What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

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historygeek2021
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Re: What if Germany had not invaded Denmark or Norway?

Post by historygeek2021 » 21 Feb 2021 00:48

Based on Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, Volume 2, the British were planning to wait for Germany's response to the mine laying before sending troops to Norway. So it seems plausible that Norway could have remained neutral and unoccupied by either side during WW2, if Hitler had ignored Raeder's prodding to invade the country.

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Feb 2021 05:35

historygeek2021 wrote:
21 Feb 2021 00:48
Based on Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, Volume 2, the British were planning to wait for Germany's response to the mine laying before sending troops to Norway. So it seems plausible that Norway could have remained neutral and unoccupied by either side during WW2, if Hitler had ignored Raeder's prodding to invade the country.
Possible, but there is the 'Churchill Factor'. He had his obsessions and Scandinavia was one. I can see Dill & later Brooke making exasperated arguments as Winnie arranges expeditions to Trondheim & Stockholm...

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

Post by historygeek2021 » 21 Feb 2021 18:40

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Feb 2021 05:35
historygeek2021 wrote:
21 Feb 2021 00:48
Based on Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, Volume 2, the British were planning to wait for Germany's response to the mine laying before sending troops to Norway. So it seems plausible that Norway could have remained neutral and unoccupied by either side during WW2, if Hitler had ignored Raeder's prodding to invade the country.
Possible, but there is the 'Churchill Factor'. He had his obsessions and Scandinavia was one. I can see Dill & later Brooke making exasperated arguments as Winnie arranges expeditions to Trondheim & Stockholm...
True. Churchill probably would have ordered an invasion of Norway once the Sea Lion threat passed.

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

Post by Peter89 » 03 Mar 2021 11:15

historygeek2021 wrote:
21 Feb 2021 00:48
Based on Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, Volume 2, the British were planning to wait for Germany's response to the mine laying before sending troops to Norway. So it seems plausible that Norway could have remained neutral and unoccupied by either side during WW2, if Hitler had ignored Raeder's prodding to invade the country.
The problem was of strategic nature. Raeder wanted to wage war against Britain, and he understood it perfectly that Germany cannot win a war against Britain without threatening its naval power. He would subordinate the other services to this strategy, most notably the Luftwaffe.

The Luftwaffe was delusioning itself with ideas like "strategic bombing" and such, although it was clear that Germany did not possess the capacity to wage a prolonged, aerial war - see their fascination with glide and dive bombing, to increase accuracy and save bombs.
Thus they were convinced that they can win wars alone, and diverting resources to the Kriegsmarine was simply a waste.

The Heer thought that Germany is first and foremost a continental power, and a major factor of the defeat in WW1 was thanks to the naval arms race; had the Rüstungswende happened 5 years before, they might have won. So in their minds it was very stupid to rebuild the Hochseeflotte which would only anchor in ports. And they thought that the Luftwaffe is only needed to support their advance.

Raeder knew that the Germans need Norway, Gibraltar and the French West Africa to stretch the British lines thin, and so they'd not be able to support their convoys and merchant shipping, thus making them vulnerable to surface raiders and U-Boats.

With the opening of the Eastern front, Norway, Gibraltar and all that has lost its significance. But back in 1940, taking Norway was a good idea.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Mar 2021 14:58

A few questions came out of reading this thread again. First would be political. Sweden had both a visible left or liberal (in the early 20th Century meaning) and right. The latter including a vocal facist faction. Which actually dominated Swedish politics? Specifically could a facisit or pro German faction enforce a strong Swedish neutrality policy? Or would the Swedes be open to cooperation with the Brits, or Allies later?

The same question applies to Norway. If the Brits do execute a preemptive occupation in 1940, or later, how much real resistance or cooperation will they have from the Norwegians?

I'd think it probable Hitler would approve a occupation of Denmark were the Brits to occupy Norway. Anyone else have thoughts on that.

The question of Finnlands policy were a Allied presence in Norway or Sweden was brought up. What is the likely tipping point/s that might bring Finland to a neutral policy? That is what does it take to keep the Finns out of a continuation war?

A Brit or Allied army in Norway just screams to me 'Northern Front. Churchill would argue for much here & inveitably get something. In practical terms there is the afore mentioned air base for striking at German. If the Swedes are dragged into it as active bellegterants then the Baltic coast look like a magnet drawing Allied combat power that way.

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Re: Polar Fox

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Mar 2021 15:11

Anyone have any details for the German plans for occupying/invading Sweden? Able to point to sources for this?

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

Post by historygeek2021 » 03 Mar 2021 16:39

Found this link through wikipedia:

https://books.google.com/books?id=147g7 ... &q&f=false

On page 74, it says that the Swedish public was overwhelmingly pro-Allied, but also wanted to assert their right to trade with whomever they wanted. I'm guessing the same attitude was prevalent in Norway prior to the German invasion. After German took Norway, Sweden was dependent on Germany for vital imports during the war, so they didn't have much choice but to continue to send iron to Germany.

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

Post by danebrog » 03 Mar 2021 21:55

In the book "The German Northern Theater of Operations 1940-45", a 1943 German operations study for a possible military intervention in Sweden is dealt with in detail on pages 255 - 263.
https://history.army.mil/html/books/104 ... 104-23.pdf

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 04 Mar 2021 00:17

historygeek2021 wrote:
03 Mar 2021 16:39
...
Sweden was dependent on Germany for vital imports during the war, so they didn't have much choice but to continue to send iron to Germany.
Theres a story about a Brit diplomat trying to sell a Swedish foreign office secretary on the advantages of joining the Allies. The secretary became impatient with the Brit, asking if he comprehended Swedens strategic position, surrounded by German armies and Navy ? Elsewhere I've heard the Swedes had a level of skepticism about the Brits as a competent ally, after watching them fail in Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Yugoslavia, Lybia, Maylasia, Burma, Dutch East Indies, North Atlantic... All thats second & third hand but one has to think its a outlook worth considering, it does fit the Swedes continuing to appease the nazi regime.
In the book "The German Northern Theater of Operations 1940-45", a 1943 German operations study for a possible military intervention in Sweden is dealt with in detail on pages 255 - 263.
https://history.army.mil/html/books/104 ... 104-23.pdf
Thanks for the recommendation. Thats very informative.

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