Norwegian Army 1940

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yantaylor
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by yantaylor » 14 Apr 2019 19:51

Hi Jeff, I think where I am getting confused is with the Infantry Brigades, now the source which I got some of my data said that each Infantry Brigade had two or three Infantry regiments, but according to that website in the link, this is untrue ane each brigade should have four battalions.

For example; the data I found on line said that three Infantry regiments in the 4th brigade were these;

Hordaland Infantry Regiment no. 9 [Bergan]
Fjordane Infantry Regiment no. 10 [Voss]

Another example was the 5th brigade with this;

Møre Infantry Regiment no. 11 (Aandalsnes)
Sør-Trøndelag Infantry Regiment no. 12 (Trondheim)
Nord-Trøndelag Infantry Regiment no. 13 (Steinkjer)

I guess that I have been fed the wrong info, so now I will have to start from stratch!

Regards
Yan

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jwsleser
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by jwsleser » 14 Apr 2019 21:40

Yan

I don't believe you will find a standard organization. It is a small army in the midst of transition. The organization was design to function both in peacetime and war, so there is a mix of responsibilities one doesn't normally find in a TO&E. Also remember that a brigade is a flexible structure which is easily modified when needed, while a regiment tends to be a very fixed structure that is normally employed as a whole.

It was a brigade based army able to accommodate expansion if required. The brigade HQ was meant to control the combat forces, while the division HQ was to control the support elements, the D.K. and when needed, a multi-brigade force.

Note that no TO&E structure is provided for the infantry regiments. The Norwegian Army was slowly reorganizing and moving from a larger structure to a better equipped smaller structure. The regimental structure is still in-place from earlier times but doesn't appear to be a tactical HQs, only administrative. The battalions would operate under brigade control like that seen in the UK forces.

Geography and poor lines of communications meant that units are based where they are needed and the command structure is set-up accommodate that reality. So the 6th BrIgade has a total of eight infantry battalions because of the size of D.K. 6 and the nature of the terrain. The brigades in the lowlands of Norway have six battalions, and the other two have the standard four battalions.

Everything I have read indicates that the regiments only had two battalions plus a Local Defense Battalion (Landvernsbattaljon). I don't believe that the LvBn was to be used as part of the field brigade, but was a D.K. asset. I do not know whether the long-term army plan was to reduce the number of battalions.

1st Bde/Div - 1, 2, 3 Rgts. AR 1, DR 1
2nd Bde/Div - 4, 5, 6 Rgts. AR 2, DR 2
3rd Bde/Div - 7, 8 Rgts. GAB I
4th Bde/Div - 9, 10 Rgts. GAB II
5th Bde/Div - 11, 12, 13 Rgts. AR 3, DR 3
6th Bde/Div - 14, 15, 16 Rgts, two separate bns., GAB III

As you know, the attempt to mobilize created significant problems for some units. Some units were unable to mobilize, or only parts could mobilize. Many soldiers unable to mobilize with their own unit traveled to a different mobilization point. There they were formed into ad hoc units. It was using this method that the III/11th was raised. III/13th was created using a LvKp, the school company, and the training company.

Pista! Jeff
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John T
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by John T » 14 Apr 2019 21:52

yantaylor wrote:
14 Apr 2019 19:51
Hi Jeff, I think where I am getting confused is with the Infantry Brigades, now the source which I got some of my data said that each Infantry Brigade had two or three Infantry regiments, but according to that website in the link, this is untrue ane each brigade should have four battalions.

For example; the data I found on line said that three Infantry regiments in the 4th brigade were these;

Hordaland Infantry Regiment no. 9 [Bergan]
Fjordane Infantry Regiment no. 10 [Voss]

Another example was the 5th brigade with this;

Møre Infantry Regiment no. 11 (Aandalsnes)
Sør-Trøndelag Infantry Regiment no. 12 (Trondheim)
Nord-Trøndelag Infantry Regiment no. 13 (Steinkjer)

I guess that I have been fed the wrong info, so now I will have to start from stratch!

Regards
Yan
Basically Jeff and I wrote at the same time,
The ony thing I feel unshure about Jeff post is if the majority of brigades where supposed to have six battalions.
(see i I can dig up something about that)


Each Regiment had two "normal" infantry battalions and one"lantvern" territorial bn's, with older soldiers with no refresher training,

But the Regiment where most of the time only a provider of battalions to a Brigade headquarter,
so according to Holm "1940-Igen "

5:Th Division set up
one Brigade HQ,
one District HQ

11. and 12. Inf reg each set up two Field and one Territorial Bn.
13:th Inf reg set up a Infantry Command staff "Infanteri kommando stab"'and two Field and one Territorial Bn.
I cant remember I seen anything about this "Infanteri kommando stab"

But the operational unit where the brigade that "might look like", in the example it was four inf bn.

So the confusing bit is to understand the command structure,
and remember the original French meaning of Division was just a way to divide Napoleons army into convenient parts.

Norwegian divisions had a manpower between 7700 and 16500 men.

