Norway During WW2 - Website

Discussion in 'Scandinavia and Finland' started by von Poop, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    As we seem to have only had a couple of brief links here over the years, buried in other subjects, and I've just read their pages on Foreign SS Volunteers, this site seems worth a clearer mention: - Norway During WW2

    Bit of a German focus, but worth a shufti, SS/Wehrmacht volunteers articles on this page:
    Articles about Norway during WW2
  2. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member


    Looks like a good source of infomation regarding the position of Norway during the Second World War.
  3. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  4. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    I have posted on all of the information I have put on my "8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in Norway" thread on this forum. It is a very useful source of information.

  5. Have previously done some research on Norway in the war and the below is a good summary I came across.

    "Norway was invaded in the Spring of 1940 by Germany, and fought bravely to retain its independence, but was overrun quite rapidly, owing to the disparity between the Norwegian Army and the Wehrmacht troops sent to take it over.

    The government and the king escaped to Great Britain and fought the war from there, with IIRC one division of troops spirited out on the "Shetland Ferry" -- ships making the run at night between the Shetland Islands and the Norwegian coast. There was a very active Resistance, which among other things was able to sabotage the German efforts to create an atomic bomb -- something for which the whole world owes them great thanks, IMO.

    But the most important thing was that the Norwegian Merchant Marine, fourth largest in the world, continued to fight alongside England -- light ships guns mounted on merchantmen, who were invaluable in transporting supplies throughout the war.

    The Norwegian spirit was best shown in an official stamp printed by the government in exile in England -- a sidewalk with three words scrawled on it in chalk, chosen to be Norwegian but intelligible to English speakers as well: VE VILL VINNE!"
  6. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Adding to Spirit of Dunkirk's excellent summary, would mention many Norwegian Officers and NCOs served as instructors with the 52nd (Lowland) Division whilst they were being trained in high-altitude warfare. Their experience was invaluable, and those who were attached to the 7th/9th (Highlanders) Battalion The Royal Scots remained good friends in the years after the end of the Second World War.


    Joe Brown.
  7. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    The most memorable aspect of Norway during the war was the determined but nonviolent resistance of the clergy, teachers and sportspersons to Nazi attempts to organise them and use them as instruments of Nazi indoctrination.
  8. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

  9. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    Does anyone have recommendations for books about Norway in the war? Especially inerested in how it affected civilian population, collaboration , resistance, economy, relationships with Germans, trestment of Jewish population.
  10. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    I had a history tour of Norway a few years ago, the focus was on fortification and big guns. I also learnt a lot about their WW2 experience from our guides. So not in priority order:
    1. Norway was a poor country in 1940, relying on farming, fishing, forestry, a merchant marine and had almost no industry. One of the benefits of German occupation was their investment in engineering and construction - for military purposes.
    2. Norway did resist the occupation, but at the start one fort holding out near the Swedish border knew the nearby city (sorry names not to hand) was cooperating with Germany.
    3. In 1945 the USSR invaded Finnmark, the northern most county and there was concern - internationally too - that they would not withdraw. They did without conditions; a marked contrast to the USSR remaining in Austria.
    4. The Quisling cooperation scarred the popular memory for long time. They had considered themselves a heterogeneous (united) country and learnt they were mistaken.
    5. The Germans deployed hundreds of thousands of soldiers etc, most staying throughout WW2 and hundreds if not thousands of artillery batteries - often using captured French guns, the 155mm being a favourite. For many years the "big guns" or battleship guns remained in active service and today several are retained as museums.
    6. Forced labour were used and the Norwegians knew how they were treated.
    The only books I have for the period, a gift from a Norwegian friend, are slim local books. They might be worth finding: 'Norway and the Second World War' by Johs Andenaes, Olav Riste and Magne Skodvin; and 'Norway 1940-1945 The Resistance Movement' by Olav Riste and Berit Nokleby.
  11. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I would thoroughly recommend Richard Petrow's, The Bitter Years. The Invasion and Occupation of Denmark and Norway, April 1940 - May 1945.
    Shiny 9th likes this.
  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    As stated a good insight to the invasion and occupation of Denmark and Norway is Richard Petrow's publication. The Bitter Years ....a good reference book on the subject.

    However there are an abundance of publications on the subject to be found.These are listed in the Petrov publication as bibliography and articles and pamphlets

    The invasion of Norway by the Germans who were first to take the initiative led to a British political upheaval. WSC had first proposed to mine Norwegian waters to interrupt the export of Swedish iron ore from Narvick irrespective of Norway's position as neutral country.British troops finally invaded the Narvik area but the Germans already had gained a swift foothold in Norway from 8 April 1940 and there was little the British could do to thwart the German occupation and British forces were evacuated from Norway.Of course the Germans invaded Norway to protect it against the British as the propaganda went but the attraction was to extend the "German coast line" so that bases would be available to ease the access to the Atlantic.

