Karl is a young boy in the thirties Denmark. He dreams of sailing and experiencing the world. However, as he is needed on his family's farm, he can't follow his dream. When Germany occupies Denmark in 1940, it becomes impossible to leave the country but Karl keeps on pestering his mother to let him travel. By accident, he is offered a berth on a ship transporting butter to Oslo and he signs up even though his mother is against it.

Karl is only 14 years old when he sails into World War Two. To him it seems like a boy's dream come true and he hasn't given any thought to the possibility that the war will mark him for life.

During the war, Danish cargo ships transport butter and pork to the Germans and bring back coal and coke.