The team journeyed by bicycle, sea kayak and boat to visit the sites of six heroic WWII operations, raising over £27,000 for charity.
Starting at the most North Eastern point of Norway, the self sufficient team cycled an average of 200km a day and sea kayaked up to 50km a day in order to cross the length of the country’s coastline and retell heroic stories of WWII Combined Commando/SOE operations in unique and captivating ways.
This culminated in a 75th Anniversary commemoration of the infamous Telemark raids – the successful Allied operation that halted Nazi Germany’s program to create a nuclear weapon.
Throughout the challenge, the Norway 75 team raised money for the Royal Marines Charity and its efforts to support good mental health.
Operation Source was a series of attacks to neutralise the heavy German warships – Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Lützow – based in northern Norway, using X-class midget submarines.Find out more
Jan Baalsrud was the only survivor of a Norwegian commando team ambushed by the Nazis during World War II. Wounded and with the Germans in pursuit, Baalsrud escaped and miraculously...Find out more
Operation Claymore was the code name for a British commando raid on the Lofoten Islands in Norway during the Second World War. The Lofoten Islands were an important centre for the...Find out more
Operation Musketoon was the codeword for an Anglo-Norwegian raid in the Second World War. The operation was mounted against the German-held Glomfjord power...Find out more
Operation Archery, also known as the Måløy Raid, was a British Combined Operations raid during World War II against German positions on the island of Vågsøy...Find out more
In February 1943, a team of SOE-trained Norwegian commandos succeeded in destroying the production facility with a second attempt, Operation Gunnerside...Find out more
Beginning in the far North and finishing in the village of Rjukan in the Hardangervidda National Park, the N75 team embarked on a challenging 2000 mile journey by sea and by land - Per Mare Per Terram.
Operating out of their mobile Land Rover base camp, they cycled up to 150 miles a day and completed remote, overnight sea kayak stages, for an overall journey time of 38 days. Throughout, the team visited a number of heroic WWII combined Commando raids to retell their stories in unique and captivating ways, including the commemoration of the ‘Heroes of Telemark’ 75th Anniversary.
In the saddle of our Giant Toughroads
100km Sea kayak over 3 days into the location of Operation Source
20–22 September 1943: Operation Source was a series of attacks to neutralise the heavy German warships – Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Lützow – based in northern Norway, using X-class midget submarines.
In the saddle of our Giant Toughroads and hopping on a ferry.
100km Sea kayak over 3 days following a similar route to the escape and evasion of Norwegian Commando, Jan Balsruud.
Jan Baalsrud was the only survivor of a Norwegian Commando team ambushed by the Nazis during World War II. Wounded and with the Germans in pursuit, Baalsrud escaped and miraculously fought his way through the Norwegian tundra to a distant village, where he was saved by locals who helped spirit him to Sweden. Baalsrud suffered frostbite and snowblindness, came through an avalanche, and lived to tell the tale.
In the saddle of our Giant Toughroads and hopping on a ferry or two.
85km Sea kayak in amongst the historical sites of Operation Claymore.
4 March 1941: Operation Claymore was the code name for a British Commando raid on the Lofoten Islands in Norway during the Second World War. The Lofoten Islands were an important centre for the production of fish oil and glycerine, used in the German war industry.
Ferry/Drive/Cycle to Ornes
Possible crossing of the mountains South of Glomfjord - this was a key location for the Commando raiding party to recce the powerplant before moving in.
11–21 September 1942 : Operation Musketoon was the codeword for an Anglo-Norwegian raid in the Second World War. The operation was mounted against the German-held Glomfjord power plant.
In the saddle of our Giant Toughroads for around 6 days and hopping on plenty of ferries!
90km Sea kayak over two days into Alesund to link up with the MK Heland Shetland Bus.
Local fishing trawlers used in WWII to covertly deliver Commando raiding parties and SOE agents into various locations around Norway.
Shetland Bus was the nickname of a clandestine special operations group that made a permanent link between Shetland, Scotland, and German-occupied Norway from 1941 until the Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany ended on 8 May 1945.
27 December 1941: Operation Archery, also known as the Måløy Raid, was a British Combined Operations raid during World War II against German positions on the island of Vågsøy.
Moving South by road and then crossing the Hardangervidda National Park on our Giant Toughroads.
In February 1943, a team of SOE-trained Norwegian Commandos succeeded in destroying the hard water production facility. Operation Gunnerside was later evaluated by SOE as the most successful act of sabotage in all of World War II.
In 2018, the Charity will begin development of the Royal Marines Support Hub located at the Commando Training Centre in Devon; effectively a ‘one stop shop’ that can provide a range of practical and emotional support to the RM family. This will include a place for support network volunteers to train, hosting of group welfare sessions and activities, career workshops focussed on those medically discharged, and drop in services for the entire RM family.
The anticipated total of eligible users is estimated to be 43,000 [including veterans, their dependants and the local communities], and with the Royal Marines Support Hub planned to operate for at least 30 years this could see upwards of 50,880 serving personnel and their families benefit from the building.
We currently seek to support our families and deliver these essential services through a series of ad-hock events and support networks. These suffer from the absence of a dedicated facility. The planned Royal Marines Support Hub will deliver a cost effective multi-role facility which will act as a focal point and an incredibly valuable resource which can be used by CTCRM’s diverse service personnel and also the wider Corps Family.
