Norway 1940 by Francois KersaudyIn the late 1930s, as Europe moved toward war, the peaceful kingdom of Norway found itself strategically vital to the interests of Germany, France, and Great Britain. Though Norway was strictly neutral, in April 1940 Britain and France mined Norwegian territorial waters to prevent supplies from reaching Germany. Immediately, the German Reich invaded the militarily weak Norway. Norway 1940 shows the country fighting valiantly, assisted by the Allies in a two-month campaign that has become a textbook example of confused aims and faulty coordination. Francois Kersaudy delved deeply into the archives of the nations involved to offer the most balanced account to date. He depicts the glaring political and military errors of the campaign and goes on to consider large questions about its conduct and consequences.
Battlefield S6/E2 - Scandinavia the Forgotten Front
On this day in , German warships enter major Norwegian ports, from Narvik to Oslo, deploying thousands of German troops and occupying Norway. At the same time, German forces occupy Copenhagen, among other Danish cities. German forces were able to slip through the mines Britain had laid around Norwegian ports because local garrisons were ordered to allow the Germans to land unopposed. Norwegian forces refused to accept German rule in the guise of a Quisling government and continued to fight alongside British troops. But an accelerating German offensive in France led Britain to transfer thousand of soldiers from Norway to France, resulting ultimately in a German victory.
The Namsos campaign , in Namsos , Norway , and its surrounding area involved heavy fighting between Anglo-French and Norwegian naval and military forces on the one hand, and German military, naval and air forces on the other in April and early May When the Second World War broke out in September , Norway followed a policy of neutrality , as it had successfully done during the First World War , hoping to stay out of the war once again engulfing Europe. So Norway was at peace in April when it was suddenly attacked by naval, air and military forces from Nazi Germany. Unlike in the First World War, the Norwegian military was only partially mobilised, with the Royal Norwegian Navy and the coastal artillery being set up with skeleton crews. Although the Norwegian Government had carried out a hurried modernisation of the military in the second half of the s, the armed forces were still in a shambles. Effects of the wide-ranging budget reductions carried out during the pacifist policies of the late s and early s were still apparent. In , the Norwegian armed forces were among the weakest in Europe.
German troops invaded Norway on 9 April , planning to capture the King and the Government in order to force the country to surrender. However, the Royal Family, the Government and most members of the Storting were able to flee before the occupying forces reached Oslo. Their task was to arrest the King and the members of the Government to compel Norway to capitulate immediately. Notification of approaching foreign battleships was sent to Oscarsborg Fortress, strategically located at the narrowest point of the Oslofjord. Convened at Elverum in Eastern Norway, the Storting gave the King and the Government full authority to rule the country for the duration of the war. The Germans demanded that the Government headed by Johan Nygaardsvold, which had refused to capitulate, step down, and that the King appoint a government headed by Nazi sympathiser Vidkun Quisling. The King put forth the German demands in an extraordinary meeting of the Council of State in the village of Nybergsund.
On 9 April Nazi Germany invaded the country, which remained occupied until 8 May British destroyers attacking a strong German destroyer force during the Battle of Narvik. German troops in Oslo, May
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Tuesday, April 9th, Norwegian coastal guns sink the German cruiser Blucher with 1, lives being lost. Tuesday, April 9th, Norwegian royalty and its government flee northward from the invasion. Wednesday, April 10th, Five British destroyers surprise a German force of ten destroyers near Narvik. Nine German cargo ships are lost as well as two destroyers. The British also lose a pair of destroyers in the action. Saturday, April 20th - April 30th, The German defense at Trondheim holds and prepares for reinforcements. Wednesday, April 24th, Allied naval guns open up on German positions at Narvik in preparation for a ground assault.