German Invasion of Norway

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Madsen
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German Invasion of Norway

Post by Madsen » 13 Jan 2003 16:59

there is a Q i've been thinking of.
backup for the german invasion force!
For me it seemed that they relied on supprise alone to invade Norway.
Let's say the Norw millitary "saw" whats coming and started prepearing and mob' on 07.04. then they could have given the german force a bigger fight than they did. how was the german force prepeard for that?
In many case norw men came to late to depot's because germans already had taken them.

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Post by Haegg » 13 Jan 2003 19:31

Without being an expert in this field I have the feeling that the German invasion on the 9th of April was a gamble. The whole operation seems very vulnerable when you look at it. Maybe I am wrong but it seems like the Germans put alot trust in the element of suprise.

I'm sure that the Norwegians could have defended themselves better if only the politicians ( and others) only had reacted to the warning signals.

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Post by Erik E » 13 Jan 2003 19:54

Well, the fact that allmost the entire Kriegsmarine participated, makes me think that there were no possobillity for backup.
The plan was in short to secure the airfields, and fly in the troops.
They would have been in big trouble if Norway had reacted.....
The german invasion force was only 8800 men + the crew of the ships.
(The rest followed by planes during the day)
The Norwegian army was capable of mobilizing 106000 men.

On the 9.4.40, only 7000 Norwegian soldiers were armed.

Erik E

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Post by Madsen » 13 Jan 2003 23:17

Im Glad im not the only one to think like this.
Lets say the division in Trøndelag started mobilsation when Admiral Hipper was engaged by HMS Glowworm. then they wouldn't bee caught by supprise and unprepeard.(Not that mutch) And The Forces that were set up in the area round Mjøsa(Soutern Inland) could have put moore men in uniform if they got only some hours extra. But insteed they were mob' when german troops was marching past them.
We must remember that it was not the poor training that lead to the defeat but the gov's lack of will to react.
the Commander of Oscarsborg actually had order not to shoot at any ships without permission from HQ. he disobeyed that order and sunk the Blücher.

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Post by Madsen » 13 Jan 2003 23:29

And after all. this was mainly an infantry operation. it's wery hard to support an army from air and almost impossible even today to provide enough ammo for artillery.
And the Norw Krag Jørgensen rifle in the hands of angry norwegian boys and men who were familiar with the weapon from hunting and target shooting was a terrible enemy for the germans. I read some notes from a German High ranking officer in Norway, he said any norwegian with Krag Jørgensen is a deadly weapon within 1200m.
In Narvik when the germans meet the first norw who were fighting back the found them selves pinned down by sharp shooters. It seemed that the german helmet was just the size of bullseye from the 300m shooting that was a popular sport in Norway Immagine 40000 Angry men then.

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Post by Erik E » 13 Jan 2003 23:48

I guess this is about to be moved to the "What if" section.......
There are so many examples of "signals" which the army just had to understand were not normal........

The German steamer "Rio de Janiero" was sunk by the Polish submarine "Orzel" outside Lillesand 8-4/40. The survivors were brought to the Norwegian police for questioning. Even they had Military uniforms, and said they were going to Norway, the police didn`t belive them.... (They thought they were headed for England, but lied to cover themselves)


Erik

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Post by Andy » 14 Jan 2003 00:07

Do you believe that it was a mistake for Germany to invade Norway? Their navy was badly damaged as a result of the invasion.

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Post by Erik E » 14 Jan 2003 00:55

Difficult question........
It probably wasn`t a mistake, but maybe a bit too optimistic?
They were counting on no resistance at all, and payed a high prize for it.
However, the major casualities didn`t come until the British forces started their attack.
The Kriegsmarine were in pretty bad shape after the Norwegian campaign, some people mean that the heavy loss of destroyers and transports made the OKM think twice about the "Sealion" operation.

German losses in Norwegian campaign:
1 heavy cruiser
2 light cruisers
1 gunnery training ship
10 destroyers
8 submarines
1 torpedoboat
3 minesweepers
11 transport ships
+Near 6000 soldiers from all units within the Wehrmacht.

In addition Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, Hipper, Lützow, Emden were damaged, so only 2 light cruisers and 4 destroyers were ready for the invasion of England.......

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Post by Madsen » 14 Jan 2003 00:55

I dont think it was a mistake. hitler got control over LKAB's iron ore and alot of good open harbor's but it'was a very riscky operation. if the Norw army manage to mobilise they would have quite a problem and if UK found out in tim they could bee on the arena too.
but this time Hitlers dream sukseeded :x
i Only hope we never see this happen again.

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Post by tonyh » 14 Jan 2003 10:24

The occupation wasn't a mistake militarilly. Thats for sure. If Hitler hadn't acted when he did, then Norway and perhaps the Gallivare iron ore fields would have been a British occupied zone instead. Thus iron ore from Sweden would have been blocked and the Royal Navy would enjoy the benefits of Norwegian ports.

