Talk:Operation Freshman

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Good article Operation Freshman has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Good topic star Operation Freshman is part of the 1st Airborne Division (United Kingdom) series, a good topic. This is identified as among the best series of articles produced by the Wikipedia community. If you can update or improve it, please do so.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 26, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
March 6, 2009 WikiProject A-class review Approved
October 29, 2011 Good topic candidate Promoted
Current status: Good article


Well I've found the book Operation Freshman by Richard Wiggan, and used it to update the section on the actual operation rather substantially; however, some of the information in it contradicts what was there before. In particular, Wiggan indicates different crash sites for the gliders than the ones that were in the article before. I'm inclined to think, though, that a full-length book on the subject is somewhat more reliable than passing mentions in other works, so I've changed the article to reflect his assertions. His entire description of what crashed where is, however, slightly convoluted so I may be wrong. Certainly, this warrants some further research. Cool3 (talk) 01:24, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Claim that the 20 were arrested by Norwegian police and handed over to the Germans[edit]

In relation to a controversial visit to Norway in May 2009 by notorious British writer David Irving, the above assertion is attributed to Irving[1]. As the present article makes no mention of this version of the events I am requesting some background info on this. __meco (talk) 07:46, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm afraid I can't read norwegian, sorry :( But after a quick scan through my sources, I can't see anything about any of the Freshman members being arrested by Norwegian police - as far as I know, they were all located by the German authorities and detained. I have no evidence that the Norwegians encountered were anything but helpful to the Freshman survivors and did their best to help them. Irving is hardly a reliable source himself, given what he's been writing about the Holocaust and so forth. Skinny87 (talk) 09:30, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, unless he's making this claim exclusively from the top of his head there should be some sources, and then we can discuss whether these are applicable or not. __meco (talk) 15:19, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Welp, as I said I certainly can't find anything, and I wouldn't put it past Irving to make something up. I'm not sure what else to say - apart from the Wiggan book, I think I have every book on Operation Freshman, and I can't find anything about this in them. Skinny87 (talk) 15:46, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Copied from my talkpage There's nothing about the Norwegian police arresting anyone in the Wigan book, but I perhaps see where the claim comes from. When the Germans arrived at the second crash site (to arrest survivors) they were accompanied by "two Norwegian nazis" according to Wigan (p. 67). He makes, however, no reference to these men being police officers (although it is not impossible). In any case, the two Norwegians appear to have played no role in the actual arrests, which Wigan clearly states were carried out by the Germans. I hope that helps. Cool3 (talk) 20:12, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

the 2 gliders[edit]

The article has the 2 gliders the wrong way around; the Helleland glider was the one linked to the plane that crashed, the Fylgjesdalen glider was the one that detached from the plane that subsequently made it back to Scotland. Sources are Wiggan, Norwegian sources. My uncle was 2nd pilot on the plane which crashed, so this is family history as well. Richardplantagenet (talk) 10:12, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Have you got a page number for Wiggan? I don't have the book with me at the moment, and it would be handy for updating the article. Cheers, Skinny87 (talk) 16:06, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Merry Christmas all! Ray Mears confirms what Richardplantagnet says. It was something I'd queried in my mind after reading this article (after reading the book) and always meant to check, but never got around to. I keep meaning to make some minor mods here (about Op Grouse), so if nobody objects or minds waiting a few days I can rework that bit then. Ranger Steve (talk) 18:40, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Feel free to move and rewrite what you need, RS. Skinny87 (talk) 18:46, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I'll let the hangover wear off and then get on with it! Ranger Steve (talk) 18:58, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi to all in this section: Wiggan starts talking about the fates of the gliders in Ch 6 (pp 58-, the fate of the 2nd glider pp 62-) and he mentions the Helleland one first, which may have partly caused the confusion re/ which glider crashed where. On a family visit to the Helleland area in 1989 we met Trond Hovland and another local, Martin Sandstøl, who was involved in going up the mountain to the plane crash and later bringing down the crew's bodies in 1945. Another good source is Jostein Berglyd's "Operation Freshman" published by Leander & Ekholm (Stockholm) in 2006. Hope this helps, and hope the hangover goes away asap! Cheers, Richardplantagenet (talk) 20:42, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

I've made some initial changes. Everything I've added corresponds to Mears' work, but you two might like to check it fits with Wiggan and all the others. I've changed not only the 2 combinations, but the order of the casualty rates per glider, as they fitted the locations of subsequent events accordingly. Be back in a few days (with a fresh hangover no doubt), happy new year, Ranger Steve (talk) 19:27, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Changes seem okay, although I've tagged a sentence as needing a citation - and it also shouldn't refer to a photo in the text itself, as it could be moved/deleted. The aftermath section is now rather disorganized, and needs restructuring - ie put the stuff that happens during the war before the arrival of 1st Airborne and the post-war trials. Skinny87 (talk) 12:27, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
My bad, that was the caption to the image when it was the main infobox image. Didn't realise it had been moved into the text! Deleted Ranger Steve (talk) 13:50, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Looking good; made a slight copy-edit just now. Whenever you want to add the Grouse details in from Mears and so forth, I look forward to it. Skinny87 (talk) 22:17, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

While I've been going through the Grouse stuff, I've come across this site - [2]. Lots of fascinating stuff, I think it's a reliable source, but welcome opinions. Ranger Steve (talk) 18:20, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Crash locations[edit]

Thought I'd better explain some wholesale changes I've made to the glider crash locations. Originally, the article said the first glider crashed at a village called Fylgjesdalen overlooking Lysefjord. Fylgesdalen is a redirect to Flesland. Mears described the crash location as being at a place called Fyljesdal near Lyseford. The co-ordinates for Flesland did place it near Lyseford, so I assumed Mears was using an alternate spelling for the same place.

Today I found an interesting (and expensive so I didn't buy it) book called Striking Back by Niall Cherry in Waterstones, with a section on Freshman. It had a map that put the first glider crash nowhere near Flesland, so I thought I'd better do some checking. There is a different place called Fyljesdal that overlooks Lysefjord at these co-ordinates on google maps: 59.06033,6.619263 (copy and paste into the search bar). It isn't labeled in google maps, but is here - see this map (a PDF). I also found a good map 2/3 of the way down on this (non reliable source) Dutch blog. I'm not sure where the map's from but the crash locations match Cherry's map a lot better. I can confirm that this blog map matches the location given on the Norwegian leaflet - you can see the county borders on the blog map and they match the ones on google maps as well.

So, I've adjusted the article and the locations map accordingly. I've also found a few more refs listed below for safekeeping and other peoples opinions.

  • Cherry, Niall (2009). Striking Back: Britain's Airborne and Commando Raids 1940-1942. Helion & Company. 
  • "Operation Freshman". Stephen's Study Room: British Military & Criminal History in the period 1900 to 1999. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  • "Operation Freshman". Jostein Berglyd. 1993-02-11. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 

I wondered a bit about Cherry's stuff, quite a few terms like "I'm led to believe..." or "As I understand it..", but otherwise very detailed. Stephen Strattford's work is incredibly detailed and uses a lot of primary sources from the trials, which is useful. Jostein Berglyd is the author of a book on Freshman (already in the bibliography) so happily, his webpage is a reliable source (I hope). Cheers, Ranger Steve (talk) 16:38, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Dr. Airhead[edit]

The doctor that would inject atmospheric air in to anyones bloodstream is an interesting person, providing that he had a name. Could anyone please tell us his name, so we can all avoid medical treatments from anyone of his descendants? I just felt groggy when writing this section. Please tell us he did not get promoted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:17, 21 June 2013 (UTC)