Norway 1940 by François 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. François 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.
The invasion of Norway 1940
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.
Norway was invaded by Nazi Germany on April 9th The order also included the invasion and occupation of Denmark. Why was Hitler interested in Norway? Before the invasion of France, U-boats had to either travel via the Straits of Dover or north of Scotland. Either route was fraught with danger.
John Kiszely pulls no punches in this fine account of military failure
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 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.