Norwegian Army 1940

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Slavomir
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Norwegian Army 1940

Post by Slavomir » 09 Dec 2007 02:19

Hello,

While studying the books about operation Weserubung I became confused about Norwegian Army prior to invasion and during first days of aggression.

I have found that the country was divided into six districts. Were they divisional commands or just administrative units?

Or maybe they were transferred into Div HQs during mobilization?

And another question, I have also found that in each district there was a brigade raised (with the same numbert as division). What were the brigades for then?

Thank you in advance

Slavomir

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phylo_roadking
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Post by phylo_roadking » 09 Dec 2007 02:30

http://hem.fyristorg.com/robertm/norge/index.html

Slamovir, this site should answer all your questions.

phylo

John T
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by John T » 09 Dec 2007 12:06

Slavomir wrote:Or maybe they were transferred into Div HQs during mobilization?
Slavomir


Hi Slavomir
Have had the same problem myself,
Note that the Norwegian army wasn't primary intended to fight a mobile war.
Rather to be spread out over the country defending neutrality.
Thus the difference between local defence and field units isn't very clear.
the Brigades where a mix of Field and territorial Infantery batalions.

District and Division had a well defined separation of responsibilities but as the war went it where few times it made any real difference as District raised Divisions. So at mobilization, Officers transfered from the administrative role to war footing while still sitting on the same desk.

And all Divisions did not follow the same TOE.
So don't take anything for granted!

Cheers
/John T.

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Post by Slavomir » 09 Dec 2007 12:16

Does it mean that the Brigade HQ was supposed to command troops in the field?

Would you recommend any readings that would enlighten me in Norwegian OOB, mobilization etc? It can be English, German, Russian... even Norwegian (of course I don't understand Norwegian :D )

Thank you in advance

Slavomir

John T
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Post by John T » 10 Dec 2007 00:18

Slavomir wrote:Does it mean that the Brigade HQ was supposed to command troops in the field?

Would you recommend any readings that would enlighten me in Norwegian OOB, mobilization etc? It can be English, German, Russian... even Norwegian (of course I don't understand Norwegian :D )

Thank you in advance

Slavomir

Yes, Brigade HQ where the level above Bn. (for Infantry, but not cavalry who did have Regimental HQ's as part of the combat unit)

Phylo_roadKing's link is probably the best source in English for the military details.

Regarding Weserübung books:

The only one I know with Norwegian OOB's in English is
The Sword of Scandinavia by Ronald Tarnstrom

Otherwise a short list of Weserûbung in general :

In German you got Ottmer(1994) and Hubatsch(1960), both wrote books namned Weserübung but thirty years between.
Ottmer deal with the history up to the attack and stops there while Hubatsch is (as far as I know still) the standard text on German forces during the campaign.
If your interested in Kriegsmariens part Lochner's "Als das Eis Brach", is a must.

Royal Navys official history is reprinted as "Naval Operations of the Campaign in Norway" not that

The official British history is Online:
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/U ... index.html

And Kersaudy's Norway 1940, the Allied side from a high level.



Cheers
/John T.

Slavomir
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Post by Slavomir » 10 Dec 2007 10:34

Thank you very much! :)

Slavomir

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Bjørn from Norway
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Post by Bjørn from Norway » 10 Dec 2007 12:04

Hello!

Yes, it can be seen as confusing.
Norway was divided into 6 districtc, which again were to muster 6 divisions. These divisions never reached full strength, and several places there were raised brigades instead.
Here is a good page, click the symbols: http://niehorster.orbat.com/500_eto/_40 ... navia.html

B.

Slavomir
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Post by Slavomir » 10 Dec 2007 14:13

Thank you,

what should be the division OOB then? I mean theoretically... as I remember the Munthe-Kaas mentioned that 6th Division had 2 brigades (6th and 7th) while in the south other divisions mustered only one brigade. At least 4th Division did sending 4th Brigade to Valdress area battle.

Was it due to the fact that Germans seized many depots in the first day of invasion preventing mobilization there?

Thank you in advance

Slavomir

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phylo_roadking
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Post by phylo_roadking » 10 Dec 2007 16:04

Slavomir , thats where reading an overview like Kersaudy is valuable. The Norwegian governments basically refused to spend anything on the military in the decades before WWII, only panicking at the last after the outbreak of war and like other neutral countries tried to buy up ready-to-deliver or short delivery time aircraft on the open arms market. There is a whole painful history about the Norwegians skimping on the army, a third of each conscripotion intake not actually getting traing etc., entire untis being nothing more than training cadres if at all.

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Post by John T » 10 Dec 2007 18:21

Slavomir wrote:Thank you,

what should be the division OOB then? I mean theoretically... as I remember the Munthe-Kaas mentioned that 6th Division had 2 brigades (6th and 7th) while in the south other divisions mustered only one brigade. At least 4th Division did sending 4th Brigade to Valdress area battle.

Was it due to the fact that Germans seized many depots in the first day of invasion preventing mobilization there?

Thank you in advance

Slavomir

There where no uniform Divisional OOB, each where unique with between 7 000 and 15 000 men called up from the district.
Think of the original French word Division as A part of an army.

The brigade seems to had one common four infantry Bn structure,
but that theoretical OOB did not survive into mobilized units at most places.

Look at Norwegian organization during the war as Kampfgruppen,
pulled together by whatever resources available. And regarding 6:th div,
6. brigade had three Bns (I and II/16 , I/12) and
7. brigade had two Bn's (Alta bataljon and II/15)
when they started the counterattack towards Narvik.

Note that Norwegian army was short of competent and properly trained officers but those who where did not have the pressure of large organizations to conform to any tactics "that won us the last war".
They had to search abroad for information from those who had combat experience. So I expect that Rommel's "Infanterie greift an" was read by more Scandinavian than French officers before the war.
(or was it translated into French prewar?)

Cheers
/John T.

Slavomir
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Post by Slavomir » 11 Dec 2007 09:32

What was the role of the regiment then?

Were regiments only peace establishments responsible for depots and training, while separated battalions formed a brigade?

For example 4th Brigade in Valdres battles had two battalions from IR9, one battalion of IR10, LvBtn of IR6 and other small units... - am I on right track? :D

Best regards

Slavomir

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Bjørn from Norway
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Post by Bjørn from Norway » 11 Dec 2007 12:46

Hello!

You could say they were peace establishments. The Brigades were ad hoc formed, as well as other improvised "battlegroups".

There was a formal OOB, yes, but impossible to follow.

B.

Slavomir
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Post by Slavomir » 29 Dec 2007 23:27

Thank you very much for your help, gentlemen

I have one more question, how you write in Norwegian "neutrality watch"?

Slavomir

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Dan E. Moe
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Post by Dan E. Moe » 29 Dec 2007 23:36

Nøytralitetsvakt

Slavomir
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Post by Slavomir » 29 Dec 2007 23:49

Thank you! :D

Slawomir

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