So what day is it today?

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Eightball
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So what day is it today?

Post by Eightball » 09 Apr 2003 21:13

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum, but I couldn't fit it in anywhere.

Anyways, today is April the 9th. And as most of you might already know, this was the day, 63 years ago, when the German armed forces invaded Denmark and Norway.

Me being a Norwegian and a history geek, I thought I should mark this on the forums since it's hardly spoke of anywhere else in public.
After the swift German capture of Poland the war more or less died down, as neither side, for several reasons, wanted to get involved in a major combat along the Germany-France border. In this situation the interest in operations in secondary fronts raised. Both the Allied and the German high commands came to look at Norway as an interesting area for operations. To the Allied because control of Norway would be a way to gain control of the iron ore fields in northern Sweden. To the Germans as a base for the German fleet. During the winter 39-40 advanced planning aimed at getting control of Norway was done in both German and Allied high commands.

The increased interest in the Scandinavian theatre led to an increasing number of incidents along the Norwegian coast. The aggressive stance of especially Britain toward Norway, and the apparent weakness of the Norwegian defense and unwillingness of Norway to take fight to defend its neutrality convinced Hitler that there was a real threat toward the Iron ore supply from Sweden, which was very important to Germany at this stage of the war. Thus Hitler decided that Germany would invade Norway - operation Weserübung.

The allied planning toward Norway was hampered by political considerations and an unclear goal of the operation. Finally an operation was launched. It had an unclear goal and relied on a number of questionable premises. As it turned out the Allied and German operations were launched virtually simultaneously. On the 8th of April British destroyers mined the sea approach to Narvik, while the landing troops were waiting in port, loaded on their transports. At that time the German invasion fleet were on their way already.

In Norway there was an increasing uneasiness over the situation, and the days before the 9th of April a number of disturbing news and rumors came, that in retrospect pointed clearly at the upcoming invasion. The government failed to see that clearly though, and though the coastal defense, naval and many army units were put on highest alert at the evening of the 8th, no further mobilization was ordered until long after midnight, when the invasion force targeted at Oslo already had passed the outer defenses of Oslofjord.
Here are links where anyone interested can read about it.

The German invasion of Norway :
http://hem.fyristorg.com/robertm/norge/ ... short.html

The German invasion of Denmark :
http://www.achtungpanzer.com/denmark.html

Enjoy!

Ken
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Post by Ken » 10 Apr 2003 02:03

Interesting.. How was Britain's stance aggressive? You prolly know more than any of us.. What did Britain do exactly?

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 10 Apr 2003 14:12

Both Germany and Britain did exactly what they wanted in Norwegian waters.... They didn`t bother for 5 cents about Norwegian patrolships or planes......

Which one of them were most aggressive?
Depends on how you look at it.
Political or military?

Of the stories I have available, I would say that the Germans were definately the most Military aggressive!

As far as I can see, The British forces only sunk one sub in Norwegian waters, and that was one of their own!
In addition the Almark/Baldur case should not be forgotten.......

The German list would be much longer!

Erik

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Zeydlitz
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Post by Zeydlitz » 10 Apr 2003 19:04

Around 8 o’clock some of the aircrafts begin passing straight over Höytorps fort near Mysen at low altitude. This is probably because they have chosen the town Mysen as a reference point on the route to Oslo. They are by now split up in widely separated groups of three. The anti aircraft defense at the fort consists of 10-12 8mm Colt machine guns. They were alarmed at 7.00, and when the German aircrafts begin to pass they are fired at. The machine guns soon begins to malfunction though. This turns out to be because they have got the wrong kind of ammunition. Little damage was done to the aircrafts, except that one engine began to smoke.
The Commanding Officer of Höytorp fortress, Lauritz A. Rodtwitt, was my great grandfather. 8) Watching the german Ju-52's fly on by as arrogant as ever, not even taking noticeably evasive action, pissed him off to such an extent that when the AA guns malfunctioned, he was said to have fired on the Ju's with his pistol!

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Eightball
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Post by Eightball » 10 Apr 2003 21:28

That example shows just how, in plain English, how messed up the Norwegian armed forces really were.

That's a pretty neat story Zeydlitz, if it's true that is. Have you ever spoken to your gradfather about it, maybe he and his father talked about it.
Ken wrote:Interesting.. How was Britain's stance aggressive? You prolly know more than any of us.. What did Britain do exactly?
Well, the Allied forces, along with Germany, had signalied interest in operations in Scandinavia. The Allied planners drew up a plan where they would send an expeditinary force consisting of two divisions (later shipped to France), who would land in Narvik to secure ports, then continiue across Norwegian and Swedish territory to the Finnish winter war.

These plans however, were scrapped when the Finns made peace with the Sovietunion on march the 13th.

The Allied did send a force consisting of French, British and Polish troops to the battle of Narvik, though these were withdrawn after a few days in combat (If I recall correctly). The British navy also suffered losses, also in the Narvik region. In all the British casualities mounted to 4000, while FRench and Polish combined to ca. 530.

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Zeydlitz
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Post by Zeydlitz » 11 Apr 2003 13:20

Eightball wrote:That's a pretty neat story Zeydlitz, if it's true that is. Have you ever spoken to your gradfather about it, maybe he and his father talked about it.
My grandfather died before I was born, it's my father who told me this. I'm not sure if it's true though. Great grandfather died in '56, when my dad was only 4. I'm going home for easter tomorrow, I can do some asking. :D If i'll get to a scanner, I'll post some pictures as well.
Eightball wrote:The Allied did send a force consisting of French, British and Polish troops to the battle of Narvik, though these were withdrawn after a few days in combat (If I recall correctly).
The allied troops were withdrawn when the german assault on France & the low countries started. By then the german forces near Narvik was more or less pushed back into Sweden. (The german forces got supplies in through Sweden, and this is still a sore spot in swedish-norwegian relationships today...) It was a bitter pill for the norwegians, who stood little chance agains the germans alone.

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Eightball
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Post by Eightball » 11 Apr 2003 23:15

I've heard of Sweden letting Germans enter their soil with transports with destinations further north, however I have never heard they actually got supplies through Sweden for the Norwegian campaign.

Can't believe they were so afraid of a war that they went that far.

Have you gotten any examples on how it has affected Norwegian-Swedish relationships after the war?

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Zeydlitz
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Post by Zeydlitz » 13 Apr 2003 21:07

I'm sorry, I can't remember any examples, but the incidents near Narvik certainly added to the feeling that the swedish "bowed with the wind".

And my great grandfathers pistol incident is true, as far as my father knows. It was at least told to him by his father. :)

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 14 Apr 2003 11:23

Here is a little quote from the book "Kampen om Sola"
The water-cooled Colt MG`s jammed becouse of the heat. The only weapons left, were some old rifles. They were handed out to everyone working at the airport, even the kitchen personell.....
Erik

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