|Born||3 Aug 1872|
|Died||21 Sep 1957|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseBorn Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel, King Haakon VII of Norway was one of the very few monarchs who were elected by a national referendum. He came from a long line of royal figures with direct relations to Danish and Norwegian kings, and was himself a Prince of Denmark. He was coronated on 22 Jun 1906 following the separation of the personal union presiding over Norway and Sweden. He chose the name Norwegian name Haakon to suggest returning the land back to Norwegian control, though he continued to speak Danish for the rest of his life.
ww2dbaseDuring WW2, Norway was invaded by German forces in Apr 1940. Although the Norwegian coastal batteries at the Oskarsborg fortress were able to sink the cruiser Blücher and damage the battleship Lützow, Norway still fell under German control. The unexpected losses, however, meant the Germans would not be able to capture King Haakon, the royal family, and high profile members of the government. Eventually in Jun 1940 the king exiled to London upon German occupation. During this time he was credited with having the charisma to maintain a unified Norwegian front against the Germans. His first act of defiance was a staunch refusal of the German demands to form a puppet government in Norway. Then, under his inspirations, Norwegian resistance eventually was able to tie down divisions of German troops to maintain order, depriving Germany the use of thousands of soldiers. Coupled with a potential British landing (which was never planned), the German garrison in Norway eventually grew to over 370,000 men. Finally, Norwegian resistance was also able to sabotage a heavy water plant, depriving valuable material for the German atomic bomb research.
ww2dbaseKing Haakon VII died in Oslo in 1957. His son, Prince Alexander, succeeded him as the King of Norway as King Olav V.
Last Major Revision: Nov 2005
Haakon VII Timeline
|3 Aug 1872||Haakon VII was born.|
|14 Apr 1940||King Haakon of Norway appealed to his people to resist but the Germans warned that any civilians aiding the British will be rounded up and shot.|
|29 Apr 1940||King Haakon VII and the Norwegian government evacuated to Tromsø, Norway via British cruiser HMS Glasgow.|
|1 May 1940||King Haakon VII and the Norwegian government established the provisional government at Tromsø, Norway.|
|7 Jun 1940||King Haakon VII of Norway, Crown Prince Olav, and members of the Norwegian government departed Tromsø in Northern Norway at 2000 hours aboard British cruiser HMS Devonshire. They were headed for Britain.|
|7 Jun 1945||King Haakon returned to Norway on the fifth anniversary of his departure.|
|21 Sep 1957||Haakon VII passed away.|
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