Cheers
/John

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jwsleser
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by jwsleser » 15 Apr 2019 03:53

John
The ony thing I feel unshure about Jeff post is if the majority of brigades where supposed to have six battalions.
It is not a question of whether they were suppose to have six battalions, the reality is that on 9 April 1940, the brigades were organized as listed. Both Robert Mårtensson's website Norway 1940 and Haarr's The Battle for Norway (Appendix B) agree that the units listed were assigned to those brigades. Only two of the six brigades had four battalions. Three had had six battalions and one had eight.

What we don't have/know is how the Norwegians planned to organize a field force that wasn't committed to specific garrison requirements. What is provided by the two sources above is the administrative organization of the army for mobilization. Norway 1940 has a section titled Planned Deployment. This section is incomplete and what is provided reflects is the army positioned throughout the country to defeat an invasion. It doesn't reflect an army organized to maneuver and attack/defend against an enemy already in the country. The introductory paragraph ends with "Note that the organization and plans described below never was relevant during the German invasion."

I will note that the reserve listed (the force held for maneuver) has two brigades of four battalions each, but only one artillery battalion per brigade.

I believe that the Norwegians doctrinally decided that a maneuver brigade would be four battalions and the associated support units. If Norway had fully mobilized its army, it is quite likely that the extra units and the Landvern would have been assigned to garrisons/forts and a field army would be formed of brigades consisting of four battalions each. As I previously stated, a brigade is a very flexible organization and additional battalions can be attached or battalions removed based on the current situation.

What is still unclear to me is the relationship between the brigade and division. Did two different HQs actually exist in each D.K., or was the brigade HQ expanded if another brigade was attached to form a division. Or would Landvernbattaljons or newly formed battalions be added to a brigade to create a division? Would the Dragoon Regiments operate independently or would they be part of the brigade/division? I believe they were independent from the brigades but not sure if they would be part of a division? Or was a division defined as four infantry battalion and a Dragoon Regiment? This is still unclear.
But the Regiment where most of the time only a provider of battalions to a Brigade headquarter, so according to Holm "1940-Igen "
Yes, the regiment was only administrative, not tactical.

Just some thoughts, much remaining unknown.

Pista! Jeff
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jwsleser
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by jwsleser » 15 Apr 2019 14:38

Taking a closer look at the information provided under the Planned Deployment section of Norway 1940.

The maneuver/field force established by the 1st and 2nd D.K.

1.Brig (I,II/I.R.2, I,II/I.R.3, hj.kp.1, one battalion A.R.1)
2.Brig (I,II/I.R.5, I,II/I.R.6, hj.kp.2, one battalion A.R.2)
D.R.2
12cm mot.haubitsbat.
10,5cm mot.kanonbat.

This is a division-sized force. Note each brigade is four battalions. From the mobilization organization, IR 1 and IR 4 were identified as part of the fixed defense and not part of the mobile units (1.Brig and 2.Brig.). This supports the four-battalion brigade organization.

The mobile force (reserve) created in 3 D.K. is only two battalions as noted in the comments.

As I previously stated, this section is incomplete as nothing is provided for 4, 5, and 6 D.K. There are twelve battalions between those three brigades under the mobilization plan.

Tarnstrom in his The Sword of Scandinavia states that the 1933 Army program, brigades would be (pg. 126):

-One cyclist company
-Four infantry battalions (each with 3 company and a MG company)
-One artillery battalion (each with two batteries)

On page 136 he confuses the issue by stating that an Infantry Regiment would consist of four battalions. I feel that this section starting on pg. 136 and all of 137 doesn't fit the flow of text and likely was mis-set by the printer. It should be earlier in the book. However the issue of brigade vs battalion is muddied by Tarnstrom. As I have stated above, I feel the regiment is pure and administrative organization, but Tarnstrom does support the four battalion field structure.

Pista! Jeff
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yantaylor
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by yantaylor » 15 Apr 2019 20:20

Who was in command the Kings Guard Battalion in April 1940 ?

Yan.

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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by jwsleser » 15 Apr 2019 20:54

Oberstløytnant Trygve Graff-Wang.

Pista! Jeff
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by yantaylor » 16 Apr 2019 12:17

Thanks Jeff!

Wiki has this battalion containing six companies, but this is the modern version, do you know its composition circa 1940?

Yan.

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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by jwsleser » 16 Apr 2019 15:44

According to Haarr (pg. 383) it has four companies.

Norway 1940 states that 2, 3, ands 4 kp. were the rifle companies, while 1 kp. was the weapons company. This is the reverse of what is seen in the infantry battalions.

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yantaylor
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by yantaylor » 16 Apr 2019 20:37

Thanks Jeff!

Yan.

John T
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by John T » 19 Apr 2019 12:35

I've reread Norsk forsvarshistorie vol III
(Kristiansen)

The main reason for the confusion lies in the 1933 Defence plan.
At that time the Norwegian minister of Defence had studied different countries method to handle a limited military budget and found out that the German Reichwehr and i's cadre system was the way to go.
The minister happened to be V. Quisling, at that time agrarian party.
But the last thirty years, professional historians tries to limit the role of party politics, at that time no Norwegian party worked for a real rearmament.
So the budget was based on a 16 regiment and 16 readily mobilized battalions of infantry.
And "later" and given priority, time and additional funding the total could be raised to 66 inf Bn.
this was the financial basis used up to 1940.

