Norway/Stay Behind

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Group.png Norway/Stay Behind  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Meyer raid.png
Image: Weapons cache found in secret bunker during the Hans Otto Meyer raid
Parent organizationOperation Gladio
Interest ofJohn-Reier Martinsen, Hans Otto Meyer, Jens Henrik Nordlie, Hans Ringvold
Exposed bySvein Blindheim

The Norwegian Stay Behind networks were created after 1945 for use during a war or a Soviet occupation. The clandestine military units prepared for intelligence gathering, political surveillance, sabotage, assassinations, and evacuation of key personnel. The networks are (presumably) still in existence per 2020.

Before WW2

During the 1920s and 1930s, ruling circles had some fears of a red revolution and the reliability of working-class conscripts. Therefore, a secret army was set up within the official army structure. These trustworthy units would be used in strikes, lockouts and other conflicts. Gun firing pins etc. were stored separately, to ensure control of weapon stockpiles. These arrangements contributed to unpreparedness and chaos during the German attack in 1940.[1]

After 1945

After the end of WW2 and the beginning of the Cold War, there was a great awareness of the need to prepare for a new war or Soviet occupation. Several private initiatives were started. The core organizers of these new groups were the owners and managers of the biggest companies in the country. Politically they were on the dark blue right, but because the networks were partially created from the resistance movement during WW2 German occupation, the Norwegian groups never had as strong a Nazi/Fascist taint as in certain other countries (notably Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Portugal...). Of course it is to be noted that the leader of the Norwegian Stay behind, Jens Henrik Nordlie, was a former member of Quisling's Nazi party who had switched side in time during the war.

In the months before 1949, most of the early the private groups were merged into a MI6/CIA run government structure. On 25 October 1948, the then Minister of Defense and former Milorg leader Jens Chr. Hauge issued memorandum which gave instructions for the construction of the Norwegian Stay behind network. This document (the "birth certificate" for Stay behind) has long since disappeared and can allegedly no longer be found, be it in the Ministry of Defense or the National Archives.

But over the next few decades, several private groups, again mostly centered around owners of big companies (Arbeidsgiverforeningen, Libertas, Industriforbundet, Rotary, Den Norske Creditbank), continued to exist. The knowledge of these groups' extent and activities are to a large degree still unknown.

The Meyer Raid

In November 1978, police received tips of a clandestine liquor factory on ship owner Hans Otto Meyer's property on the inaccessible and craggy Gjeterøya island outside Oslo. After raiding the property, the police decided to investigate Hans Otto Meyer's private mansion in Oslo. In connection with the police raid, they found a secret entrance to a bunker full of weapons, equipment and ammunition enough to equip more than a hundred men, and an advanced radio device that raised its antenna through the stovepipe at transmission. The bunker was secured with an automatic machine gun trap.

Full article: Hans Otto Meyer

US and UK control

The main bases for the Norwegian stay behind networks, in Wales, with a backup in the United States, were not led by Norwegians, but by British and American officers. From the beginning, the British were able to activate, if necessary, the network without Norwegian authorities knowledge, without any actual cases of this happening being known.

In 1980, the "national code word", that proved an order genuinely came from Norwegian authorities, were also handed over to US and UK intelligence services, which led to an unprecedented protest from 12 members of the Stay Behind leadership.[2]


Event Participated in

Lillehammer assassinationLillehammer
In 1973 Mossad assassinated a Moroccan citizen in Lillehammer,Norway.


  2. Ronald Bye and Finn Sjue, Norges Hemmelige Hær, page 262