National Geographic : 1947 Mar
SLennart Nilsson fromsIlaek SaR Though the Lofoten Season Is Short and Rushed, the Sabbath Is a DI)ay of Rest THIS Sunday jam of craft in Henningsvaer harbor shows the change in the fleet that fishes the Vestfjorden. Gone are the open Nordland boats with rectangular sails, similar in design to old Viking ships. Sturdy Diesel-motored smacks, cut ters, and schooners replace sail and oar. Much of the romance and danger has gone; but catches are bigger than ever. Henningsvier houses some 400 people all year. By March 1, 2,000 fishermen may tax its limited facilities. Sundays and evenings the harbor dis appears beneath their craft. Even seasonal popula tion fluctuates, for at night fishermen who sleep aboard put into whatever port is nearest. Twice the Lofoten Islands flashed into war head lines in 1941. Daring British Commandos, guided by Norwegian volunteers, made their first sizable strike at Nazi-dominated Europe near Svolvser March 4. Chief objectives were plants where Ger- mans extracted fish oil for making high explosives and lubricating delicate war mechanisms. The raiders, on Norwegian soil 6 2 hours, suf fered no casualties and met little opposition. They sank 18.000 tons of German shipping, fired oil storage tanks, blew up a seaplane base, captured 215 Germans and 10 quislings. and took 323 Nor wegian volunteers to Britain. Germans played down the raid. but burned the homes of volunteers, shot islanders who helped the British, slapped a large fine on Svolvi r. On December 26 Commando forces, aided by Norwegian and Polish naval units, again struck at military objectives in the islands. Unmolested during most of three days, they leveled war important installations. War's end came too quickly for German forces to do extensive damage in the Lofotens, as they did in Norway's far north.