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German victory

Occupation of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway

Belligerents

Germany

 Norway  Denmark   United Kingdom France Polish government-in-exile

Commanders and leaders

Nikolaus von Falkenhorst Leonhard Kaupisch Eduard Dietl Hans Ferdinand Geisler Alfred Saalwächter

Kristian Laake Otto Ruge Carl Gustav Fleischer William Wain Prior Adrian Carton de Wiart Charles Tolver Paget Pierse Joseph Mackesy

Strength

9 divisions 1 artillery battalion 1 motorized rifle brigade Total: 120,000

Norway: 6 divisions: ~60,000 Denmark: 2 divisions: ~14,500 Allies ~35,000 Total: ~109,500

Casualties and losses

Heer: Kriegsmarine: 1 heavy cruiser 2 light cruisers 10 destroyers various U-boats, transports and smaller warships Luftwaffe: 1,130 air crew 341 KIA 448 MIA[1] Total: 5,636 KIA or MIA 341 WIA

Royal Norwegian Navy & Army: 1,335 KIA  ? MIA Denmark: 26 KIA and 23 WIA[2] Allies: 4,765 KIA Total: 6,116 KIA

v t e

Nordic countries in World War II

Military history of Finland
Finland
during World War II Denmark
Denmark
in World War II Sweden
Sweden
in World War II Norwegian Campaign German invasion of Denmark
Denmark
(1940) Norway
Norway
in World War II Occupation of Norway Occupation of the Faroe Islands Invasion of Iceland Occupation of Iceland Greenland in World War II Iceland in World War II Transit of German troops through Finland
Finland
and Sweden Altmark Incident Operation Weserübung Lofoten Islands campaign Raids on Spitsbergen Operation Fritham Operation Zitronella German battleship Tirpitz Norwegian heavy water sabotage Swedish iron-ore mining during World War II Operation Silver Fox Raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive Liberation of Finnmark Danish resistance movement Rescue of the Danish Jews Norwegian resistance movement Nazi concentration camps in Norway White Buses Winter War Continuation War Lapland War

v t e

German occupation of Norway

Operation Weserübung Norwegian Campaign Operation Archery Norwegian heavy water sabotage Telavåg Liberation of Finnmark

v t e

Campaigns of World War II

Europe

Poland Phoney War Winter War Denmark
Denmark
& Norway France
France
& Benelux Britain Balkans Eastern Front Finland Western Front (1944–45)

Pacific War

China Pacific Ocean South-East Asia South West Pacific Japan Manchuria (1945)

Mediterranean and Middle East

North Africa Horn of Africa Mediterranean Sea Adriatic Malta Yugoslavia Iraq Syria–Lebanon Iran Italy Dodecanese Southern France

Other campaigns

Atlantic Arctic Strategic bombing America French West Africa Madagascar

Contemporaneous wars

Chinese Civil War USSR–Japan Border Wars French–Thai Ecuadorian–Peruvian War Ili Rebellion

Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung
(German: [ˈveːsɐˌʔyːbʊŋ]) was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark
Denmark
and Norway
Norway
during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. The name comes from the German for Operation Weser-Exercise (Unternehmen Weserübung), the Weser being a German river. In the early morning of 9 April 1940 (Wesertag; "Weser Day"), Germany invaded Denmark
Denmark
and Norway, ostensibly as a preventive manoeuvre against a planned, and openly discussed, Franco-British occupation of Norway. After the invasions, envoys of the Germans informed the governments of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway
Norway
that the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
had come to protect the countries' neutrality against Franco-British aggression. Significant differences in geography, location and climate between the two countries made the actual military operations very dissimilar. The invasion fleet's nominal landing time—Weserzeit ("Weser Time")—was set to 05:15.

Contents

1 Political and military background

1.1 Planning 1.2 Preliminaries

2 Invasion of Denmark 3 Invasion of Norway

3.1 Order of battle 3.2 Concise timeline

4 Encircling of Sweden
Sweden
and Finland 5 Nuremberg Trials 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Bibliography 10 External links

Political and military background[edit]

