|Full Name||90 Kingdom of Iceland|
|Alliance||Neutral or Non-Belligerent|
|Entry into WW2||10 May 1940|
|Population in 1939||120,000|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseIn 1874, Iceland, an island between Greenland, Britain, and Norway, was granted limited home rule by its possessing power, Denmark. In 1918, the Danish-Icelandic Act of Union was signed, establishing Iceland as a fully sovereign state in a personal union with Denmark, and the act was to last for 25 years; it was also agreed that Denmark was to handle foreign policy on behalf of Iceland. When the war in Europe began in 1939, Denmark's declaration of neutrality applied to Iceland as well. On 10 Apr 1940, one day after Denmark became occupied by Germany, the Althing, the Icelandic parliament, passed resolutions granting the Icelandic cabinet full powers, including the power over foreign policy. For the next few weeks, Britain courted Iceland, seeking to bring Iceland into the war on the side of the Allies, but all attempts failed. Fearing a German occupation, British forces invaded Iceland on 10 May 1940. Iceland protested, calling the invasion a "flagrant violation" of the country's neutrality but, Prime Minister Hermann J√≥nasson also announced over radio that the citizens of Iceland should treat British troops as guests. The invasion of Iceland saw minimal actual fighting; less than ten were killed on both sides. By 1941, about 25,000 British troops were stationed on Iceland. In the same year, the Althing adopted a law creating the position of regent for Sveinn Bj√∂rnsson. Also in 1941, in Jul, Britain forced Iceland into signing an agreement which allowed American troops to be stationed in Iceland, thus freeing British troops to serve elsewhere; the number of US troops would eventually reach 40,000, which was about a third of the native population. Iceland hosted a number of important airfields for the Allies, as well as being the staging point for many of the Atlantic Convoys bringing war goods to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk in northern Russia. On 17 Jun 1944, after the expiration of the Act of Union of 1918, Iceland declared formal independence as a republic and continued to nominally observe neutrality in the war; Bj√∂rnsson became the nation's first president. Danish King Christian X, from occupied Denmark, sent a message of congratulations to the Icelandic people. Allied occupation troops did not depart until 1946.
Last Major Update: Mar 2013
|Events Taken Place in Iceland|
|Invasion and Occupation of Iceland||10 May 1940 - 31 Dec 1945|
|Arctic Convoys||21 Aug 1941 - 30 May 1945|
Iceland in World War II Interactive Map
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