisling, the leader of a collaborationist regime with the Nazi party that was present in Norway during the events that led up to the country’s occupation in April of 1940. Norway was vulnerable because within its government there was a traitor regime that basically welcomed in the Nazis to take residence and utilize their shoreline for the purpose of gaining access to the Iron Ore situated in Kiruna, Sweden. Kiruna is only a short distance from a major port in Northern Norway: Narvik. This may not be the sole reason for Norway’s occupation during WW II, but it is a large part of it.
Can you imagine how excited I was in my car as I was driving to work today and this group of 4 podcaster a was talking about Quisling and his role in WW II and the notion of a country’s vulnerability as a result of traitors in the midst of order? Most people I encounter have no knowledge of the finer points of WW II and the occupation of various countries, in particular Norway. How did it happen? How did people allow their country to be suddenly over taken by the enemy? Was there not a government and military presence to help snub enemy efforts?
I know about the Fort Oscarsborg situated on an island just south of Oslo and which was thought to be closed and considered inoperable and in fact, unknown by the German military. On April 9, 1940, this fortress played an instrumental role in slowing down the military coup of Norway by the Nazi regime. Deep under the fjord waters was a torpedo battery which successed in sinking the sub: Blucher. This prevented the Nazis from taking the king prisoner and allowed enough time for the royal Family to escape Norway with their valuables including the royal gold, before a second attempt was made. Quisling’s regime had previously attempted to declare leadership over the country and announced that no one was to resist the Nazis. The soldier keeping watch at Oscarsborg disregarded those orders, and for his disobedience he ended up in jail. That man was Birger Erickson.
I just recently learned that in the last year and in particular last month, the US Troops have been in Norway on a NATO mission to load up the caves with artillery and military vehicles to arm 15,000 soldiers for 30 days, in the event of a major incident. This project has been ongoing since 2014. And, it is something that is on most major network websites. However, I being a regular news watcher, I have not seen it on any prime time media outlets. In my view this is a good thing. I speak of it here, but hope that this type of contingency military action stays under the radar.
Occupied: the Netflix Series- not so far fetched.
It’s happened before.
I am glad that perhaps we do remember history, our leaders and military higher ups keep history in mind as they watch various strategies being made by various ruling parties around the world. Avoiding the mistake of history repeating itself is a very good thing.