After reading Diane's thread about escaped prisoners in Norway, I began to wonder again why it was so important for the Germans to be there at all. I've done a little reading, and one explanation is to keep an eye on the UK. I used to think it was because it gave them clear access to the North Atlantic where their Uboats could interfere with the voyages of our Merchant Navy to Canada and the USA. The fijords were good natural harbours. And they kept a force there to the bitter end.