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Main articles: Swedish iron ore during World War II, Plan R 4, Operation Wilfred, and Franco–British plans for intervention in the Winter War Starting in the spring of 1939, the British Admiralty
Admiralty
began to view Scandinavia
Scandinavia
as a potential theatre of war in a future conflict with Germany. The British government was reluctant to engage in another land conflict on the continent that they believed would be a repetition of the First World War. So they began considering a blockade strategy in an attempt to weaken Germany indirectly. German industry was heavily dependent on the import of iron ore from the northern Swedish mining district, and much of this ore was shipped through the northern Norwegian port of Narvik
Narvik
during the winter months.[3] Control of the Norwegian coast would also serve to tighten a blockade against Germany. In October 1939, the chief of the German Kriegsmarine—Grand Admiral Erich Raeder—discussed with Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
the danger posed by the risk of having potential British bases in Norway
Norway
and the possibility of Germany seizing these bases before the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
could. The navy argued that possession of Norway
Norway
would allow control of the nearby seas and serve as a staging base for future submarine operations against the United Kingdom.[3] But at this time, the other branches of the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
were not interested, and Hitler had just issued a directive stating that the main effort would be a land offensive through the Low Countries. Toward the end of November, Winston Churchill—as a new member of the British War Cabinet—proposed the mining of Norwegian waters in Operation Wilfred. This would force the ore transports to travel through the open waters of the North Sea, where the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
could intercept them. Churchill assumed that Wilfred would provoke a German response in Norway. When that occurred, the Allies would implement Plan R 4
Plan R 4
and occupy Norway. Though later implemented, Operation Wilfred was initially rejected by Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
and Lord Halifax, due to fear of an adverse reaction among neutral nations such as the United States. After the start of the Winter War
Winter War
between the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and Finland
Finland
in November had changed the diplomatic situation, Churchill again proposed his mining scheme, but once more was denied. In December, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and France
France
began serious planning for sending aid to Finland. Their plan called for a force to land at Narvik
Narvik
in northern Norway, the main port for Swedish iron ore exports, and to take control of the Malmbanan
Malmbanan
railway line from Narvik
Narvik
to Luleå
Luleå
in Sweden
Sweden
on the shore of the Gulf of Bothnia. Conveniently, this plan would also allow the Allied forces to occupy the Swedish iron ore mining district. The plan received the support of both Chamberlain and Halifax. They were counting on the cooperation of Norway, which would alleviate some of the legal issues, but stern warnings[by whom?] issued to both Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
resulted in strongly negative reactions in both countries. Planning for the expedition continued, but the justification for it was removed when Finland
Finland
sued for peace with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in March 1940. Planning[edit] Following a meeting with Vidkun Quisling
Vidkun Quisling
from Norway
Norway
on 14 December,[4] Hitler turned his attention to Scandinavia. Convinced of the threat posed by the Allies to the iron ore supply, Hitler ordered Oberkommando der Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
(Armed Forces High Command; OKW) to begin preliminary planning for an invasion of Norway. The preliminary plan was named Studie Nord and called for only one army division. Between 14 and 19 January, the Kriegsmarine
Kriegsmarine
developed an expanded version of this plan. They decided upon two key factors: that surprise was essential to reduce the threat of Norwegian resistance (and British intervention); the second to use faster German warships, rather than comparatively slow merchant ships, as troop transports. This would allow all targets to be occupied simultaneously, impossible if transport ships, which travelled only at slow speeds, were used. This new plan called for a full army corps, including a mountain division, an airborne division, a motorized rifle brigade, and two infantry divisions. The target objectives of this force were the Norwegian capital Oslo
Oslo
and nearby population centres, Bergen, Narvik, Tromsø, Trondheim, Kristiansand, and Stavanger. The plan also called for the rapid capture of the kings of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway
Norway
in the hopes that would trigger a rapid surrender. On 21 February 1940, command of the operation was given to General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst. He had fought in Finland
Finland
during the First World War and was familiar with Arctic warfare. But he was to have command only of the ground forces, despite Hitler's desire to have a unified command. The final plan was code-named Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung
("Exercise on the Weser") on 27 January 1940. The ground forces would be the XXI Army Corps, including the 3rd Mountain Division and five infantry divisions, none of the latter having yet been tested in battle. The initial echelon would consist of three divisions for the assault, with the remainder to follow in the next wave. Three companies of paratroopers would be used to seize airfields. The decision to also send the 2nd Mountain Division was made later. Almost all U-boat
U-boat
operations in the Atlantic were to be stopped in order for the submarines to aid in the operation. Every available submarine—including some training boats—were used as part of Operation Hartmut in support of Weserübung. Initially, the plan was to invade Norway
Norway
and to gain control of Danish airfields by diplomatic means. But Hitler issued a new directive on 1 March that called for the invasion of both Norway
Norway
and Denmark. This came at the insistence of the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
to capture fighter bases and sites for air-warning stations. The XXXI Corps
Corps
was formed for the invasion of Denmark, consisting of two infantry divisions and the 11th motorized brigade. The entire operation would be supported by the X Air Corps, consisting of some 1,000 aircraft of various types. Preliminaries[edit]

German dead being brought ashore from the German naval tanker Altmark.

The heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper landing troops in Norway
Norway
in 1940.

In February, the British destroyer HMS Cossack boarded the German transport ship Altmark while in Norwegian waters, thereby violating Norwegian neutrality, rescuing POWs held also in violation of Norwegian neutrality (the Altmark was obliged to release them as soon as she entered neutral territory). Hitler regarded this as a clear sign that the UK was willing to violate Norwegian neutrality, and so became even more strongly committed to the invasion.[3] On 12 March, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
decided to send an expeditionary force to Norway
Norway
just as the Winter War
Winter War
was winding down. The expeditionary force began boarding on 13 March, but it was recalled—and the operation cancelled—with the end of the Winter War. Instead, the British cabinet voted to proceed with the mining operation in Norwegian waters, followed by troop landings. The first German ships set sail for the invasion on 3 April. Two days later, the long-planned Operation Wilfred was put into action, and the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
detachment—led by the battlecruiser HMS Renown—left Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
in order to mine Norwegian waters. The mine fields were laid in the Vestfjorden in the early morning of 8 April. Operation Wilfred was over, but later that day, the destroyer HMS Glowworm—detached on 7 April to search for a man lost overboard—was lost in action to the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and two destroyers belonging to the German invasion fleet. On 9 April, the German invasion was under way and the execution of Plan R 4
Plan R 4
was promptly started. Invasion of Denmark[edit] Main article: German invasion of Denmark
Denmark
(1940)

German Pz.Kpfw. I tanks in Aabenraa, Denmark, 9 April 1940

German Leichter Panzerspähwagen
Leichter Panzerspähwagen
armoured car in Jutland.

Strategically, Denmark's importance to Germany was as a staging area for operations in Norway, and of course as a border nation to Germany which would have to be controlled in some way. Given Denmark's position in relation to the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
the country was also important for the control of naval and shipping access to major German and Soviet harbours. At 04:00 on 9 April 1940, the German ambassador to Denmark—Cecil von Renthe-Fink—called the Danish Foreign Minister Peter Munch and requested a meeting with him. When the two men met 20 minutes later, Renthe-Fink declared that German troops were at that moment moving in to occupy Denmark
Denmark
to protect the country from Franco-British attack. The German ambassador demanded that Danish resistance cease immediately and contact be made between Danish authorities and the German armed forces. If the demands were not met, the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
would bomb the capital, Copenhagen. As the German demands were communicated, the first German advances had already been made, with forces landing by ferry in Gedser
Gedser
at 03:55 and moving north. German Fallschirmjäger
Fallschirmjäger
units had made unopposed landings and taken two airfields at Aalborg, the Storstrøm Bridge
Storstrøm Bridge
as well as the fortress of Masnedø, the latter being the first recorded attack in the world made by paratroopers.[5] At 04:20 local time, a reinforced battalion of German infantrymen from the 308th Regiment landed in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
harbour from the minelayer Hansestadt Danzig, quickly capturing the Danish garrison at the Citadel without encountering resistance. From the harbour, the Germans moved toward Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace
to capture the Danish royal family. By the time the invasion forces arrived at the king's residence, the King's Royal Guard had been alerted and other reinforcements were on their way to the palace. The first German attack on Amalienborg was repulsed, giving Christian X and his ministers time to confer with the Danish Army chief General Prior. As the discussions were ongoing, several formations of Heinkel He 111 and Dornier Do 17
Dornier Do 17
bombers roared over the city dropping OPROP!
OPROP!
leaflets.

Danish troops at Bredevad on the morning of the German attack. Two of these soldiers were killed in action later that day.

