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Hi! My name is Ulrik, and this is my student blog. My posts will be based on tasks and subjects given to the class by my English teacher Ann. I am currently in my third year at Sandvika High School, Norway.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Trafalgar Christmas tree

The Christmas tree at Trafalgar sqaure

Every year, a huge Christmas thee is placed on Trafalgar square. It stands twenty meters tall, and is decorated with lights and a Christmas star. The tree is given by the city of Oslo as a gratitude for the help given to Norway during The Second World War. The three stands until the twelfth night of Christmas, when it is taken down. So whats the story behind it? What was Britain's role in Norway during The Second World War, and why is the tree given to London?

When Norway was attacked on the 9th of April, 1940, the Germans had one particular goal in mind. The city of Narvik, was the last stop for the Swedish iron, before being transported out of the country.When the Germans attacked Norway, Narvik was quickly taken, and two Norwegian battleships were sunk. Few days later, the British, assisted by French and Polish troops, attacked Norway, trying to take Narvik among other places together with Norwegian troops. The battles led to huge casualties on both sides, and in the end, the allied troops withdrew from Norway and Norway surrendered to Germany. The Norwegian King, his family, and the government fled to London and commanded the Norwegian free troops, resistance and fleet from there. The tree is presented to London, as a token of gratitude for their help during the war. It was first given in 1947.

On top: Norwegian troops near Narvik
Bottom: British troops at Namsos.

The number of people killed during The Second World War

The war led to huge casualties on both sides, over seventy million people was killed. Total Norwegian casualties reaches eleven thousand, or 0.32% of the population. The UK lost 450.900 people, or 0.94%. Up to 8 million Germans was killed(10%), and the Soviet Union lost 23 million(14%), and the US lost over 400.000(0.32%).

A story from the war in Norway

Even though the main battle for Norway took place in 1940, bombing raids and sabotage went on trough out the war. One of the men who went on a bombing raid, was the RAF navigator Ron Day. The last days of the war his squadron flew towards Norway, but the plane he was in was shot down. Click this link to read the full story about his days as a German prisoner, when the war was coming to an end. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/51/a3964151.shtml

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