During the second half of the thirties the (almost) Socialist "Airbederparti" held government, with a significant minority within the party wanted disarmament and only have a coast and border guard instead of the armed forces.
To increase the ordinary defense budget was very hard, but a number of extra-ordinary expenses where allowed.
part of these extra money where spent on additional exercises thus starting the build up.

So it was not only the German invasion that made the planned organization differ from the actual but also twenty years of neglect.

It is interesting to note that the units used in neutrality watch in April 40, often was the second battalion of the regiment.
if this was pure chance or intended to enable to shape up more combat units.
I have no facts to support this on Norwegian side but have similar examples from the Swedish side.


Norwegian defence expenditure in Billion NOK:
NorwayDefExp.png
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by jwsleser » 19 Apr 2019 20:55

Thanks John

I was trying to work through/understand the 1933 and the 1937 reforms. The problem is there is very little written in English on the army during this time period, so your post is very informative. If I understand correctly:

The plan was originally 16 regiments each with one battalion. As additional resources were made available, each regiment would be increased to two battalions and finally a fully funded Defense Budget would have each regiment with four battalions (66 battalions).

What would be interesting to know is whether the brigade structure would continue to be used with regiments consisting of four battalions. If 66 battalions, what was the planned divisional structure?

Your comment about the 2nd battalions is interesting. I agree it might have been a way to increase/train the Army within the budget restrictions.

Thanks! Jeff
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John T
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by John T » 20 Apr 2019 11:29

jwsleser wrote:
19 Apr 2019 20:55
If I understand correctly:

The plan was originally 16 regiments each with one battalion. As additional resources were made available, each regiment would be increased to two battalions and finally a fully funded Defense Budget would have each regiment with four battalions (66 battalions).
The old organization was of 55 battalions in theory, a "maximun organization".
so most of the gear was already available, just getting older.
No problem with a well greased rifles but "leatherworks" dried up and no more modern weapons.

The Issue Quisling addressed was that all those battalions where equally untrained.
So the big difference in 1933 was that they went for a "minimum" organization with at least one battalion prioritized and proper trained
and the rest had to do with what was left.
What would be interesting to know is whether the brigade structure would continue to be used with regiments consisting of four battalions. If 66 battalions, what was the planned divisional structure?
The only thing I heard of was that two to four brigades could be attached to an " army command" ("Arme avdelning")
And the Swedish open source "Arméer Flottor och Flyg" of 1939 contains aprox 50 pages of each Scandinavian countrys defences
claims that the initial six brigades would be available on mobilization and
"any further expansion would need lengthy training of commanders and troops"


BTW is there a more proper term in english for comanders at any level, including squadleaders, NCO's and up?
I understands it as commanders means officers



Cheers
/John

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jwsleser
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by jwsleser » 20 Apr 2019 14:37

John

RE: Number of battalions. While 55 battalions (and in 1933 a total 66 battalions) represent the plan, none of the sources list more than 32 organized battalions in 1940 (regimental battalions not including the independent battalions). While the depots might have held material to equip more than 32 battalions, there wasn't any plan in place to create/mobilize any additional battalions. The two 3rd battalions actually raised during the war were ad hoc and not in accordance with any prewar plan.

For me, this indicates that only 32 battalions could be raised as part of mobilization and the remaining 32 battalion were merely paper organizations with no intent to raise these additional battalions. 66 was a goal without any plan or preliminary work to actually raise those units.
The Issue Quisling addressed was that all those battalions where equally untrained.
Did any of the I and II battalions exist as cadre when they weren't mobilized for the Neutrality Watch/annual training? Were all the battalions mobilized for annual training each year? If so, at what strength level? If the Norwegians fully adopted the German system, all the battalions should exist in peacetime at some cadre level. If only at caretaker status, the training problem would never be solved.
BTW is there a more proper term in english for comanders at any level, including squadleaders, NCO's and up? I understands it as commanders means officers
Generally yes, commander always implies a commissioned officer. In the American Army, the lieutenant leading a platoon is a Platoon Leader. In the UK Army he/she is a Platoon Commander. Normally the term commander conveys an understand that the individual can adjudicate legal actions under the military justice system, as well as exercise command authority. The term leader conveys an understanding that the individual has only command authority. Using the Platoon example above, an American Platoon Leader normally doesn't adjudicate legal actions, these are handled at the company level (company commander).

Likely leader is the best term one can use to describe any soldier granted command authority. I hope this helps.

Pista! Jeff
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Re: Norwegian Army 1940

Post by yantaylor » 20 Apr 2019 15:39

Jeff, I was looking through the link and I came across the term ''Skol Batteri'' in the 1st ID.

Now acording to my limited Norwegian, this would mean, School Battery, so am I far off here?

Yan.

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