At 05:25, two squadrons of German Bf 110s attacked Værløse
Værløse
airfield on Zealand and neutralised the Danish Army Air Service by strafing.[6][page needed] Despite Danish anti-aircraft fire, the German fighters destroyed ten Danish aircraft and seriously damaged another fourteen, thereby wiping out half of the entire Army Air Service.[6][page needed] Faced with the explicit threat of the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
bombing the civilian population of Copenhagen, and only General Prior in favour of continuing to fight, the King Christian X and the entire Danish government capitulated at approximately 06:00 in exchange for retaining political independence in domestic matters. The invasion of Denmark
Denmark
lasted less than six hours and was the shortest military campaign conducted by the Germans during the war. The rapid Danish capitulation resulted in the uniquely lenient occupation of Denmark, particularly until the summer of 1943, and in postponing the arrest and deportation of Danish Jews until nearly all of them were warned and on their way to refuge in Sweden.[7] In the end, 477 Danish Jews were deported, and 70 of them lost their lives, out of a pre-war total of Jews and half-Jews at a little over 8,000.[8] Invasion of Norway[edit] Main article: Norwegian Campaign Order of battle[edit] Main article: Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung
Order of Battle

Norway
Norway
and World War II

Key events

Operation Weserübung Norwegian Campaign Elverum
Elverum
Authorization Occupation Resistance Camps The Holocaust Telavåg Martial law in Trondheim
Trondheim
(1942) Festung Norwegen Heavy water sabotage Liberation of Finnmark Post-war purge

People

Haakon VII Crown Prince Olav Johan Nygaardsvold Halvdan Koht C. J. Hambro Carl Gustav Fleischer Otto Ruge Jens Christian Hauge Gunnar Sønsteby Vidkun Quisling Jonas Lie Sverre Riisnæs Josef Terboven Wilhelm Rediess Henry Rinnan Nikolaus von Falkenhorst

Organizations

Milorg XU Linge Osvald Group Nortraship Nasjonal Samling Hirden Statspolitiet Sonderabteilung Lola

The operation's military headquarters was Hotel Esplanade in Hamburg, where orders were given to, among others, the air units involved in the invasion.[9] Norway
Norway
was important to Germany for two primary reasons: as a base for naval units, including U-boats, to harass Allied shipping in the North Atlantic, and to secure shipments of iron-ore from Sweden
Sweden
through the port of Narvik.[3] The long northern coastline was an excellent place to launch U-boat
U-boat
operations into the North Atlantic in order to attack British commerce. Germany was dependent on iron ore from Sweden
Sweden
and was worried, with justification, that the Allies would attempt to disrupt those shipments, 90% of which originated from Narvik. The invasion of Norway
Norway
was given to the XXI Army Corps
Corps
under General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst
Nikolaus von Falkenhorst
and consisted of the following main units:

69th Infantry Division 163rd Infantry Division 181st Infantry Division 196th Infantry Division 214th Infantry Division 3rd Mountain Division

The initial invasion force was transported in several groups by ships of the Kriegsmarine:

Battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau as distant cover, plus 10 destroyers with 2,000 mountaineering troops under General Eduard Dietl to Narvik; Heavy cruiser
Heavy cruiser
Admiral Hipper and four destroyers with 1,700 troops to Trondheim; Light cruisers Köln and Königsberg, artillery training ship Bremse, Schnellboot
Schnellboot
mothership Karl Peters, two torpedo boats and five motor torpedo boats with 1,900 troops to Bergen; Light cruiser
Light cruiser
Karlsruhe, three torpedo boats, seven motor torpedo boats and Schnellboot
Schnellboot
mothership (Schnellbootbegleitschiff) Tsingtau with 1,100 troops to Kristiansand
Kristiansand
and Arendal; Heavy cruiser
Heavy cruiser
Blücher, heavy cruiser Lützow, light cruiser Emden, three torpedo boats and eight minesweepers with 2,000 troops to Oslo; Four minesweepers with 150 troops to Egersund.

Concise timeline[edit]

The German landing sites during the initial phase of Operation Weserübung.

