When Britain Occupied Iceland
Of many legends woven about World War II one of the most enduring is the ‘Britain at Bay’ fiction. The story goes that in 1940 the warlike Reich invaded unprepared innocent France.
The carefully spun myth has it that it was Hitler’s intention was to use England’s nearest neighbour as a launching pad to invade ‘Ethelred the Unready’ England. From this falsity stems the belief that in 1940 Britain stood alone in defending the free world from the rapacious Hun.
Not wishing to spoil a good story there is no mention that France on September 3, 1939, declared war on the Workers Reich and soon afterwards invaded and occupied part of Germany. Nor is there mention that Germany occupied northern France to forestall Britain’s intention to bring D-Day forward by four years.
Britain in 1940 was not quite as alone as victors’ propagandists would have us believe. The British Commonwealth in 1940 was a global superpower. The British Empire directly or de facto had political and economic control of 25% of the world’s population and 30% of the earth’s and land mass. The combined forces of the British Empire numbered an incredible 15 million servicemen and women who fought in every theatre of war.
In 1940, Britain fought and occupied Italian and German colonies. Britain at bay invaded and occupied Libya, Italian Somaliland, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Persia (Iran), Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Madagascar.
Britain at bay during 1940 added 1.6 millions square miles of international territory to its vast empire. The transport infrastructure of several of the British occupied countries was used to send massive free aid the Bolshevik terrorised Russia.
In 1940, Britain conspired in a Yugoslavian coup, assassinated political leaders, blackmailed neutral countries, and illegally initiated the bombing of civilian populations in Germany. This was to bring terrible retribution to the British population.
In 1940, Winston Churchill’s Britain was allied to many of the world’s most notorious dictators. Britain openly conspired and collaborated with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. The Bolshevik despot was responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity unequalled in human history.
Thanks to Winston Churchill and U.S President Roosevelt adding their blood-soaked signatures to the Yalta Conference agreement Josef Stalin added 21 ‘prize of war’ nations to his terrifying empire.
Like most of the British invasions the occupation of Iceland is airbrushed out of the victors’ narrative. Former Royal Navy serviceman R. Hull of Newhaven writes: “I was posted to Iceland in 1944. During the year I spent on the island, I found the people full of hatred towards the British. I was spat at many times, and there was regular aggression from the locals.”
The Royal Navy sailor goes on to tell of how, when the war ended, “we and the Merchant Navy lads decided get our own back. We met inside the dockyard gates while the locals began gathering across the road on a large green.
The fire brigade and the Royal Marines had been ordered to keep us apart, but didn’t lift a finger as we moved into town, overturning cars, smashing shop windows and fighting all over the place as we went. It was one big riot. I don’t know if it was reported back in the UK, but the best thing the Icelanders did was to persuade the British Government to sign an agreement that we would leave within three months at the end of the war.”
N M Symonds describes the Icelandic Victory in Europe (VE) publication Spegillinn being headed by the words, Fridur! Fridur! Fridur I Europu which translates in to Freedom, Freedom, Freedom in Europe.
This was a sarcastic reference to the Allied swan song and the continued occupation of Iceland. The caption was illustrated with a drawing of drunken British sailors fighting and smashing their way through the streets.
Nothing much changes from Britain and America’s ‘defending our freedoms’ fiction. Britain’s illegal invasion of Iceland was dressed up as ‘stepping in to assist a threatened nation.’
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