Timeline of the Norwegian Campaign

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The Norwegian Campaign, lasting from 9 April to 10 June 1940, led to the first direct land confrontation between the military forces of the Allies the United Kingdom and France against Nazi Germany in World War II.


January 1940

27: German planners assign the code name Weserübung to the operation.

February 1940

5: Using assistance to Finland as rationale, the Allied Supreme War Council decides on intervention in Norway. Initial plans are for a landing at Narvik, and success would rely on the acquiescence of Norway and Sweden. It is clear that despite the stated rationale, cutting supplies of iron ore to Germany is a prime motivation for the plan.
16: The British destroyer HMS Cossack intercepts the German tanker Altmark in Norwegian waters, recovering 299 British prisoners of war. The Altmark Incident makes public the attitude of the Allies toward intervention in Norway, and provides impetus to German planners to accelerate their plans.
21: General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst is appointed to command the invasion of Norway. He will command German forces in Norway until 1944.

March 1940

1: A final order is given for the German attack on Norway and Denmark
3: The date for invasion is set for 17 March 1940, although this is later delayed to April.
28: The Allies decide to begin mining Norwegian waters (Operation Wilfred), and to send a military force to Norway to pre-empt German aggression. The end of the Winter War deprives the Allies of their primary excuse for the operation. Mining operations are set to start on 5 April 1940, but this is moved back to 8 April 1940 due to disagreements with France about the associated Operation Royal Marine.

April 1940

May 1940

1: Allies complete evacuation of 4,400 troops at Åndalsnes.
2: German forces enter Åndalsnes. Mauriceforce evacuates 5,400 Allied troops at Namsos. Anglo-French forces land at Mosjøen to block German advances to Narvik.
3: Mauriceforce is delayed by thick fog. Junkers Ju 87 divebombers attack Mauriceforce, and sink French destroyer Bison and British destroyer Afridi.
5: French Foreign Legion and Polish forces land at Tromsø and Harstad.
10: Engagements take place at Mosjøen as British forces are sent south to reinforce the blockage.
13: Norwegian forces begin the advance on Narvik from Harstad led by Gen. Carl Gustav Fleischer, with the support of Allied forces landed at Bjerkvik.
14: The 24th Guards Brigade loses significant equipment in transit to holding positions south of Narvik.
17: The British cruiser HMS Effingham runs aground and is lost south of Narvik.
21: Allied forces advancing on Narvik gain important positions to the north.
26: The British anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Curlew is sunk by air attack near Harstad.
27: Norwegian and Allied forces attack Narvik, entering the town after a short fight.
27: German Luftwaffe destroys Bodø, but only two British soldiers are killed.
31: The British force at Bodø is evacuated.

June 1940

1: France and the United Kingdom inform Norway of their plans to evacuate the country.
4: Allied evacuations begin at Harstad.
7: The Norwegian government goes into exile aboard the British cruiser HMS Devonshire.
8: German Naval force launch Operation Juno to relieve pressure on the Narvik garrison and, after discovering the evacuation, shift the mission to a hunt and sink the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and two escorting destroyers. However Scharnhorst, damaged by a torpedo, returns to Trondheim with Gneisenau, leaving the way clear for the main evacuation.
9: Norwegian military forces are ordered to cease resistance and demobilise.
10: The surrender is complete and resistance is ended.

See also

Related Research Articles

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The German operation for the invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940 was code-named Weserübung, or "Weser Exercise." Opposing the invasion were the partially mobilized Norwegian military, and an allied expeditionary force composed of British, French, and Free Polish formations. The following list formed the order of battle for this campaign.

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The Norwegian campaign involved the attempt by Allied forces to defend northern Norway coupled with the resistance of the Norwegian military to the country's invasion by Nazi Germany in World War II.

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