The Man of Action Team

Operation in Norway # 004. Plans of the parties

It was more profitable for the Scandinavian countries to avoid active participation in the war. The bourgeoisie of these countries hoped to remain in the role of suppliers of military and other materials for the warring parties, as was the case in the war of 1914-1918. But the desire of the Scandinavian countries to remain in the position of "neutrality" did not correspond to the intentions of the Anglo-French bloc, would violate their plan of blockade Germany. Therefore, from the very beginning of the war in Europe, England and France took measures to draw the Scandinavian states into the armed struggle on their side. For this, economic pressure, political influence on certain circles of the ruling classes of these countries, threats, promises of help and even the temptation to divide the spoils after the successful end of the war were used.

The position of the Scandinavian countries from the very beginning was very unstable, and the pressure of England and France had some success. In any case, a significant part of the leading circles of Norway, headed by the king, by the spring of 1940 definitely decided to take the side of the Allies, agreed to the entry of Anglo-French troops into the country and to mobilize their army.

The allies decided to occupy Norway. An expeditionary force was formed as the first echelon of the occupation forces, which was supposed to be sent as an aid to the White Finns in their war against the Soviet Union. The landing of the Anglo-French expeditionary units on the Norwegian coast was to occur between April 6-8. On April 7, it was planned to mobilize the Norwegian army. England and France believed that their absolute superiority at sea would ensure the implementation of a large and complex operation for the transportation and landing. If the Germans decided to withdraw their fleet to the open sea, then the British naval forces had to use this circumstance to defeat their enemy in a naval battle.

Germany closely monitored the actions of the Allies in drawing the Scandinavian countries into the war and carefully prepared for taking countermeasures. The preparation of Germany was expressed, on the one hand, in purely military activities - preparing the troops for operations in the special conditions of the Norwegian land theater, developing a plan for their transfer to Norway, a plan for interaction between the ground, naval and air forces involved in the operation, etc. and, on the other hand, in diplomatic measures. German diplomacy was most successful in relation to Dasha; undoubtedly, Germany had its supporters among the ruling circles of Norway, but here the Anglo-French influence was stronger.

When it became apparent that an armed struggle for the Scandinavian countries was becoming inevitable, Germany switched to open action. She decided to forestall the Allies in the seizure of Norwegian territory. For this it was necessary to seize the territory of Denmark. The question that the German troops should not meet armed resistance in Danish territory was determined in advance through diplomatic negotiations. When planning actions to seize Norway, the German command had to reckon with the fact that the Norwegian armed forces would certainly resist. But for a number of reasons it was impossible to expect that they would immediately be supported by strong formations of the ground forces of England and France. It was also necessary to take into account that the landing operation against Norway would occur under the conditions of the allied dominance at sea, and that the naval forces of England and France would not remain passive. Based on this situation, the German command decided: military operations against Norway and the occupation of Denmark begin simultaneously; troops should be deployed to Denmark by land and by landing in the most important points of the islands of Zeeland, Funen, Falster. Having occupied Danish territory, immediately use it as a springboard for operations against Norway; at the same time as the amphibious assault landing, in a number of the main ports of Norway, supported by the actions of aviation, it was also planned to land an air assault.