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The Shetland Bus

The story of the ‘Shetland Bus’ illustrates just how rooted Norway’s resistance efforts were in its ordinary citizens, whilst being supported by the Allies.



Beginning in August 1941 and operated mainly by young volunteers with assistance from the SOE, the ‘Shetland Bus’ operation saw vessels - including three ships donated by the US in 1943 - journeying between different parts of Norway and the Shetland Isles carrying supplies to Norwegian partisans and rescuing its refugees, whilst disguised as fishing boats.


This operation transported 383 tonnes of supplies and 190 agents to Norway, and evacuated 373 refugees and 73 agents to Shetland, while 44 men died during its missions. In total, 198 trips were carried out and Leif Larsen, a fisherman who joined the resistance and became one of the Shetland Bus leaders, took part in 52 of these.