Operation Weserübung

Operation Weserübung

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{{Use dmy dates|date=October 2011}} {{Scandinavia in World War II}} {{Campaignbox Nazi occupation of Norway}} {{WWIITheatre}} '''Operation ''Weserübung''''' was the code name for [[Nazi Germany|Germany]]'s assault on [[Denmark]] and [[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 River|Weser]] being a German river. In the early morning of 9 April 1940 (''Wesertag''; "Weser Day"), Germany invaded Denmark and Norway, ostensibly as a preventive manoeuvre against a planned, and openly discussed, [[France|Franco]]-British [[Military occupation|occupation]] of Norway. After the invasions, envoys of the Germans informed the governments of Denmark and Norway that the ''[[Wehrmacht]]'' had come to protect the countries′ [[Neutral country|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 German time, equivalent to 04:15 Norwegian time. ==Political and military background== {{citations missing|section|date=April 2011}} {{main|Swedish iron ore during World War II|Plan R 4|Operation Wilfred|Franco–British plans for intervention in the Winter War}} Starting in the spring of 1939, the British [[Admiralty]] began to view [[Scandinavia]] as a potential [[Theater (warfare)|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 repeat of the First World War. So they began considering a [[Blockade|blockade strategy]] in an attempt to weaken Germany indirectly. German industry was heavily dependent on the import of iron ore from the northern [[Sweden|Swedish]] mining district, and much of this ore during the winter months was shipped through the northern Norwegian port of [[Narvik]]. 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|''Großadmiral'']] [[Erich Raeder]]—discussed with [[Adolf Hitler]] the danger posed by the risk of having potential British bases in Norway and the possibility of Germany seizing these bases before the United Kingdom could. The navy argued that possession of Norway would allow control of the nearby seas and serve as a staging base for future submarine operations against the United Kingdom. But at this time, the other branches of the ''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 [[Imperial War Cabinet|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]] could intercept them. Churchill assumed that Wilfred would provoke a German response in Norway. When that occurred, the [[Allies]] would implement [[Plan R 4]] and occupy Norway. Though later implemented, Operation Wilfred was initially rejected by [[Neville Chamberlain]] and [[Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax|Lord Halifax]], due to fear of an adverse reaction among neutral nations such as the United States. After the start of the [[Winter War]] between the [[Soviet Union]] and [[Finland]] in November had changed the diplomatic situation, Churchill again proposed his mining scheme, but once more was denied. In December, the United Kingdom and France began serious planning for sending aid to Finland. Their plan called for a force to land at Narvik in northern Norway, the main port for Swedish iron ore exports, and to take control of the ''[[Malmbanan]]'' railway line from Narvik to [[Luleå]] in Sweden on the shore of the [[Gulf of Bothnia]]. Conveniently, this plan also would 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 issued to both Norway and Sweden resulted in strongly negative reactions in both countries. Planning for the expedition continued, but the justification for it was removed when Finland [[Moscow Peace Treaty|sued for peace]] in March 1940. ===Planning=== Convinced of the threat posed by the Allies to the iron ore supply, Hitler ordered ''[[Oberkommando der Wehrmacht]]'' (Armed Forces High Command; OKW) to begin preliminary planning for an invasion of Norway on 14 December 1939. The preliminary plan was named ''Studie Nord'' and only called for one [[Division (military)|army division]]. Between 14 and 19 January, the ''[[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 [[warship]]s, rather than comparatively slow merchant ships, as troop transports. This would allow all targets to be occupied simultaneously, as transport ships only had limited range. This new plan called for a full [[Corps|army corps]], including a mountain division, an [[Airborne forces|airborne division]], a motorized