The Svalbard Archipelago
American Military and Political Geographies of Spitsbergen and Other Norwegian Polar Territories, 1941–1950
About the Book
Norway’s Spitsbergen Archipelago, known as Svalbard to the Norwegians, is of increasing interest to Arctic scholars and geographers, as well as to military historians and analysts of strategy. It was the farthest northern battleground between German and Allied forces in World War II; it became a political arena for Soviet and U.S. competition during the Cold War; it is now a field of conflict for fishing rights and cultural resource protection; and it serves as a laboratory for the study of global warming. This unique island group occupies a fascinating place in European, Russian, and American affairs.
Here, for the first time, is the complete report compiled by U.S. Intelligence at the beginning of World War II evaluating the islands both geographically and militarily, as well as a report on the archipelago produced by the CIA in 1950. This comprehensive report—never superseded in the years since—has been edited and introduced by P.J. Capelotti. It provides in great detail the American perspective on these islands and their strategic, economic, and geologic value. Maps and illustrations are included, some from the original report, some new. A glossary covers Arctic terms.
About the Author(s)
P.J. Capelotti is assistant professor of archaeology and American studies at Penn State University’s Abington College in Abington, Pennsylvania. His research centers on the history of Arctic exploration and on the archaeology of human expansion into space.
Edited by P.J. Capelotti
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 63 photos, maps, glossary, bibliography, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2000
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
List of Maps Appearing in the Original Report xi
The U.S. Military Intelligence Special Study of Svalbard and Other Norwegian Possessions, 1942 9
Part I: Spitsbergen and Bear Island (Svalbard) 11
Part II: Jan Mayen Island 67
Part III: Norwegian Antarctic Possessions 73
Illustrations and Maps 75
Appendix I: Summary of Geographic Conditions by Islands 115
*Appendix II: Ports and Harbors 123
Appendix III: The Spitsbergen Operation, August-September, 1941 127
Appendix IV: Adventures in Spitsbergen, 1942 150
Appendix V: Radio Stations Located in the Outlying Possessions of Norway 155
*Appendix II in the original report consisted of a collection of weather charts. Because the large size and poor quality of these charts prevents their reproduction here, the original Appendix II has been dropped, and the remaining appendices have been renumbered.
Spitsbergen: A Report Prepared by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Published 26 June 1950 157
Glossary of Geographical Terms 173
Book Reviews & Awards
“very interesting…Capelotti provides an extended and well researched introduction”—Inhaltsseite; “numerous photos…exacting information”—Stone & Stone Second World War Books; “unique…important”—History; “black-and-white photographs are commended”—Cambridge University Press Journal Polar Record.