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Poor Equipment

Discussion in 'Hitler's Atlantic Wall' started by Jim, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Political prisoner Odd Nansen, lived up in the snows of northern Norway, remembers not being very impressed with the work of the OT volunteers:


    When one sees them at it, one realises that the result can be no great shakes, either for quantity or quality. After a closer look at their tools, one understands even more.
    Most things in the first place, they haven't got. There are no decent hammers. All they have are some things like Lilliputian sledgehammers. None of the axes have an edge and whetstones are unobtainable. There are no decent; joiner’s tools. Everything is the cheapest kind of Nuremberg trash, as we called it in the old days. It's ordered and delivered by the bundle. We saw it lying in open railway trucks in Trondheim and elsewhere.

    A percentage of it was ruined, rusty or smashed. There is a shortage of decent nails. They have only certain sizes which they have to make do with. But above all they are short of decent material. Round, crooked logs and the cheapest kind of boarding material are all that can be had. Those we have to fetch from old abortive snow-shelters that are being pulled down on other hills not far away. Presumably they are last winter's abortive attempts to keep the road open. This year they'll try again. I hardly think it will come off. According to report they're planning to build 21 km of Snow-roofs in all. An Oslo firm has it in hand. Perhaps we'll be put on it as well.

    They're a melancholy-looking crowd. Spiritless and gloomy, lacklustre, gangling and crook-backed they go around; no they swarm around, to all appearance about as aimlessly as ants in and around an ant-heap, only a good deal slower in their movements. Perhaps they rather suggest another insect – in a gluepot. The Grini tempo was the speed of all express train compared with this. Grini efficiency might be set up as a pattern for these people.
     

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