why did germany invade denmark

[42], On 1 April Hitler approved the plans for WESERUEBUNG after a detailed review; on the following day, after having been assured by the Commanders in Chief, Navy and Air Force, that ice would not impede naval movements in the Baltic and that flying conditions would be satisfactory, he designated 9 April as WESER Day and 0515 as WESER Time. Disregarding protests from the Norwegian naval craft, the British destroyer Cossack entered the fjord and, sending a party aboard the Altmark, took off the prisoners after a brief skirmish.

[30] The 7th Air Division and 22d Infantry Division were released for GELB. "Operation Order No. [24]. We saw loads and loads of planes, bombing planes coming one after–I mean hundreds and hundreds of planes coming in, and Germans on motorcycles, horses dragging cannons and the big tanks all over the place. [20] The British plan which was adopted was more modest. It was no longer possible to contemplate airborne and parachute landings on the scale which had been envisioned in the Krancke Plan. At the end, Raeder agreed that the "best" solution was preservation of the status quo. When it became known on the morning of the 8th that the German Fleet, which had been sighted by aircraft in the North Sea on the previous day, was at sea in the vicinity of Norway the mine-laying force was withdrawn and Plan R 4 was abandoned. paign was minor. WILFRED involved the laying of two mine fields in Norwegian waters, one in the approaches to the Vest Fjord north of Bodo, and the other between Ålesund and Bergen, with the pretended laying of a third near Molde. The stated strategic objectives were to forestall British intervention in Scandinavia and the Baltic, provide security for the sources of Swedish iron ore, and give the German Navy and Air Force advanced bases for attacks on the British Isles. On WESER Day, despite the fact that Warship Groups 1 and 2 had been sighted by British reconnaissance planes in the North Sea on 7 April and that one of the ships of the 1st Sea Transport Echelon had been sunk off Norway on the same day and its survivors-some of them soldiers in uniform-had been taken ashore in Norway, surprise was achieved everywhere except at Oslo, where Germany's newest cruiser Bluecher was sunk by the guns and torpedoes of coastal forts on the fjord outside the city.

Germany invades Denmark.

As late as 2 January 1940, how-, ever, the "Rowel" Squadron had still not been committed, and the scope of the intelligence missions which had been assigned to the air attaches in Norway in December was still limited. The first supply ships sailed on 3 April and the warships began putting out from German ports at midnight on the 6th. A certain amount of intelligence information on the Norwegian Army and military installations was available, which, while it was useful and later proved to be accurate, was not of decisive importance. No major reinforcement of the landing teams at the beachheads was contemplated until contact had been established overland with Oslo, where the main force was to debark-16,700 men (in addition to the 2,000 landed on W Day) to be brought in by three sea transport echelons during the first week, with another 40,000 to be transported in shuttle movements thereafter. Denmark was a very small country. The initial seaborne landing force of 8,850 men was to be carried in five groups of warships. [39], The signing of the peace treaty between Russia and Finland in Moscow on the night of 12 March put an end to the Allied plans.

The police was in force and the Danish army was…although they were there, they had not much to say or to do, but, uh, they were all…life was continuing the way it was. We saw loads and loads of planes, bombing planes coming one after–I mean hundreds and hundreds of planes coming in, and Germans on motorcycles, horses dragging cannons and the big tanks all over the place. Daring and surprise were to be relied on rather than strength in terms of number of troops.

Then as at the previous meeting Hitler expressed a personal desire to preserve the neutrality of Norway; but, he stated, if the enemy prepared to extend the war, he would be obliged to take countermeasures.

While ostensibly intended to bring Allied troops to the Finnish front, it laid its main emphasis on operations in northern Norway and Sweden. He demanded that the forces for WESERUEBUNG be assembled by 10 March and ready for the jump-off by the 13th so that a landing would be possible in northern Norway on approximately 17 March. Norway and Sweden feared an extension of Soviet influence. In a supplement to Studie Nord the Naval Staff had recommended acquisition of bases in Denmark, especially at the northern tip of Jutland, as a means of approaching the Shetlands-Norway passage and of facilitating naval and air control of the Skagerrak. been accomplished more cheaply after GELB. There was sporadic fighting between the Danish and German armies. (See Map 1.) General der Artillerie a. D. Walter Warlimont has pointed out that, even if the Allies had been able to establish a foothold in Norway, they would have been forced to relinquish their hold there once Operation GELB (the invasion of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France) had started and that, if it were still necessary, the occupation of Norway could have. Their life was to continue relatively normally until 1943 when the Nazi roundup of Jews forced them to flee to Sweden. [35] The Navy had already canceled all other naval operations on 4 March and on that day had begun holding submarines in port for WESERUEBUNG. The troops were not to fight their way through either Norway or Sweden and were to use force only "as an ultimate measure of self-defense." Four days later, on 26 February, a selected staff from Headquarters, XXI Corps, began work in Berlin.

[43]. Such an occupation would result in loss of the Swedish iron ore and could be decisive against Germany. It envisioned simultaneous landings at Oslo, Kristiansand, Arendal, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Narvik. Hitler replied that bases close to Britain were essential for the Air Force but agreed to take the question of Norway under consideration. [32]. With the campaign in the West impending, neither wanted to divert forces to a subsidiary theater of operations. At Narvik, nearly out of the striking range of the German Air Force, the situation was somewhat different.

The Air Force protested that the demands on 7th Air Division and other air units were too high.

German casualties were 1,317 killed, 1,604 wounded, and 2,375 lost at sea or otherwise missing. On the first day Field Marshal Hermann Goering, obviously annoyed at having been relegated to a subsidiary role in what appeared to be developing as a primarily air operation, had not yet appointed an Air Force representative. They promised delivery of a hundred bombers within two weeks, but left the dispatch of troops still dependent on the attitude of Norway and Sweden. On 9 June, a day after the last Allied troops had sailed, the Norwegian Army surrendered. After 5 March the timing of WESERUEBUNG became the major concern at the highest German command level. [22] The operation was to be executed by a corps of approximately six divisions, the first assault wave of which was to be transported half by warships and half by plane. The 7th Air Division (airborne troop command) was expected to supply eight transport groups and five battalions of parachute troops in the first wave and thereafter to bring in the 22d (Airborne) Infantry Division within three days. Forces for Bergen and Stavanger were to be held ready. On 14 December, after talking with Quisling, Hitler ordered the Armed Forces High Command to "investigate how one can take possession of Norway." It didn’t take more than a couple of hours ’til they took over the country. The planning was to be carried out with two considerations in mind: (1) to forestall a British move by occupying the most important ports and localities, in particular, the ore port of Narvik; and (2) to take such firm control of the country that Norwegian resistance or collaboration with Great Britain would be impossible.

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