September 29, 2014

Operation Weserübung

On April 9, 1940 while part of the Wehrmacht was occupying Denmark, another, larger part, was invading Norway. 

Operation Weserübung

Group 1 was composed of the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau with ten destroyers, carried 2,000 troops and its objective was Narvik.
Group 2 was composed of the cruiser Hipper with four destroyers, carried 1,700 troops and its objective was Trondheim.
Group 3 was composed of the cruisers Koeln and Koenigsberg, the service ships Bremse and Karl Peters, three torpedo boats, five motor torpedo boats, carried 1,900 troops and its objective was Bergen.
Group 4 was composed of the cruiser Karlsruhe, the special service ship Tsingtau, three torpedo boats, seven motor torpedo boats, carried 1,100 troops and its objectives were Kristiansand and Arendal.
Group 5 was composed of the cruisers Bluecher, Luetzow and Emden, three torpedo boats, two armed whaling boats, eight minesweepers, carried 2,000 troops and its objective was Oslo.
Group 6 was composed of four minesweepers, carried 150 troops and its objective was Egersund.

3rd Gebirgsjager-Division
The 3rd Gebirgsjager-Division landed around Narvik. The Norwegian commander surrendered 
the city without a fight. At 08:10 hrs on April 9, the divisional commander Generalmajor 
Eduard Dietl reported that Narvik was in German hands.

Operations in southern and central Norway

Oslo was occupied on April 9 by seven companies of air transported infantry and two parachute companies. When the main forces of the 163rd and 196th Infanterie-Divisions arrived, the Germans advanced to the north and northwest. Meanwhile British and French forces landed in the vicinity of Trondheim. On April 18 the Allies had a total of 8,000 men in Norway.

A PzKpfw I passing a Norwegian roadblock at Bergsund
4. A PzKpfw I passing a Norwegian roadblock at Bergsund,
northeast of Oslo, in the evening of April 18, 1940.

2nd Gebirgsjager-Division marching from Trondheim to Narvik
On 4 May the 2nd Gebirgsjager-Division began its long march from 
Trondheim to Narvik. It had to cover 300 miles of 
snow-covered mountainous territory.

A Panzer I Ausf. A during the campaign
5. A Panzer I Ausf. A during the campaign.

The situation at NarvikThe situation at Narvik

German troops at Narvik were besieged by Norwegian, British, Polish and French forces. During the second half of May the situation of the Germans turned critical and a withdrawal into Sweden was considered. Nevertheless Narvik held.
On 24 May the Allied Command decided that because of the disaster in France the troops in Norway should be evacuated, but the port of Narvik should be captured to facilitate the evacuation. Narvik was taken by the Allies on the 28th of May. Some 24,500 troops were evacuated with the last of them leaving on 9 June. The Germans found out about the evacuations in the evening of 8 May. After the Allies had left they reentered Narvik.

DA PAM 20-271

Photos attribution
1.-3., 6.-8. DA PAM 20-271
4. Repro John Erling Blad, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
5. U.S. National Archives

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