    This critical situation cost Chamberlain his job as PM.On 5 April 1940,while the Germans were massing their forces for the invasion of Norway and unknown to Chamberlain and referring to British plans,he publicly declared "Hitler has missed the bus".The Norway situation regarded as a Chamberlain debacle led to him being forced out of office in early May 1940,to replaced by WSC whose first job was to handle the deteriorating position in France from the effect of the opening of the Blitzkreig on 10 May 1940.
    High Wood, Shiny 9th and TriciaF like this.
  13. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    As I remember reading, Norway was the the first European country to be occupied, (heavy water), and the last to be relieved.
    Is that right?
  14. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    Harry,Thanks for that.Norway seems to be a bit forgotten as an invaded country although I do recall some daring raids and films about them too.
  15. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    No, Poland was the first to be occupied / starting 1st September 1939 and Norway was occupied by June 1940. It was was relieved in stages in May 1945: German surrender documents supplied to garrison commander on the 8th and with Allied troops started to land the next day. The Royal Family returned on the 7th June. See: Operation Doomsday - Wikipedia and a Norwegian website: Norway`s liberation

    The Channel Islands mark 'Liberation Day' on the 9th May 1945.

    I suspect other nations or more likely German garrisons remained in situ in various places.
  16. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    A little tiny piece of Norway may have been the first to be liberated. Germany's most North Westerly Atlantic manned weather station was apparently on a tiny Norwegian island but this was eliminated as a side effect of the Lofoten raids and the Germans were never able to reestablish it in the face of British naval superiority (or possibly didn't consider it worth the effort). Somewhat of a mistake as it might have given them warning of the break in the weather that made D Day possible.
    TriciaF likes this.
  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Denmark fell before Norway as a walkover with hardly a shot being fired after German troops massed on its southern border with Schleswig Holstein rolled into Denmark. German troops arrived by sea in Copenhagen and Danes saw Germans marching in the city and thought that a film was being made.There was no point in opposing a far greater and better equipped force.

    For the invasion of Norway, Hitler used merchant shipping for conveying troops and their equipment, sailing into harbours with surprise and quickly overcoming defenders.Norway's major airfields were quickly occupied by German paratroopers.....a well planned operation with some help from Norwegian Nazis under Quisling.From initially invading Norway with 7 divisions,Hitler reinforced his occupying forces as the war went on with a fear that the Allies would mount an invasion and at the end of the war,the divisional strength was almost doubled.His fear was based on British deception where divisional wireless traffic was increasingly fed to the Germans from March 1944 under Operation Skye headed by Colonel R M MacLeod.....the fictitious British 4th Army being the basis for the deception.It tied up German manpower from entering the battlefield of North West Europe.

    As regards France,pockets of Germans at the festungs of Lorient, St Nazaire and Royan only surrendered as the main German forces finally surrendered in May 1945.It was not thought worth the casualties to take these pockets in the 1944 liberation and they were left to "wither on the vine" as it were.
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  18. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    So much to learn. Living in NE England and E, Scotland we must have felt specially vulnerable.
  19. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member Patron

    The British who landed in Norway were accompanied by French and Polish troops:

    'In Europe the winter 1939/40 was the coldest in living memory. The Finns were fighting for their lives against Russia in the Winter War, with little more than their famed 'Sisu' to keep them going.[ii] By February the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland were covered with fast ice and most of the Baltic Sea was encumbered with pack ice. The British and French busied themselves with thinking up unrealistic schemes: to 'deny the Germans possession of the Baltic' and 'to send a relief force to assist the Finns.' There has been speculation since that the real intention was for most of the force supposedly destined for Finland to remain in the Narvik area of neutral Norway, from where Swedish iron ore was shipped. This 'ill conceived'[iii] operation was what they settled on and, with a Polish contingent, the British and French landed at several points in Norway.'

    When the Rusians withdrew from Nowegian Finnmark, they kept possession of the Finns only ice-free port there.

    That quality of inner strength and determination that keeps Finns going long after others have given up.

    [ii] "Northern Europe …fell prey to Arctic conditions." Also see James Aldridge’s report in NYT, the 25 December 1939; Naval War Changes Climate by Arnd Bernaerts;

    [iii]The Real Cruel Sea - Richard Woodman and Poland in Exile - Norwegian Campaign

    Also the French had spirited all the heavy water that then existed out of Norway before the Germans invaded.
    TriciaF likes this.
  20. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    Thanks for all these ideas and additional info. Will hunt for the books now.

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