HMS Grimsby has discovered 18 bombs and mines in the approaches to Oslo, say the Royal Navy.
The Royal Navy say here that, ships from five nations – currently attached to a NATO minehunting force – scoured stretches of the 60-mile fjord leading to Norway’s capital in the latest mission to ensure the waters are safe, 75 years after the war’s end.
“During the German occupation of Norway, the inlet was heavily mined – and bombers also dumped their payloads into the fjord.
NATO’s Standing Minecountermeasures Group 1 – charged with safeguarding northern European waters and ensuring they are mine-free – regularly conducts concerted ‘historic ordnance disposal’ operations, both in Oslofjord and off the coast of the Baltic States whose waters were similarly heavily mined and peppered with bombs during the conflicts of the 20th Century.
In the fortnight-long effort in Oslofjord, the NATO force – flagship FGS Donau, BNS Bellis, HNLMS Willemstad, HNoMS Otra plus Grimsby – located 38 pieces of ordnance, 18 alone by Grimsby (whose speciality is hunting in deep waters… and the fjord is up to 164 metres deep in places): 15 British air-dropped mines, plus three British bombs.”
“MCM1 Crew One in HMS Grimsby have made a strong start to their Baltic deployment,” said the ship’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Tom Gell.
“The group is a really good example of NATO nations working together to help secure sea lines of communication and keeping the high seas safe.”
That was reinforced by the group’s Commander Knudsen-Hauge Quick, who was quoted as saying:
“If the political situation between two parts becomes tense, and we need to move allied reinforcement to, for instance Norway, we know that most of these reinforcements will come by ships. Our task would be to make sure that the sea-lines of communications are safe for both merchant shipping, and allied reinforcements. If this is not done, you will also not receive allied reinforcements or civilian merchant goods.”