Map of Oslofjord
Oslofjord
with Oscarsborg

Shortly after noon on 8 April, the clandestine German troop transport Rio de Janeiro was sunk off Lillesand
Lillesand
by the Polish submarine Orzeł, part of the Royal Navy's 2nd Submarine Flotilla. However, the news of the sinking reached the appropriate levels of officialdom in Oslo
Oslo
too late to do much more than trigger a limited, last-minute alert. Late in the evening of 8 April 1940, Kampfgruppe
Kampfgruppe
5 was spotted by the Norwegian guard vessel Pol III. Pol III was fired at; her captain Leif Welding-Olsen became the first Norwegian killed in action during the invasion. German ships sailed up the Oslofjord
Oslofjord
leading to the Norwegian capital, reaching the Drøbak
Drøbak
Narrows (Drøbaksundet). In the early morning of 9 April, the gunners at Oscarsborg Fortress
Oscarsborg Fortress
fired on the leading ship, Blücher, which had been illuminated by spotlights at about 04:15. Two of the guns used were the 48-year-old German Krupp
Krupp
guns (nicknamed Moses and Aron) of 280 mm (11 in) calibre. Within two hours, the badly damaged ship, unable to manoeuvre in the narrow fjord from multiple artillery and torpedo hits, sank with very heavy loss of life totalling 600–1,000 men. The now obvious threat from the fortress (and the mistaken belief that mines had contributed to the sinking) delayed the rest of the naval invasion group long enough for the Royal Family, the Cabinet Nygaardsvold
Cabinet Nygaardsvold
and the Parliament to be evacuated, along with the national treasury. On their flight northward by special train, the court encountered the Battle of Midtskogen
Battle of Midtskogen
and bombs at Elverum
Elverum
and Nybergsund. As the legitimate government and royal family were not captured, Norway
Norway
never surrendered to the Germans, leaving the Quisling government illegitimate and having Norway
Norway
participating as an Ally in the war, rather than as a conquered nation. German airborne troops landed at Oslo
Oslo
airport Fornebu, Kristiansand airport Kjevik, and Sola Air Station
Sola Air Station
– the latter constituting the first opposed paratrooper (Fallschirmjäger) attack in history;[3] coincidentally, among the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
pilots landing at Kjevik was Reinhard Heydrich. Vidkun Quisling's radio-effected coup d'etat at 7.30pm on 9 April[10] – another first. Cities/towns Bergen, Stavanger, Egersund, Kristiansand
Kristiansand
S, Arendal, Horten, Trondheim
Trondheim
and Narvik
Narvik
attacked and occupied within 24 hours. Heroic, but wholly ineffective, stand by the Norwegian armoured coastal defence ships Norge and Eidsvold at Narvik. Both ships torpedoed and sunk with great loss of life. First Battle of Narvik
Narvik
( Royal Navy
Royal Navy
vs Kriegsmarine) on 9 April.[11] The German force took Narvik
Narvik
and landed the 2,000 mountain infantry, but a British naval counter-attack by the modernised battleship HMS Warspite and a flotilla of destroyers over several days succeeded in sinking all ten German destroyers once they ran out of fuel and ammunition. Devastating bombing of towns Nybergsund, Elverum, Åndalsnes, Molde, Kristiansund
Kristiansund
N, Steinkjer, Namsos, Bodø, Narvik
Narvik
– some of them tactically bombed, some terror-bombed. Main German land campaign northward from Oslo
Oslo
with superior equipment; Norwegian soldiers with turn-of-the-century weapons, along with some British and French troops (see Namsos
Namsos
Campaign), stop invaders for a time before yielding – first land combat action between British Army and Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
in World War II. Second Naval Battle of Narvik
Narvik
( Royal Navy
Royal Navy
vs Kriegsmarine) on 13 April.[12] Land battles at Narvik: Norwegian and Allied (French and Polish) forces under General Carl Gustav Fleischer
Carl Gustav Fleischer
achieve the first major tactical victory against the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
in WWII, and the following withdrawal of the Allied forces (mentioned below); Fighting at Gratangen. With the evacuation of the King and the Cabinet Nygaardsvold
Cabinet Nygaardsvold
from Molde
Molde
to Tromsø
Tromsø
on 29 April, and the allied evacuation of Åndalsnes on 1 May, resistance in Southern Norway
Norway
comes to an end. The "last stand": Hegra Fortress
Hegra Fortress
(Ingstadkleiven Fort) resisted German attacks until 5 May – of Allied propaganda importance, like Narvik. King Haakon, Crown Prince Olav, and the Cabinet Nygaardsvold
Cabinet Nygaardsvold
left from Tromsø
Tromsø
7 June (aboard the British cruiser HMS Devonshire, bound for Britain) to represent Norway
Norway
in exile (King returned to Oslo
Oslo
exact same date five years later); Crown Princess Märtha and children, denied asylum in her native Sweden,[citation needed] later left from Petsamo, Finland, to live in exile in the United States. The Norwegian Army in mainland Norway
Norway
capitulated (though the Royal Norwegian Navy and other armed forces continued fighting the Germans abroad and at home until the German capitulation on 8 May 1945) on 10 June 1940, two months after Wesertag, this made Norway
Norway
the occupied country which had withstood a German invasion for the longest time before succumbing.

