by Robert Pearson
Philadelphis: Casemate, 2015. Pp. xii, 266.
Illus., map, append., notes, biblio., index. $34.95. ISBN: 1612002862
The Daring Secret Mission to Rescue Norway’s Gold
Independent historian Pearson has combed archives and interviewed survivors, to give us an account of the transfer of 50 tons of Norway’s gold from the banks vaults of Oslo to British warships, and thence on to England, even as Hitler’s hordes overran the country.
Pearson’s cast of characters is extensive, some famous, such as King Haakon and his Crown Prince, Winston Churchill, various naval and military officers, and even the notorious Vidkun Quisling, but mostly obscure, such as Fredrik Haslund, a secretary to the Norwegian Ministry of Supply, and many others unknown. There are some unlikely heroes, from bureaucrats and bank clerks, to poets, leftists and rightists, fishermen, sailors, soldiers, railway men, truck drivers, , and a goodly number of villains, including various traitors and Nazi-sympathizers, as well as German military and Nazi Party officials. There are secret meetings, covert convoys, close calls, fire fights, air raids, ambushes, air drops, sea battles, and more, in a tale that could easily make for a very good motion picture thriller.
Pearson also gives us some insights into how Norway managed to steer its way through neutrality during the “Phony War,” and adds a quick overview of the country’s role in the World War II.
Although it would have benefited from some more careful editing, Gold Run is a very good read for anyone.
Note Gold Run is also available as an e-Book, ISBN 978-1-61200-287-3.