54 mm toy soldier of King Haakon VII with admiral uniform in 1945. The toy soldier is sculpted from pictures of Haakon in 1945 - when he returned to Norway after World War II had ended.
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King Haakon VII was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.
As one of the few elected monarchs, Haakon quickly won the respect and affection of his people and he played a pivotal role in uniting the Norwegian nation in its resistance to the Nazi invasion and subsequent five-year-long occupation of his country during World War II.
In Norway, Haakon is regarded as one of the greatest Norwegians of the twentieth century and is particularly revered for his courage during the German invasion - he threatened abdication if the government cooperated with the invading Germans, and for his leadership and preservation of Norwegian unity during the Nazi occupation.
Norway was invaded by the naval and air forces of Nazi Germany during the early hours of 9 April 1940. Norwegian army resistance prevented the invaders from occupying the capital of Norway at dawn as had been planned. The German delay in occupying Oslo, led to the opportunity for the Royal Family, the cabinet, and most of the parliament to make a hasty departure from the capital. In an attempt to wipe out Norway’s unyielding King and Government, Luftwaffe bombers attacked Nybergsund, destroying the small town where the Government was staying during the escape. German Fallshirmjägers also tried to capture them but was stopped by the Royal Guards. Eventually the King arrived safely in London and Haakon and his Cabinet set up a Norwegian government in exile in the British capital.