rifle brigade, and two infantry divisions. The target objectives of this force were the following: *The Norwegian capital [[Oslo]] and nearby population centres *[[Bergen, Norway|Bergen]] *[[Narvik]] *[[Tromsø]] *[[Trondheim]] *[[Stavanger]] The plan also called for the rapid capture of the kings of Denmark and 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 during the First World War and therefore was familiar with [[Arctic warfare]]. But he was only to have command of the ground forces, despite Hitler's desire to have a unified command. The final plan was code-named Operation ''Weserübung'' ("Exercise on the [[Weser River|Weser]]") on 27 January 1940. It would be under the command of the XXI Army Group and include the [[3rd Mountain Division (Germany)|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 [[paratrooper]]s would be used to seize airfields. The decision to also send the [[2nd Mountain Division (Germany)|2nd Mountain Division]] was made later. Almost all [[Battle of the Atlantic (1939–1945)|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 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 and Denmark. This came at the insistence of the ''[[Luftwaffe]]'' to capture fighter bases and sites for air-warning stations. The XXXI 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=== [[File:Altmark Incident.jpg|thumb|right|German dead being brought ashore from the German naval tanker {{Ship|German tanker|Altmark||2}}.]] In February, the British [[destroyer]] {{HMS|Cossack|F03|6}} [[Altmark Incident|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. On 12 March, the United Kingdom decided to send an [[Expeditionary warfare|expeditionary force]] to Norway just as the [[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 detachment—led by the [[battlecruiser]] {{HMS|Renown|1916|6}}—left [[Scapa Flow]] in order to mine Norwegian waters. The mine fields were laid in [[Vestfjord]] in the early morning of 8 April. Operation Wilfred was over, but later that day, the destroyer {{HMS|Glowworm|H92|6}}—detached on 7 April to search for a man lost overboard—was lost in action to the German [[heavy cruiser]] {{Ship|German cruiser|Admiral Hipper||2}} 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]] was promptly started. ==Invasion of Denmark== {{main|Battle of Denmark}} [[Image:Weserübung-Süd Panzers.PNG|right|thumb|German [[Panzer I|Pz.Kpfw. I]] tanks in [[Aabenraa]], Denmark, 9 April 1940]] 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]] the country was also important for the control of naval and shipping access to major German and Soviet harbours. Small and relatively flat, the country was ideal territory for German army operations, and Denmark's small army had little hope. Nevertheless, in the early morning hours, a few Danish troops engaged the German army, suffering losses of 16 dead and 20 wounded. The Germans lost 203 soldiers, together with 12 [[Armored car (military)|armoured car]]s and several motorcycles and cars destroyed. Four German tanks were damaged. One German bomber was also damaged. Two German soldiers were temporarily captured by the Danes during the brief fighting. At 04:00 on 9 April 1940, the German ambassador to Denmark—[[Cecil von Renthe-Fink]]—called the Danish Foreign Minister [[Peter Rochegune Munch|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 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'' would bomb the capital, [[Copenhagen]]. [[File:Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-753-0010-19A, Jütland, deutscher Spähpanzer (Sd. Kfz. 222).jpg|thumb|250px|left|German ''[[Leichter Panzerspähwagen]]'' armoured car in [[Jutland]].]] As the German demands were communicated, the first German advances had already been made, with forces landing by ferry in [[Gedser]] at 03:55 and moving north. German ''Fallschirmjäger'' units had made unopposed landings and taken two airfields at Aalborg, the [[Storstrøm Bridge]] as well as the fortress of [[Masnedø]] the latter being the first recorded attack in the world made by paratroopers. At 04:20 local time, a reinforced battalion of German infantrymen from the 308th Regiment landed in Copenhagen harbour from the minelayer ''Hansestadt Danzig'', quickly capturing the Danish garrison at [[Kastellet, Copenhagen|the Citadel]] without encountering resistance. From the harbour, the Germans moved