Click on the coins in The Secret Room on the website and be taken to historical facts relevant to this fantastic novel!
‘Pimpernel Gold’ a terrific book by Dorothy Baden Powell explains ‘How Norway’s Gold reserves were taken out of the country in April 1940, under the noses of the Germans through the snow, by lorries, and finally by three separate ships. Due to a remarkable slip-up in the German plan of attack “Operation Weserubung’, in which every port of Norway was to be seized simultaneously, the attack was delayed ten hours, allowing The King, The Crown Prince and the government to escape to the west coast for rescue by British ships and to bring out the gold reserves. In spite of spotter planes, enemy parachute planes and appalling snow conditions without knowing when or where to expect the promised Allied ships, this remarkable feat was accomplished.’
The National Treasury of Norway consisted of NOK 240 million in 1940 value worth of gold (approximately $54.5 million in 1940 American currency, or $670 million in 2007) weighing around 50 tons. The entire gold deposit was stored at Norges Bank’s main vault at their headquarters in Oslo. During the increasing tension of the 1930s, plans were made to make the deposit more mobile. When the Second World War broke out, these plans were accelerated and the gold was packed into 818 crates of 40 kg, 685 crates of 25 kg and 39 barrels of gold coins, weighing 80 kg each.