Leif Welding-Olsen

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Leif Welding-Olsen
Leif Welding-Olsen.jpg
Born (1895-08-15)15 August 1895
Horten, Norway
Died 8 April 1940(1940-04-08) (aged 44)
Allegiance Norway
Service/branch  Royal Norwegian Navy
Commands held HNoMS Pol III
Battles/wars

Second World War

Leif Welding-Olsen (15 August 1895 – 8 April 1940) was the commander of the Royal Norwegian Navy patrol boat HNoMS Pol III. He was the first Norwegian to be killed during the German invasion of Norway.[1]

Monument for captain Leif Welding in Horten.

On 8 April 1940, Leif Welding-Olsen raised the alarm as the German navy ships moved past the guard lines in outer Oslofjord. Norway had been attacked at 2205hrs that evening as German ships passed the Norwegian territorial borders. Captain Welding-Olsen had a brief conversation with the commander of one of the German torpedo boats, who demanded that he surrender, but Welding-Olsen refused. Realising that the enemy would not turn away, and was going to violate Norwegian neutrality, Pol III fired flares to alert Norwegian coastal batteries and rammed the Albatros.

From the Albatros it was clear that the guns on Pol III were manned, and that the Norwegians intended to fight. The Albatros promptly hit the small Norwegian vessel with anti aircraft fire, wounding Captain Welding-Olsen and starting several fires. As Pol III was burning, her crew abandoned the vessel and were captured. Leif Welding-Olsen, weakened by blood loss, did not manage to enter the lifeboat and drowned, becoming the first casualty in the war between Norway and Nazi Germany.

Legacy[edit]

  • SHV-205 Welding, a vessel of Sea Home Guard was named after Leif Welding-Olsen
  • Welding Olsens vei of Oslo is named after him
  • Leif Welding street in Horten (Welding birthplace) is named after him

References[edit]

Other sources[edit]

  • Dildy, Douglas C. (2007) Hitler's Boldest Operation; Osprey Campaign Series (Osprey Publishing) ISBN 978-1-84603-117-5