Norway 1940, what could have been done differently?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    What could have been done differently, could Germany have been stopped, from taking Norway in 1940?
     
  2. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Nothing apart from persuade the Norwegian authorities to let us install modern fighters and bombers on land before the attack began
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. Germany spelled it out in a message to Norway 2 September 1939.

    Germany stated they would respect Norwegian neutrality as long as that neutrality was maintained in an uncompromising manner. If not maintained in such a manner or if a third power violated Norwegian neutrality Germany would be forced to protect its interests in ways and means dictated by the situation at the time.

    If WWII era Norway desires to avoid war they must enforce their neutrality vs a highly aggressive Britain. Just as they did during WWI. If that means shooting at British warships which enter Norwegian coastal waters then so be it.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Once again we seem to have an alternative reality.

    Norway in WW I.

    "Norway remained neutral during World War I, but 829 Norwegian ships were sunk during the war at sea, with the loss of some 2,000 sailors. Despite their neutrality, the Norwegian government went to considerable lengths to accommodate Britain, on account of both British pressure and an anti-German sentiment. These accommodations came in the form of the very large Norwegian merchant fleet, which delivered essential supplies to Britain, which in return supplied Norway with vital coal. This led to Norway occasionally being called ”The Neutral Ally”."

    Is Germany going to supply coal to Norway in WW II if Norway remains "neutral" under the German terms, ie, becoming a neutral ally of Germany?
    Should other neutral countries "enforce" their neutrality against the Germans and British the same way? ie, shoot the Graf Spee when it put into port for repairs?
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That would have been a drop in the bucket of total German coal production which was huge during WWII.
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "....What could have been done differently, could Germany have been stopped, from taking Norway in 1940?"

    No mystery here ... stop Germany at Munich in September '38. End of story.
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    #7 Glider, Oct 21, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
    Norway did maintain the neutrality in an uncompromising manner, right until the German attack. It is true to say that the British planed an attack but the War Cabinet insisted on bowing to the wishs of Norway and Sweden and disbanded the forces gathered. As far as the RAF were concerned this was an Air Component HQ, Three fighter squadrons, two bomber squadrons one and a half army co op squadrons and an observer screen.

    Had these forces been in place before the German attack there is little doubt the Luftwaffe operting outside the range of the Me109 and forced to rely on the Me110 for fighter cover would have had a difficult time of it
     
  8. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    So, Germany invaded Norway because of Britain's aggressive actions. And here's me thinking it was just Hitler's megalomania.

    The British did well to recapture Narvik, but without continued support the British forces couldn't hold it. The decision to pull British forces back home was a sensible one, all things considered, however. Sadly, Norway becomes another victim of Nazi atrocity.
     
  9. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I just finished reading Norway 1940 by Fancois Kersaudy and that is pretty much why a campaign in Norway was considered by Germany. Up until the time when the Allies talked about securing Norway and threatening Germany's Iron Ore route only a few members of the Navy talked about invading Norway.

    I think several things could have been done that "might" have changed things. First and foremost was the immediate mobilization of the Norwegian Military. I also think the British and French should have trusted General Otto Ruge period. Keeping him in the dark and more importantly telling him the Allies would do things with him making critical decisions based on these and at the last minute changing their minds without informing him is just ridiculous.

    The Allies actions were also poorly conducted. Landing an artillery group with guns and no ammunition. Loading cargo ships is such a hap hazard way that critical items were the last to be unloaded. Splitting convoys with troops to where all supplies went with one group and very little with the next group. It was something like the Keystone Cops.
     
  10. pattle

    pattle Member

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    The British involvement in Norway was just badly planned, the ships were loaded with the wrong kind of gear and the planes had nowhere to land after leaving the carriers. If the Norwegians themselves had of been better prepared against invasion then that would of helped a lot.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The same holds true for most British and French army operations during the first year of WWII. So it really doesn't matter if the Anglo-French invasion reach Norway ahead of the German counter invasion. The German army will arrive eventually and they will throw the Allies out. Just as 1940 Germany arrived second yet threw the Allies out of Belgium and France.
     
  12. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    On Norwegian side
    a bit more Finnish like desperado attitude, there were too many incidents were Norwegians caved in under German threats and bluffs.
    more extensive mobilization when there were signs that Germans might try something
    the order of Curtiss Hawk-75As and Douglas 8A-5s 4 - 6 months earlier, 30 - 50 Hawks would have helped much inApril 1940
    More AA guns, in fact all I know on Norwegian AA is that there was at least one AA regiment but some buying from Sweden where there were in production 75-76.2mm heavy AA guns and the excellent 40mm AAA gun and from Denmark (20mm Madsen) should have been made. Also some 37mm A/T guns and some A/T rifles, maybe Swiss 20mm Solothurn rifles.
     
