What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

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Feldmarshall Erwin Rommel
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Post by Feldmarshall Erwin Rommel » 02 Jul 2003 23:39

Those are interesting scenario's

1: war between France/Britain and the Sovjet-Union. This would lead to a whole different war. If Hitler could make some sort of agreement with France and Britain, he would have his hands free in the East. Also less casualties and no troops needed for occupation duty or to send to Africa.

2: the Allies invading Norway first. This would lead to a naval blockade for Germany as well as a for the Norwegian ore supplies. Norway could also serve as a forward base for bombing Germany. (The Allies taking Norway could lead to a German invasion of Sweden)

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I want to add that striking earlier would have been much better. There would be no British naval forces in the area and therefore much less naval losses for Germany and possibly an immediate victory in Norway, so no Allied landings at Narvik.

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Re: What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

Post by John T » 07 Jul 2003 23:27

Tim Smith wrote:Three questions here:

1) Would the Allies have invaded Norway instead? If so, when and why?

The Germans suffered heavy losses and damage to their surface fleet in the Norwegian operation - Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were badly damaged and put out of action for months, the heavy cruiser Blucher and 12 destroyers were sunk.

2) Without the above naval losses, would the naval part of Operation Sealion have been successful, i.e. could the Kreigsmarine protect the invasion fleet? (Assume the Luftwaffe has driven most RAF fighters out of S.E. England.)

3) Assuming Operation Sealion had NOT been launched, would Germany be better or worse off than it was historically for not having invaded Denmark or Norway, and why?
Good sources are "the apeal that was never made" By Nevakivi (reading it right now) and "Norway 1940" by Kersaudy


1.
When: March 1940, If Winston had got it his way.
(this is strongly supported by the mentioned sources)

Why: To cut the Swedish Iron ore from Germany. At that Time Ministry of economic warfare belived 9/11 of the German Iron ore came from Sweden, but in fact it was "only" 40% or so. check http://members.tripod.com/~Sturmvogel/SteelCoal.html for the hard facts.

OTOH If the more modest members of the UK-cabinet reigned, Sweden and Norway became stronger for each month. the winter war woke even Norway!. Not the least if US aircraft deliveries whgre keept at the planned level. Nothing revolutionary but aprox 100 modern Norwegian and 2-300 Swedish aircrafts where in the pipeline.


2. No way, But Please don't get this into another Sealion thread.


3.
- Germany would have the same problem blockading UK as they had during ww1. British Minefields across the North sea, longer routes etcetera.

- No safeguarding of the Swedish Iron ore field, by invading Norway the German army where close enough to defend the mines at Gällivare if someone else (USSR/GB/France) tried to grab it while still not risking that the Swedes destroyed the mines as answer to occupation.

- the Allies would have been in a better position to negotiate with Sweden's Iron Ore export to Germany, And Sweden would been much better off negotiating her Iron ore export with Germany.

+ no need to waste resources defending a Norway that was almost impossible to assault if the defender had some air assets. the atlantic wall in Norway where IMHO silly, check http://www.nuav.net they list all German coastal guns in Norway. If that firepower where available in France 44 Overlord became definitely more risky.





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/John T.

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Post by John T » 07 Jul 2003 23:52

Yngwie J. wrote: Sam H. wrote :
Denmark offered little resistance and was unprepared for war. I think more Germans died in traffic accidents during the drive into the country then to enemy fire.
:lol: I think more Germans died from syphilis than to Danish bullets.
Pardon,
Traffic accidents might have caused more casualties than guns but
Danish forces did fight for aprox four hours and took out more German armoured vehicles than lost during the complete Norwegian campaign.
(if I got my bean counting right :P )

Cheers
/John T.

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Post by Baltasar » 08 Jul 2003 18:15

How? By throwing HotDogs at them? :lol:

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Post by John T » 08 Jul 2003 19:53

Baltasar wrote:How? By throwing HotDogs at them? :lol:
It might have looked that way inside the SdKfz 221's
but it was actually remnants of Arrogant Germans.

Since the Danish army never mobilized those few units who did fought where formed directly from training cadre and per soldier fairly well equipped with 20 mm Madsen autocannons and 37mm AT-guns.


Moderators -
If you do not share my sick humor,
Please excuse me and delete this post.

Cheers
/John T.

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Post by Kenshiro » 08 Jul 2003 19:57

using madsen 20mm at gun capable to pierch more than 25mm armor at 300 meters.
232 , PI and PII was a easy target to their gun. They fought at the border and on town street's, causing lot of damage.
Danmark did not have armor but they knew how to handle them (they trained with horses and a FIAT 3000 bought some year before the war at Turin with out mention triangle armoured car's).
During the war German had to face Danish resistance.

Anyway i think for Germany was a waste of time invading skandinavia, if was much better if they maked them allied of the axis. Especially Sweden with all their industries.

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Post by Baltasar » 09 Jul 2003 04:03

Anybody got numbers for those claimed hits? All I learned in school was that denmark didn't pu up a fight and surrenderd after a few shots.

