Who was Martin Linge?
An actor playing a hero – sure – but an actor defending his nation to become one of his country’s most profiled war heroes? That’s noteworthy to say the least. The Martin Linge oil and gas field in the North Sea, formerly known has Hild, was renamed as a mark of respect for one of Norway’s famous sons.
Martin Jensen Linge was born in the hamlet of Linge on Norway's west coast in 1894. He began his theatrical career in Kristiania, now Oslo, in 1921 and played theaters around Norway until the Nazis invaded in April 1940. As an army reserve lieutenant, he was called up and acted as liaison officer with the British forces sent to repel the invaders. Injured in a German bombing raid on the west coast town of Åndalsnes, Martin Linge was the first wounded Norwegian soldier evacuated to Britain.
In exile, he strongly advocated organized counteraction, saying: "Our land is perfect for secret resistance and guerrilla warfare." Promoted to captain, he began recruiting men for Norwegian Independent Company 1, later known as 'Linge Company.' Based in Scotland, the company carried out commando raids in Norway. One of these was Operation Archery, a combined raid using Linge Company and British troops against the town of Måløy in December 1941. The main targets were plants producing and storing fish oil used in explosives. During the raid, Martin Linge was shot and killed attacking the town’s German headquarters. Posthumously, he was awarded the War Cross with Sword, Norway's highest military honor, and the British Distinguished Service Cross.