Iceland in World War II

Iceland was at the beginning of World War II in a personal union with Denmark. The contacts ended when Germany occupied Denmark April 9, 1940.


Britain carried out a bloodless invasion of Iceland, which began May 10, 1940 under the name Operation Fork. British troops landed on near Reykjavik. They met no resistance and could immediately cut off communications, secure strategic locations and arrest German citizens. In the evening on May 10 sent the Icelandic government a protest in which they said that Iceland’s neutrality had been violated and that the expected compensation. The British promised compensation, beneficial business relations, not to interfere in the affairs of Iceland and the withdrawal of troops after the war. The Icelandic government adapted to the situation and they collaborated with the British troops even if it formally maintained its neutrality.

Iceland was occupied for the remainder of the war. In mid-1941, as Britain’s need for manpower increased, founded the United States and Iceland a contract where the then still officially neutral United States took over the occupation of 40 000 soldiers, who together were more than all adults Icelandic men. This occupation affected Iceland’s culture and launched an Americanization that is evident today.

1944 Island held a referendum with an overwhelming majority made ‚Äč‚ÄčIceland an independent republic. Although there was some resistance to this in occupied Denmark, sent a congratulatory Kristian X.

During the war, Nazi Germany’s plans to invade the Island, but these were never near realization.

In addition to the cultural impact of UK and U.S. occupation has left physical traces in the form of barrack buildings of corrugated metal, scattered over the island.

The Second World War

Island in the 1940s

Denmark during World War II

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