The German move in Norway was precipitated by the British and French desire to seize land from which an eventual blockade, invasion or bombing campaign of Germany could be effectively launched. Scandinavian ports were perfect. Hitler would rather Norway had remained neutral. There were enough countries pitted against him already, with the Western allies declaration of war on the 3rd of September and Germany badly needed the Gallivare iron ore.

The mistake, if any, was the fact that Hitler did not listen to Raeder when he suggested that they occupy Norwegian ports for use against the Royal Navy in December 1939. It was only after Hitler had conformation of British intentions in the area that the Wehrmacht moved. If they had moved earlier their losses would have been far less. When the Wehrmacht launched Wesserübung, they did so on quite fluid and rushed plans. The pressure of time and the British intentions marred the operation from the go. Its incredible that the invasion and occupation came off the way it did. A risky operation, but one borne out of necessity.

Tony

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Post by Gwynn Compton » 14 Jan 2003 11:23

I've often heard stories that the British force that arrived in Norway had originally been destined for Finland to assist resistance to the Soviet invasion. Any information on this?

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Post by tonyh » 14 Jan 2003 12:31

Only ostensibly. The Winter War was used by the British as an excuse to send a force through Norway and Sweden to "aid" Finland with her struggle against Russia. However the Norwegians or the Swedes didn't fall for it and Sweden denied the BEF the rights of passage. Though in reallity the British had little intention of going anywhere near Finland until the issue of Swedish supply of iron ore to Germany was sorted. Once the Winter War was finished the BEF needed another "reason" to be in Scandinavia.

Tony

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Post by Qvist » 14 Jan 2003 13:12

I think you are overstating the case Tony. Various types of actions in Scandinavia were seriously considered by the allies, and as we know, mining was carried out. But there is as far as I'm aware no solid basis for an assumption (as opposed to a possibility) that there would have been an allied landing in Scandinavia if the Germans had not invaded. That the Germans thought otherwise is a different matter.

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Post by tonyh » 14 Jan 2003 15:59

Actually theres no overstatement at all. From the very beginning of the war with Britain, Churchill, who was the first Lord of the Admiralty at the time was urging Chamberlain to either invade Scandinavian territory or get them "onside" to upset the Germans. Swedish iron ore was shipped to both Britain and Germany at the time, so Chamberlain was not too happy about rocking the boat too much. Chamberlain was always uncomfortable about declaring war anyway and had hopes that Hitler might just call off the war in Poland and get back to the table talks.

Churchill then proposed "Operation Catherine" which called for a large RN Baltic fleet, which could disrupt Swedish Iron ore traffic and harrass German movements. It would also be a violation of Norwegian waters.

Churchill then proposed mining the Norwegian waters in November 1939, Operation Wilfred and also sending in destroyers to deal with shipping in the waters. He was again turned down by Chamberlain who signed a trade agreement with Sweden which stated that she could export 10 million tons of ore to Germany every year. Chamberlain wanted to try and keep Sweden "sweet".

This was all before Hitler had any designs on the area. Hitler, as I said before, prefered Scandinavia to remain neutral and was more interested in solving the problem of the Western allies war. It was only after Raeder pointed out that Britain had intentions in Norway and Sweden and leaks of a French proposal to send an Allied expeditionary force to Northern Norway, that he gave Raeder the go ahead to draw up feasiblity studies for a possible invasion to forestall the British. Hitler, like Chamberlain in Britain, would have prefered to make a political settlement in Norway, ie with Vidkun Quisling. He was well aware that both Norway and Sweden were adamant about staying out of all wars and that suited him.
But there is as far as I'm aware no solid basis for an assumption (as opposed to a possibility) that there would have been an allied landing in Scandinavia if the Germans had not invaded.
The allies embarked the BEF to Norway on the 13th of March 1940, they had no permission to land on either Norway or Sweden at this time. The BEF had to turn back though as the Winter war with the Soviets had ended and Chamberlain was uncomfortable with the notion of British forces being in Scandinavia without "excuse" to be so. When news of the BEF's launch and subsequent return reached Hitler, he got jittery and became resolved about Wesserübung. He would have to reach Norway before the British did. Churchill won Chamberlain over with his idea for Operation Wilfred and also operation Catherine (the mining of German canals), but Deladier is reluctant about mining German waters as he doesn't want to annoy the German's. Deladier was far more enthusiastic about actions in Norway that as it took the focus away from France. Operation Wilfred then got the go ahead and was to be followed by troop landings in Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim and Narvik and the mining started on April 8th. Wesserübung was then launched on April 9th.

Tony
Last edited by tonyh on 14 Jan 2003 16:14, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Madsen » 14 Jan 2003 16:02

as far as i know there is no documents that show any english plan for invasion of Norway. but Hitler must have thaught that idea.
he know that if he loose that source of iron ore then everything would become more risky.

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