In the far north, Norwegian, French and Polish troops—supported by the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
and the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
(RAF)—fought against the Germans over the control of the Norwegian harbour Narvik, important for the year-round export of Swedish iron ore (The Swedish harbour of Luleå
Luleå
is blocked by ice in the winter months). The Germans were driven out of Narvik
Narvik
on 28 May, but due to the deteriorating situation on the European continent, the Allied troops were withdrawn in Operation Alphabet
Operation Alphabet
– and the Germans recaptured Narvik
Narvik
on 9 June, by then deserted also by the civilians due to massive Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
bombing. Encircling of Sweden
Sweden
and Finland[edit]

Iron ore
Iron ore
is extracted in Kiruna
Kiruna
and Malmberget, and brought by rail to the harbours of Luleå
Luleå
and Narvik. (Borders as of 1920–1940.)

Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung
did not include a military assault on (likewise neutral) Sweden
Sweden
because there was no need[citation needed]. By holding Norway, the Danish straits
Danish straits
and most of the shores of the Baltic Sea, the Third Reich
Third Reich
encircled Sweden
Sweden
from the north, west and south – and in the East, there was the Soviet Union, the successor of Sweden's and Finland's arch-enemy Russia, on friendly terms with Hitler under the terms of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. A small number of Finnish volunteers helped the Norwegian Army against Germans in an ambulance unit. Sweden's and Finland's trade was totally controlled by the Kriegsmarine. As a consequence, Germany put pressure on neutral Sweden to permit transit of military goods and soldiers on leave. On 18 June 1940, an agreement was reached. Soldiers were to travel unarmed and not be part of unit movements. A total of 2.14 million German soldiers, and more than 100,000 German military railway carriages, crossed Sweden
Sweden
until this traffic was officially suspended on 20 August 1943. On 19 August 1940, Finland
Finland
agreed to grant access to its territory for the Wehrmacht, with the agreement signed on 22 September. Initially for transit of troops and military equipment to and from northernmost Norway, but soon also for minor bases along the transit road that eventually would grow in the preparation for Operation Barbarossa. Nuremberg Trials[edit] The 1941 Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, and the 1940 German invasion of Norway
Norway
have been argued to be preemptive, with the German defense in the Nuremberg trials
Nuremberg trials
in 1946 arguing that Germany was "compelled to attack Norway
Norway
by the need to forestall an Allied invasion and that her action was therefore preemptive."[13] The German defence was to attempt to refer to Plan R 4
Plan R 4
and its predecessors. However it was determined that Germany had discussed invasion plans as early as 3 October 1939 when in a memo from Admiral Raeder
Admiral Raeder
to Alfred Rosenberg whose subject was "gaining bases in Norway."[14] had begun by asking questions such as "Can bases be gained by military force against Norway's will, if it is impossible to carry this out without fighting?"[14] Norway
Norway
was vital to Germany as a transport route for iron ore from Sweden, a supply that the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
was determined to stop. One British plan was to go through Norway
Norway
and occupy cities in Sweden.[a][b] An Allied invasion was ordered on 12 March, and the Germans intercepted radio traffic setting 14 March as deadline for the preparation. Peace in Finland
Finland
interrupted the Allied plans.[c] Two diary entries by Jodl
Jodl
dated 13 and 14 March did not indicate any high level awareness of the Allied plan although they do show that Hitler was actively considering putting Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung
into operation: The first said "Fuehrer does not give order yet for 'Weser Exercise'. He is still looking for an excuse."[14] and the second "Fuehrer has not yet decided what reason to give for Weser Exercise."[14] It was not till 2 April 1940 that German preparations were completed and the Naval Operational Order for Weserübung was issued on 4 April 1940. The new Allied plans were Wilfred and Plan R 4. The plan was to provoke a German reaction by laying mines in Norwegian waters, and once Germany showed signs of taking action UK troops would occupy Narvik, Trondheim, and Bergen
Bergen
and launch a raid on Stavanger
Stavanger
to destroy Sola airfield. However "the mines were not laid until the morning of 8 April, by which time the German ships were advancing up the Norwegian coast."[15] The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg determined that no Allied invasion was imminent, and therefore rejected the German argument that Germany was entitled to attack Norway.[14] See also[edit]

