Greenland found itself in a bind when Denmark, its colonial power, fell to Germans in 1940. Eske Brun, the landsfoged (bailiff) of Greenland, sought Allied help. In 1941 Greenland was made a U.S. protectorate. The U.S. took on the nearly impossible task of patroling the thousand-mile long coast full of fjords, bays, and islands. Greenland's importance was twofold: 1) its weather stations supplied reports of crucial importance to the Northern Atlantic theater, 2) the cryolite mines in Ivigtut were a major producer of aircraft-grade aluminum.

A U.S. airfield in Greenland, 1943

U.S. Coast Guard on patrol off the coast of Greenland

The cryolite mines in Ivigtut (summer 1940)

Starting in 1941 the Germans managed to establish a few well-hidden weather stations in Greenland by launching secret missions from Norway. By 1944 all of these stations were either taken out in air raids or captured by U.S. Coast Guard.

The captured German vessel Externsteine trapped in ice north of Shannon Island

U.S. Coast Guard with captured German supplies and the ensign of the Externsteine

In the context of the book, it's also worth showing the snow and mud adaptations of the Kübelwagen, the German jeep (photos from 1942)

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