toward [[Amalienborg Palace]] to capture the Danish royalty. By the time the invasion forces arrived at the king's residence, the [[Den Kongelige Livgarde|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 of Denmark|Christian X]] and his ministers time to confer with the Danish Army chief [[William Wain Prior|General Prior]]. As the discussions were ongoing, several formations of Heinkel He 111 and [[Dornier Do 17]] bombers roared over the city dropping the [[OPROP!]] [[Pamphlet|leaflets]]. Faced with the explicit threat of the ''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 appr. 06:00 in exchange for retaining political independence in domestic matters. [[Image:Danish soldiers on 9 April 1940.jpg|thumb|right|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]] airfield on [[Zealand (Denmark)|Zealand]] and wiped out the Danish Army Air Service by [[strafing]]. Despite Danish [[Anti-aircraft warfare|anti-aircraft fire]], the German fighters destroyed 10 Danish aircraft and seriously damaged another 14, thereby wiping out 1/2 of the entire Army Air Service. The invasion of 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 [[Rescue of the Danish Jews|warned and on their way to refuge in Sweden]]. 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. Though Denmark had little immediate military significance, it had strategic and to some extent economic importance. ===Motivation and order of battle=== {{main|Operation Weserübung Order of Battle}} {{Norway during World War II}} Norway was important to Germany for two primary reasons: as a base for naval units, including [[U-boat]]s, to harass Allied shipping in the North Atlantic, and to secure shipments of [[Swedish iron ore (WWII)|iron-ore from Sweden]] through the port of [[Narvik]]. The long northern coastline was an excellent place to launch U-boat operations into the North Atlantic in order to attack British commerce. Germany was dependent on iron ore from 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 was given to the XXI Army Corps under ''[[General (Germany)|General]]'' [[Nikolaus von Falkenhorst]] and consisted of the following main units: *[[163rd Infantry Division (Germany)|163rd Infantry Division]] *[[69th Infantry Division (Germany)|69th Infantry Division]] *[[196th Infantry Division (Germany)|196th Infantry Division]] *[[181st Infantry Division (Germany)|181st Infantry Division]] *[[214th Infantry Division (Germany)|214th Infantry Division]] *two regiments of the [[3rd Mountain Division (Germany)|3rd Mountain Division]] The initial invasion force was transported in several groups by ships of the ''[[Kriegsmarine]]'': #[[Battleship]]s {{Ship|German battleship|Scharnhorst||2}} and {{Ship|German battleship|Gneisenau||2}} as distant cover, plus 10 destroyers with 2,000 mountaineering troops under General [[Eduard Dietl]] to [[Narvik]]; #Heavy cruiser {{Ship|German cruiser|Admiral Hipper||2}} and four destroyers with 1,700 troops to [[Trondheim]]; #[[Light cruiser]]s {{Ship|German cruiser|Köln||2}} and {{Ship|German cruiser|Königsberg||2}}, artillery training ship {{Ship|German training ship|Bremse||2}}, transport ''Karl Peters'', two [[torpedo boat]]s and five motor torpedo boats with 1,900 troops to [[Bergen, Norway|Bergen]]; #Light cruiser {{Ship|German cruiser|Karlsruhe||2}}, three torpedo boats, seven motor torpedo boats and ''[[Schnellboot]]'' mothership (''Schnellbootbegleitschiff'') ''Tsingtau'' with 1,100 troops to [[Kristiansand]]; #Heavy cruiser {{Ship|German cruiser|Blücher||2}}, heavy cruiser (formerly [[pocket battleship]]) [[German pocket battleship Deutschland|''Lützow'']], light cruiser {{Ship|German cruiser|Emden||2}}, three torpedo boats and eight [[Minesweeper (ship)|minesweeper]]s with 2,000 troops to [[Oslo]]; # Four minesweepers with 150 troops to [[Egersund]]. [[Image:Weserübung.png|right|thumb|200px|The German landing sites during the initial phase of Operation ''Weserübung''.]] ===Concise timeline=== *Shortly after noon on 8 April, the clandestine German [[troop transport]] [[MS Rio de Janeiro (1914)|''Rio de Janeiro'']] was sunk off [[Lillesand]] by the Polish submarine [[ORP Orzeł|''Orzeł'']], part of the Royal Navy's 2nd Submarine Flotilla. However, the news of the sinking reached the appropriate levels of officialdom in Oslo too late to do much more than trigger a limited, last-minute alert. *Late in