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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. A port in northern Norway would have eased this — though by no means would it have ended the problem of getting into the Atlantic.
Denmark's strategic importance for Germany was limited. The invasion's primary purpose was to use Denmark as a staging ground for operations against Norway, to secure supply lines to the forces about to be deployed there. An extensive network of radar systems was built in Denmark to detect English bombers bound for Germany. The attack on Denmark was a breach of the non-aggression pact Denmark had signed with Germany less than a year earlier. The initial plan was to push Denmark to accept that German land, naval and air forces could use Danish bases, but Adolf Hitler subsequently demanded that both Norway and Denmark be invaded. Denmark's military forces were inferior in numbers and equipment, and after a short battle were forced to surrender.
The aggressive war against Poland was but the beginning. The aggression of Nazi Germany quickly spread from country to country. In point of time the first two countries to suffer were Denmark and Norway. It was there solemnly stated that the parties to the Treaty were "firmly resolved to maintain peace between Denmark and Germany under all circumstances. On the 2nd September, , after the outbreak of war with Poland, Germany sent a solemn assurance to Norway in these terms:.
In the early morning of 9 April Wesertag , "Weser Day" , Germany occupied Denmark and invaded Norway, ostensibly as a preventive manoeuvre against a planned, and openly discussed, Franco -British occupation of Norway known as Plan R 4.
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Contributor: C. Peter Chen. During the warm months, there was little concern regarding the transportation of the ore into Germany, as the north-south railways were clear of snow, the Swedish Baltic ports free of ice, and the narrow entrance to the Baltic Sea sealed off to British warships. In the winter, however, the Swedish ore destined for Germany was forced to take a westward overland route into Norway, where it would board sea-going freighters for a southward coast-hugging voyage. This arrangement worked for as long as Norway stayed out of the war, which the Norwegian government desperately attempted to do. The Altmark incident on 16 Feb , in which Norwegian gunboats stood by and allowed a British destroyer to board a German transport, however, changed the German viewpoint.
The Nazi Invasion of Norway – Hitler Tests the West
World War II Battlefront 01of12 Battle of Norway
World War II Database
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. In Denmark, King Christian X, convinced his army could not fight off a German invasion, surrendered almost immediately. Hitler now added a second and third conquered nation to his quarry, which began with Poland.
In , Germany invaded neutral Norway. When war broke out in , Norway remained neutral. But Norway was too important to be left alone, for two reasons. Firstly, its North Sea coastline could give the Germans free access to the Atlantic. The German military industry was reliant on Swedish iron. As long as Norway remained neutral, this was fine for the Germans. But if forced to war, the Norwegian Labor government would side with Britain, both for ideological reasons and because Britain controlled vital sea lanes.