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Post by Kenshiro » 09 Jul 2003 10:10

Baltasar thise are the few shot's :D

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Feldmarshall Erwin Rommel
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Post by Feldmarshall Erwin Rommel » 09 Jul 2003 10:23

Kenshiro wrote:Anyway i think for Germany was a waste of time invading skandinavia, if was much better if they maked them allied of the axis. Especially Sweden with all their industries.
They were not interested in anything like that, so that ends everything. Force was necessary.

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Re: What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

Post by historygeek2021 » 17 Feb 2021 20:59

Bumping this thread to see if anyone has more information on what the British planned to do if Germany did not invade Norway. Would Britain:

(1) Continue laying minefields?

(2) More aggressively blockade the Norwegian coast?

(3) Invade and occupy Norway?

(4) Invade Sweden as well to prevent Germany from getting iron ore in the summer?

(5) Send troops into Finland to "help" them against the Soviets and Germans?

(6) Establish bomber bases in Norway and Sweden to attack Germany and Baltic shipping?

(7) Invade Denmark and attempt to establish air and naval superiority in the Baltic Sea?

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Re: What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

Post by maltesefalcon » 18 Feb 2021 03:15

One of Germany's biggest geographic weaknesses circa 1940 was access from the Baltic to the North Sea.
If for some reason the Kiel Canal was blocked, they needed to sail around the Danish coastline.

It would be useful to have that coastline in German hands for use by patrol boats and aircraft. (I'm discounting what little military threat Denmark itself could pose to German merchantmen or DKM craft. They were simply outmatched.)

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Re: What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

Post by glenn239 » 18 Feb 2021 18:05

Tim Smith wrote:
08 Jun 2003 21:43
1) Would the Allies have invaded Norway instead? If so, when and why?
Unknown. I'm inclinded to imagine that Churchill attempts to ease British influence into Norway for purposes already mentioned, but any actual, formal, invasion would be off with the fall of France. Once the Americans were in the war, a neutral Norway might prove a more tempting first operation than Northern Africa.

2) Without the above naval losses, would the naval part of Operation Sealion have been successful, i.e. could the Kreigsmarine protect the invasion fleet? (Assume the Luftwaffe has driven most RAF fighters out of S.E. England.)
Unlikely to swing the decision to Sealion. If Sealion were implemented, a small uptick in its overall chances.
3) Assuming Operation Sealion had NOT been launched, would Germany be better or worse off than it was historically for not having invaded Denmark or Norway, and why?
Highly dependent on the broader context. Specifically, if Germany is at war with the USSR then Germany is worse off than historical. But, if the status of Scandinavia has cancelled Barbarossa, or even driven Hitler further into the Soviet camp, then Germany is much better off.

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Re: What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Feb 2021 03:05

glenn239 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 18:05
Tim Smith wrote:
08 Jun 2003 21:43
1) Would the Allies have invaded Norway instead? If so, when and why?
Unknown. I'm inclinded to imagine that Churchill attempts to ease British influence into Norway for purposes already mentioned,
During the Soviet Finish Winter War the Allies did intend to land a expeditionary force at Jarvik and create a supply route to Finland. That intent was shelved with the end of the Winter War. The new French PM Paul Reynaud revived the idea of entering Scandinavia to cut off its resources from Germany. Churchill threw his weight behinds this. The new British devised plan was multi staged. First step was to mine the coastal shipping routes to force the cargo traffic into international waters. When the Gerans tried to remove the mines or otherwise operate in Norwegian waters the Allied expeditionary forces would start occupying Norwegian ports.

Economic incentives were multiple. The robust Norwegian fishing industry was selling its surplus to Germany, thus circumventing Allied blockade efforts. Scandinavian lumber, leather, and other agricultural goods were useful to wartime Germany. Although the Allied blockade & the Navigation Certification system were starting to become effective Norway had a robust cargo fleet & there were still critical items trickling through Scandinavia to Germany. Sweden had a useful machine tool manufacturing capacity from the German PoV. SKS with connections to the Americas and owners politically favoring Facism was a useful manufacturing adjunct to Germany. There was more but the bottom line is Scandinavia was economically useful to nazi Germany & closing it completely off hurts the team in brown shirts.

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Re: What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

Post by historygeek2021 » 19 Feb 2021 03:18

If Germany just ignores the mines and focuses on preparing for Fall Gelb, then Chamberlain stays in power until the defeat of the BEF in May/June. Churchill comes to power and the last thing on his mind is invading Norway, as the Kriegsmarine is still afloat and the British have to take the possibility of Sea Lion more seriously (not that they didn't take it seriously in the OTL). Maybe Germany uses this opportunity to occupy Norway in the summer with little or no British assistance for Norway. Otherwise, once the Sea Lion threat passes in October, Churchill probably revisits the idea of invading Norway. He was always itching for attacking enemy weak spots.

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Re: What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Feb 2021 03:38

Churchill certainly pushed plans for returning to Norway. ie: Op JUPITER.

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