the evening of 8 April 1940, ''[[Kampfgruppe]]'' 5 was spotted by the Norwegian guard vessel [[HNoMS Pol III|''Pol III'']]. ''Pol III'' was fired at, her captain [[Leif Welding-Olsen]] became the first Norwegian military fatal casualty during the war. *The German heavy cruiser ''Blücher'' was sunk in the [[Oslofjord]] on 9 April by Norwegian shore batteries, two of which made up of the 48-year-old German [[Krupp]] guns (named ''Moses'' and ''Aron'', of {{convert|280|mm|in|0|abbr=on}} calibre, installed at [[Oscarsborg Fortress]] in May 1893) and equally ancient torpedoes: **German ships sailed up the [[fjord]] leading to Oslo, reaching the [[Drøbak]] Narrows ([[Drøbaksundet]]). In the early morning of 9 April, the gunners at Oscarsborg Fortress fired on the leading ship, ''Blücher'', which had been illuminated by spotlights at about 05:15. 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 [[Norwegian monarchy|Royal family]], the [[Cabinet Nygaardsvold]] and the [[Storting|Parliament]] to be evacuated, along with the [[Flight of the Norwegian National Treasury|national treasury]]. As a result, Norway never surrendered to the Germans, leaving the [[Vidkun Quisling|Quisling]] government illegitimate and permitting Norway to participate as an [[Allies of World War II|Ally]] in the war, rather than as a conquered nation. *German airborne troops landed at [[Fornebu|Oslo airport Fornebu]], [[Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik|Kristiansand airport Kjevik]], and [[Sola Air Station]] – the latter constituting the ''first opposed [[paratrooper]] (''[[Fallschirmjäger]]'') attack in history''; coincidentally, among the ''[[Luftwaffe]]'' pilots landing at Kjevik was [[Reinhard Heydrich]]. [[Image:Karte Oscarsborg.png|right|150px|thumb|Map of Oslofjord with Oscarsborg]] *[[Vidkun Quisling]]'s radio-effected ''[[coup d'etat]]'' – ''another first''. *Partly thanks to the sinking of ''Blücher'' in the Oslofjord narrows, the Royal family, the Parliament and the Cabinet Nygaardsvold evaded the German invasion force; [[Haakon VII of Norway|King Haakon]] refused to lay down arms; [[Battle of Midtskogen|Clash at Midtskogen]]; bombs at [[Elverum]] and [[Nybergsund]]; the Royal family, the Cabinet, the Parliament, and the national gold reserves moved northward ahead of the Germans. *Cities/towns [[Bergen, Norway|Bergen]], [[Stavanger]], [[Egersund]], [[Kristiansand|Kristiansand S]], [[Arendal]], [[Horten]], [[Trondheim]] and [[Narvik]] attacked and occupied within 24 hours. *Heroic, but wholly ineffective, stand by the Norwegian armoured coastal defence ships [[HNoMS Norge|''Norge'']] and [[HNoMS Eidsvold|''Eidsvold'']] at Narvik. Both ships torpedoed and sunk with great loss of life. *[[First Battle of Narvik|First]] and [[Second Battle of Narvik|Second Naval Battle of Narvik]] (Royal Navy vs Kriegsmarine). *The German force took Narvik and landed the 2,000 mountain infantry, but a British naval counter-attack by the old battleship {{HMS|Warspite|1913|6}} 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 – some of them tactically bombed, some terror-bombed. *Main German land campaign northward from Oslo with superior equipment; Norwegian soldiers with turn-of-the-century weapons, along with some British and French troops (see [[Namsos Campaign]]), stop invaders for a time before yielding – ''first land combat action between [[British Army]] and Wehrmacht in World War II''. *Land battles at Narvik: Norwegian and Allied ([[French Army|French]] and [[Polish Armed Forces in the West|Polish]]) forces under General [[Carl Gustav Fleischer]] achieve the ''first major tactical victory against the 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 from [[Molde]] to [[Tromsø]] on 29 April, and the allied evacuation of [[Åndalsnes]] on 1 May, resistance in Southern Norway comes to an end. *The "last stand": [[Hegra Fortress]] (Ingstadkleiven Fort) [[Battle of Hegra Fortress|resisted German attacks]] until 5 May{{ndash}} of Allied propaganda importance, like Narvik. *King Haakon, [[Olav V of Norway|Crown Prince Olav]], and the Cabinet Nygaardsvold left from Tromsø 7 June (aboard the British cruiser {{HMS|Devonshire|39|6}}, bound for Britain) to represent Norway in exile (King returned to Oslo exact same date five years later); [[Princess Märtha Louise of Sweden|Crown Princess Märtha]] and children, denied asylum in