Time on Jan Mayen

Paul Eggert eggert at twinsun.com
Wed May 2 00:07:15 UTC 2001

> Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 13:31:20 +0200 (CEST)
> From: Steffen Thorsen <straen at thorsen.priv.no>

> I have not been able to find if Jan Mayen used a different time zone (e.g.
> -0100) before 1930. Jan Mayen has only been "inhabitated" since 1921
> by Norwegian meteorologists and maybe used the same time as Norway ever
> since 1921... 

Thanks for your research; it prompted me to do a bit more on my own.
It appears that Jan Mayen was never occupied by Germany during World
War II, so it must have diverged from Oslo time during the war, as
Olso was keeping Berlin time.

<http://home.no.net/janmayen/history.htm> says that the meteorologists
burned down their station in 1940 and left the island, but returned in
1941 with a small Norwegian garrison and continued operations despite
frequent air ttacks from Germans.  In 1943 the Americans established a
radiolocating station on the island, called "Atlantic City".  Possibly
the UTC offset changed during the war, but I think it highly unlikely
that Jan Mayen used German daylight-saving rules.

Svalbard is more complicated, as it was raided in August 1941 by an
Allied party that evacuated the civilian population to England (says
<http://www.bartleby.com/65/sv/Svalbard.html>).  The Svalbard FAQ
<http://www.svalbard.com/SvalbardFAQ.html> says that the Germans were
expelled on 1942-05-14.  However, small parties of Germans did return,
and according to the book Wilhelm Dege's book "War North of 80" (1954)
the German armed forces at the Svalbard weather station code-named
Haudegen did not surrender to the Allies until September 1945!

All these events predate our cutoff date of 1970, so, unless we can
come up with more definitive info about the timekeeping during the
chaotic war years I'm inclined to put "Link Europe/Oslo
Atlantic/Jan_Mayen" into the tz database.

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