Battle of Kristiansand British occupation of the Faroe Islands
British occupation of the Faroe Islands
in World War II Kampf um Norwegen – Feldzug 1940
Kampf um Norwegen – Feldzug 1940
(1940 documentary film) Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Order of Battle April 1940 Occupation of Norway
Norway
by Nazi Germany Operation Juno Operation Weserübung's effects on Sweden Timeline of the Norwegian Campaign

Notes[edit]

a "The British plan which was adopted was more modest. While ostensibly intended to bring Allied troops to the Finnish front, it laid its main emphasis on operations in northern Norway
Norway
and Sweden. The main striking force was to land at Narvik
Narvik
and advance along the railroad to its eastern terminus at Lulea, occupying Kiruna
Kiruna
and Gallivare along the way. By late April two Allied brigades were to be established along that line."[16] b "The British held back two divisions from France, intending to put them into the field in Norway, and planned to expand their force eventually to 100,000 men. The French intended to commit about 50,000. The British and French staffs agreed that the latter half of March would be the best time for going into Norway."[17] c "The objectives were to take Narvik, the railroad, and the Swedish ore fields","an intercepted radio message setting 14 March as the deadline for preparation of transport groups indicated that the Allied operation was getting under way. But another message, intercepted on the 15th, ordering the submarines to disperse revealed that the peace [in Finland] had disrupted the Allied plan."[18]

References[edit]

^ Hooton 2007, p. 43. ^ Zabecki 2014, p. 323. ^ a b c d e Booth 1998, pp. 44-49. ^ Petrow 1974, p. 15. ^ Outze 1962, p. 359. ^ a b Schrøder 1999. ^ Danish Jewish Museum 2003. ^ Webb 2007. ^ Jacobsen, Alf R. (2016). Kongens nei - 10. april 1940 (2nd ed.). Oslo: Vega Forlag. p. 42. ISBN 978-82-8211-279-6.  ^ Petrow 1974, p. 72. ^ Petrow 1974, p. 89. ^ Petrow 1974, p. 90. ^ McDouglas 1997, pp. 211-212. ^ a b c d e Yale Law School 2008. ^ Ziemke 1960, p. 68. ^ Ziemke 1960, p. 59. ^ Ziemke 1960, pp. 66-67. ^ Ziemke 1959, pp. 67-68.

Bibliography[edit]

Booth, Owen (1998). The Illustrated History of World War II. London: Chartwell Books, Inc. ISBN 978-078581-016-2.  Hooton, Edward R. (2007). Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
at War; Blitzkrieg
Blitzkrieg
in the West: Volume 2. London: Chervron/Ian Allan. ISBN 978-1-85780-272-6.  McDouglas, Myres (1997). The International Law of War:Transnational Coercion and World Public Order. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-079232-584-0.  Outze, Børge (1962). Danmark under anden verdenskrig (in Danish). Copenhagen: Hasselbalch. ISBN 87-567-1889-6.  Petrow, Richard (1974). The Bitter Years; The Invasion and Occupation of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway, April 1940-May 1945. London: William Morrow & Co. ISBN 978-068800-275-6.  Schrøder, Hans A. (1999). Angrebet på Værløse
Værløse
flyveplads den 9. april 1940 : flyveren Vagn Holms dagbog fra den 8. og 9. april suppleret med en omfattende dokumentation (in Danish). Denmark: Flyvevåbnets bibliotek. ISBN 87-982509-8-1.  Zabecki, David T. (2014). Germany at War: 400 Years of Military History. London: ABC-Clio Inc. ISBN 978-1-59884-980-6.  Ziemke, Earl F. (1960). "The German Decision to Invade Norway
Norway
and Denmark". Command Decisions. United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 

External links[edit]

Derry, Trevor K. (1952). "The Campaign in Norway". ibiblio.org. Retrieved 2016-08-18.  Engdahl, William F. (2010). "Halford MacKinder's Necessary War". ibiblio.org. Retrieved 2016-08-18.  Danish Jewish Museum (2003). "The Operation against Danish Jews in October 1943". jewmus.dk. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 2016-08-19. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Webb, Chris (2007). "The Fate of the Jews of Denmark". holocaustresearchproject.org. Retrieved 2016-08-19.  Yale Law School (2008). "Judgement : The Invasion of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway". avalon.law.yale.edu. Retrieved 2016-08-19. 

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