her native Sweden{{Citation needed|date=March 2010}}, later left from [[Pechengsky District|Petsamo]], Finland, to live in exile in the United States. *The Norwegian Army capitulated (though Norwegian armed forces continued fighting the Germans abroad [[Norwegian resistance movement|and at home]] until the German capitulation on 8 May 1945) on 10 June 1940, two months after ''Wesertag'', this made 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 and the [[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 (WWII)|Swedish iron ore]] (The Swedish harbour of [[Luleå]] is blocked by ice in the winter months). The Germans were driven out of Narvik on 28 May, but due to the deteriorating situation on the European continent, the Allied troops were withdrawn in [[Operation Alphabet]] – and the Germans recaptured Narvik on 9 June, by then deserted also by the civilians due to massive Luftwaffe bombing. ==The encircling of Sweden and Finland== [[Image:Lapland1940.png|right|frame|Iron ore is extracted in [[Kiruna]] and [[Malmberget]], and brought by rail to the harbours of [[Luleå]] and [[Narvik]].
(Borders as of 1920–1940.)]] Operation ''Weserübung'' did not include a military assault on (likewise neutral) [[Sweden]] because there was no need{{Citation needed|date=May 2010}}. By holding Norway, the [[Danish straits]] and most of the shores of the [[Baltic Sea]], the [[Third Reich|Third ''Reich'']] encircled 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 German troops through Scandinavia (WWII)|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 until this traffic was officially suspended on 20 August 1943. On 19 August 1940, Finland agreed to grant access to its territory for the ''Wehrmacht'', with the agreement signed on 22 September. Initially for [[Transit of German troops through Scandinavia (WWII)|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== The 1941 [[Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran]], and the 1940 German invasion of Norway have been argued to be preemptive, with the German defense in the [[Nuremberg trials]] in 1946 arguing that Germany was "compelled to attack Norway by the need to forestall an Allied invasion and that her action was therefore preemptive." The German defence was referring to [[Plan R 4]] and its predecessors. Norway was vital to Germany as a transport route for iron ore from Sweden, a supply that the United Kingdom was determined to stop. One adopted British plan was to go through Norway and occupy cities in Sweden. 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 interrupted the Allied plans, but Hitler became, rightly, convinced that the Allies would try again, and ordered Operation ''Weserübung''. 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]] and launch a raid on [[Stavanger]] to destroy [[Stavanger Airport, Sola|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." However, 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. ==See also== *[[Operation Weserübung Order of Battle]] *[[Occupation of Denmark]] *[[British occupation of the Faroe Islands in World War II]] *[[Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany]] *''[[Kampf um Norwegen – Feldzug 1940]]'' (1940 documentary film) *[[Allied campaign in Norway]] *[[Hegra Fortress]] *[[Battle of Drøbak Sound]] *[[Battles of Narvik]] *[[Alta Battalion]] *[[Namsos Campaign]] *[[Norwegian resistance movement]] *[[Vidkun Quisling]] *[[Operation Juno]] *[[Operation Wilfred]] *[[Luftwaffe Order of Battle April 1940]] ==External links== {{Commons category|Operation Weserübung}} *[http://www.milhist.dk/besattelsen/9april/9april.html A detailed article about the German invasion of Denmark] *[http://www.nuav.net/weserubung2.html A short introduction to the German invasion of Norway] *[http://hem.fyristorg.com/robertm/norge/ Norway 1940: A detailed description of the chain of events] *[http://www.naval-history.net/WW2RN04-194004.htm The Royal Navy: Norwegian invasion and campaign] *[http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/UK-NWE-Norway/index.html#contents T.K. Derry: The Campaign in Norway] *[http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/History/MacKinder/mackinder.html Halford Mackinder's Necessary War] An essay describing Operation Weserübung in a larger strategic context {{World War II}} {{coord missing}} {{DEFAULTSORT:Operation Weserubung}}