Tim, 27 grew up on the Isle of Wight and now lives in London. Shortly after graduating from the University of Exeter, he joined the Royal Marines as Commissioned Officer.
Having spent most of time before the Marines sailing on the Solent or English East Coast, as well as a strong family history in the sport, being on the water comes as second nature to him. Whilst sea kayaking in the Northern Norwegian fjords is wildy different to racing dinghies around Cowes, the team have plenty of pre training to tackle first! Outside of sailing, Tim is a keen road cyclist and skiier.
As the Norway 75 Lead, Tim identified a key opportunity to harness huge amounts of pre-existing support for the Royal Marines and it’s Charity, and channel that into the commemoration of heroic, and somewhat untold, WWII Commando raids; a key part of the Royal Marines heritage and operational link to the country of Norway.
Lucy, 27, grew up in Hampshire and now lives in Devon. After completing her A-Levels she joined the Royal Marines Band Service which fed her thirst for music and adventure. Here she undertook three years of training on the clarinet and violin and studied further for a degree.
A keen sportswoman, Lucy plays to combined Service and Navy/RM level in several sports and is always happy to turn her hand to something new. Although she has limited bike and kayak experience she relishes a challenge, especially one which supports such a worthwhile cause, and can’t wait to get stuck into Norway 75. Lucy is excited to be involved in the challenge and is thoroughly enjoying discovering the untold stories of our WWII heroes in her key role in the challenge’s historical aspects.
Ric, 32, has always enjoyed adventure, which was largely the reason for him joining the Royal Marines with whom he has spent the last 9 years working across the world.
Only truly content living out of a bag or back of a car this adventure should suit him. His passions lie in the mountains and trying to get up and then down them as quickly as possible on foot, bikes or skis. He has taken opportunities to develop his adventurous skills whilst in service learning to paraglide, surf and telemark ski to name a few.
He has sea kayaked and skied in Norway previously and will be taking the blame if the team get lost as he has planned most of the route.
Rodge joined the Royal Marines in 1991 looking for challenge and adventure. Enjoys many sports and outdoor activities including mountain biking, trail running and telemark skiing.
Qualifying as an Royal Marine Mountain Leader in 2000, he sees Norway as his second home having spent many winters training deep inside the Arctic circle. Albeit, winter versus summer, these experiences as well as a 6 month stint in Antarctica prepare him fantastically well for Norway 75. Grasping new kayaking skills, learning more about the WWII Combined Operations and supporting the RM Charity are but a few highlights to look forward to.
Rich joined the Royal Marines in 1997 seeking travel and adventure and have found both in abundance!
Having taken part in five charity cycling events in 2017, Rich is keen to push himself over the Strava threshold for 2018, as well as adding expedition sea kayaking to his outdoor skillset.
A family man, Rich has always been continually supported throughout his career, especially by his crazy Weimaraner dog, Lucas!
Jon, 32, was born and lives in Bath, Somerset. He graduated from the University of York and Commissioned into the Royal Marines in 2008.
Before joining the Royal Marines, throughout school and university, Jon enjoyed participating in a variety of team, individual and even some more obscure sports, before upgrading to the snow, sea and air for enjoyment.
As the historical lead for Norway 75, Jon is continually building support with the veterans and families who still have links to the key Commando raids and SOE Operations the challenge is focussing on. With their help, he is vital in helping retell and explore their knowledge; enriching the challenge with unique stories in first hand detail.
David, 30, grew up in East Yorkshire, and is now living in North Devon. A strong history of service in the forces and public services; Dave's Father and Brother have both served in the British Army, completing numerous tours, one Grandfather in the RAF and the other Grandfather in the Latvian Palace guard. Even a Grandmother who is one of the last surviving of veterans of Yorkshire's Land Army. The choice for Dave to carry on the family tradition was a natural one!
Having completed the training for the Royal Marines, David chose to join 42 Commando to remain close to Plymouth; a place with a strong friendship base, but also perfect for all things fishing and kayaking.
Now at Royal Marine Barracks Chivenor and having returned from a winter deployment in Norway, David jumped at the chance to return, to see the rest of the country (in the summer!) and learn about vital operations undertaken by the Norwegian resistance, the SOE and the Commando forces during the Second World War.
ee joined the Royal Marines in the early 90’s and subsequently represented them in the Devizes to Westminster Canoe and Kayak race three times. The most recent in 2012 raising money for charity with his good friend who is a triple amputee and former Royal Marine.
His sea kayak obsession is only recent and he endeavoured to gain experience and qualifications in his last years of service. In that time, he paddled the English Channel from Port En Bessin to Eastney as part of the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines and became a Level 1 coach and 4-star Sea Leader. After successful completion of his 4 Star Sea he then completed the six-week ISKGA Advanced Guides course.
On retirement from the Royal Marines in 2016, Lee continues to work as a freelance guide taking Royal Marine recruits during their adventure training and regularly takes PTSD sufferers out paddling helping them recover from psychological wounds using physical activity and the healing power of the Sea. He has drawn on his experience as a Mountain Leader in the Royal Marines where he taught people to operate and survive in harsh environments he has tailored these skills to deliver the expedition skills module of the ISKGA syllabus and is a keen forager and wildlife enthusiast.