  13. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    As mentioned in previous posts - better planing and supply may have made a difference. Troops without snow shoes / skis are very restricted in their ability to manoeuvre, leaving the opposition free to dictate where and when to engage / disengage to gain the most advantage.
     
  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Norway knew that it becoming the focus of both German and Allied intervention plans. She needed to mobilise earlier than she did. Fully mobilised she could deply 6 divs plus some odds and ends, as well as a very large (for its size0 Home guard. its airforce was neglibible, and its navy old and small. buts its harbour defences,at all its major ports of entry except Kristiansand were pretty formidable.

    6 divs was more than adequate to repel anything the allies or Germany could throw at them.

    The question is, which side should norway have aligned itself? Support for theNorwegia Nazis under Quisling was virtually non existent, and whilst Norway did have some significant interests with germany in terms of tradde, it had far greater intersts with the west, and also far greater public and government sympathies. This was seen by Germany as carousing with the enemy, and they attacked as a consequence of that perception
     
  15. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I can't imagine a situation in which the Allies would have occupied Norway without it's agreement. I know Iceland was basically occupied by first the British and then the Americans but in general it was something that the Allies could not seriously contemplate because it would have undermined the entire allied cause and made it worthless.
     
  16. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I don't think it was as a consequence of that perception, I think the perception itself was fabricated deliberately as an excuse for invasion to give the whole thing a veneer of respectability.
     
  17. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately in early 1940, with regard to Norway, the Allies were not exactly acting rationally. They had already violated Norwegian territorial waters during the Altmark affair (but it was also obvious the Norwegians were obtusely co-operating with the Germans during the Altmark affair. The British mined Norwegian waters without consent, and the germans were routinely allowing their warships into Norwegian waters without informing the Norwegians of what was happening. Norewgian neutrality was shot to pieces by early 1940, and the Norwegians should have read the danger signals far better than they did...

    The clanger, however was the scheme to occupy the iron route....which translates to an invasion of Narvik. Both sides planned this more or less simulataneiously, neither side really knew what the other was precisley up to, and neither side by that stage was taking Norwegian neutrality seriously. we will never really know if the British plan had been first off the rank, if it would degenerate into a shooting war or not. I do have the british operational plan....I will see if I can find it and work out whether force against the Norwwegians had been sanctioned or not. It certainly was by the germans, as history clearly shows, though the Germans messed up their plans by assuming with over confidence that the Norwegians would greet them as liberators and allies. The battles off Narvik and Oskarborg, and many other places showed this to be completely misplaced confidence. It was largely the result of the germans putting too much faith in Quisling,who managed to convince them of Norwegian co-operation....
     
  18. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Well, I TRIED to get through a book with the sub-title "Hilter's pre-emptive war" (don't remember the author) and would have to agree about "First and foremost was the immediate mobilization of the Norwegian Military". From what I remember reading, they sent out the call-ups by mail!
     
  19. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    You must be just about the only person in the western world who, with the benefit of hindsight, would still take a Nazi German guarantee at face value. German assurances, treaties and other agreements were not worth the paper they were printed on.

    I suppose you think that it was the Polish who started the war by launching attacks on German territory :)

    Steve
    Steve
     
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  20. Hop

    Hop Member

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    A German submarine sank 3 merchant ships in Norwegian waters in 3 separate attacks in December 1939. The Norwegians knew what was happening and ignored it.

    The laws of neutrality allowed the Altmark to remain in Norwegian waters for 24 hours. The Norwegians turned a blind eye and allowed it to sail the length of the Norwegian coast over several days (from memory it had been in Norwegian waters 48 hours when intercepted by HMS Cossack, and still had some way to go).

    The Norwegians thought that by being accommodating to the Germans, the Germans would leave them alone. Instead it just helped convince the Germans that the Norwegians couldn't defend their neutrality if Britain violated it.

    That and the prospect of bases to attack Britain convinced Hitler to invade Norway.

    The only way to save Norway would have been for it to ally with Britain and France earlier. Allied troops, aircraft and naval forces could have made a German invasion impossible, but only if they had several weeks head start.
     
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