Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection at Gardemoen
Sitting at home, more or less locked in on account of the Coronavirus, I thought I might just as well write an article about the Norwegian Armed Forces Aircraft Collection at Gardemoen, just outside Oslo.
I’ve been meaning to write this article ever since I wrote about the Heinkel 111 in Gatow, Berlin, but I haven’t got around to it.
I was there in March 2013, when I took part in the Landsudstilling, the annual show of the IPMS-Norway.
The museum depicts the development of the air force of a small country in northern Europe.
It all started with the acquisition of some odd biplanes.
It’s not until you get near to these things, that you realize just how crude they were.
Norway, as you know, was occupied by Germany during WWII, so the museum hosts some German planes from that war. First this well kept Ju 52.
The most interesting exhibit, at least for those who are interested in the Luftwaffe, is the He 111 on display.
It is one of the few ones that have been preserved.
This is the P version I believe, but please correct me if I’m wrong. Most of the He 111 that you see in museums are Spanish ones, built under license and fitted with Rolls Royce engines, for example this one at Gatow, Berlin, Germany.
After the war, with the German occupation fresh in memory, Norway realized, that as a small nation, it would have no chance to defend itself alone, if the major powers started to get violent. Consequently, Norway was one of the founding members of the Nato, so there are some Nato aircraft exhibited as well.
(As a side note, there were talks about a Scandinavian defense alliance between Sweden, Norway and Denmark. They were introduced by Swedish foreign minister Östen Undén, but were quickly turned down by his Danish and Norwegian counterparts, since they realized, that such an alliance would be much too weak to stand up against the Soviet Union or the USA. Östen Undén, put off by this rejection, turned Sweden to the path of neutrality, which was never anything but a scam. Behind the screens there was extensive cooperation with the Nato.)
This museum is not the main museum of Norwegian aviation though. That one is situated way up north in Bodø.
Norway is well worth a visit for WWII history buffs. Apart from the museums mentioned here, there is the Occupation museum in Narvik and preserved coastal batteries with guns from the German battleships Gneisenau and the never finished ships of the H-class.
Enjoy the pictures.
1 additional image. Click to enlarge.