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Thread: Norway in WW2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    48 pages about something that is in essence quite simple and which several members got so unnecessarily worked up about in the distant past.

    The intentions of all the governments involved in the war for Norway are logical and hyperrealistic. If Britain was serious about winning the war (or helping Finland in its war against the Soviets) it made sense for them to make Norway a staging ground for future offensives aimed at the German heartland and to deny Germany access to Swedish iron ore by cajoling Norway into accepting British and French forces on Norse territory by simply putting them ashore. And the Germans had every reason to prevent this, so their reaction (Operation Weserübung) was completely predictable too. And Norway couldn't just accept foreign soldiers on its territory without it losing its credibility as a sovereign state, which would have been noted by the world, and that would definitely have had undesirable consequences for Norway at the negotiating table at the end of the war, regardless of who won or lost the war.

    It's not a debate about the moral high ground.
    Finally some reason in the debate. In essence this was indeed Churchill's reasoning:
    https://archive.org/details/WinstonC...31December1939
    https://archive.org/details/WinstonC...16December1939

    Cutting off Germany from Swedish Iron Ore supply might have been the main reason (And Germany had securing iron ore supply as the main motive) for the British to engage in Scandinavia. But even, if that failed, they still could involve all or at least some Scandinavian countries into the war and force Germany to occupy them, which binds forces not available for other campaigns. If one can make Germany look like the aggressor (and oppressor), this would be a propaganda victory. That the British went to Norway (and Sweden) to "assist Finland" was of course a ruse to have an excuse to do exactly that: Getting involved in Norway provoking a German reaction.

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    German World War II Cruiser "Karlsruhe" Discovered Off Norway



    The wreckage of one of Germany’s most famous World War II-era vessels, the light cruiser Karlsruhe, was recently found quite by accident in the waters off Norway. While the history of the vessel, which was the only large German ship lost during the Nazi invasion of Norway in 1940 was well known, until now the wreckage of the ship had never been located.

    According to reports from Norwegian energy company Statnett, during a routine inspection in April 2017 of a power cable running from Norway to Denmark along the seafloor, they noticed the image of a shipwreck. It was approximately 15 meters from the undersea cable and from the images on sonar it appeared to be a large vessel.

    Three years later, in June 2020, an expedition got underway aboard the offshore vessel Olympic Taurus to explore the wreck which was lying approximately 13 nautical miles from Kristiansand in southern Norway. Statnett’s senior project engineer Ole Petter Hobberstad working with a team of experts got their first glimpses of the vessel using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) with multi-beam echo sounders.

    “When the ROV results showed us a ship that was torpedoed, we realized it was from the war,” Hobberstad says. “As the cannons became visible on the screen, we understood it was a huge warship. We were very excited and surprised that the wreck was so big.”

    Analysis of the images confirmed that they had located the final resting place of the German light cruiser Karlsruhe approximately 490 meters below the surface resting upright on the seafloor. “You can find Karlsruhe's fate in history books, but no one has known exactly where the ship sunk,” explains Frode Kvalř, archaeologist and researcher at the Norwegian Maritime Museum. “After all these years we finally know where the graveyard to this important warship is.”

    Construction of the Karlsruhe had begun in 1926 with the hull being launched the following year. With Germany’s navy severely restricted by the World War I armistice, the vessel along with two sister ships was among the largest and finest ships of the German navy during that era. She was commissioned in 1929. Measuring 571 feet in length and powered by steam turbines she could achieve speeds of 32 knots. She was manned by 21 officers and 493 sailors. Her primary armaments were nine 150mm/60 guns C/25 in three turrets. The ships had an unusual placement of two aft turrets each offset to one side of the hull.

    During the 1930s the Karlsruhe was used primarily as a training vessel for the German navy making a range of cruises including around the world voyages. She was also deployed off Spain during the revolution. In 1938, the ship was sent to a shipyard for a major reconditioning which prepared her for World War II.



    The Karlsruhe saw action in the Baltic and she ordered to carry troops for the invasion of Norway. Sailing from Bremerhaven on April 8, 1940 heading to Kristiansand, she lay off the city waiting for a heavy fog to lift. As she entered the fjord the following day she came under heavy bombardment with the cruiser and the Norwegian guns engaged in the artillery barrage for nearly two hours before the fog again covered the port. The Norwegian surrenders and the Karlsruhe disembarked the troops.

    The Karlsruhe was outbound from the fjord when she was attacked by a British submarine. She was hit by two torpedoes, one forward and one midship. Flooding it was determined that the cruiser was mortally wounded and could not make the voyage back to Germany. Her crew abandoned the ship and a German torpedo boat fired two more shots sending the Karlsruhe to the bottom.







    The images of the vessel on the seafloor are unique according to Kvalř in that the Karlsruhe is sitting upright with her turrets intact. He says that most warships, with a high center of gravity, typically roll over when they were sunk.

    Statnett’s Hobberstad says that he is glad that they finally got the opportunity to investigate the mysterious wreck so close to their cable and could share the news of their discovery with the world.

    Maritime-executive

    Further reading - Explained: Why finding wreck of Karlsruhe, the sunken German WWII warship, is significant.

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    ‘It would have been a fight’: Former Swedish PM enrages Denmark and Norway with WW2 tweet



    Sweden's former prime minister has enraged the country's neighbours by suggesting in a tweet that if Sweden had been invaded by Nazi Germany, it would have put up more of a fight than Denmark and Norway did.

    In a tweet to mark the 81st anniversary of the invasion of Denmark and Norway, Carl Bildt, who served as prime minister between 1991 and 1994, claimed that Germany’s fascist leader Adolf Hitler would have struggled to overrun Sweden.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Verđandi View Post


    Sweden's former prime minister has enraged the country's neighbours by suggesting in a tweet that if Sweden had been invaded by Nazi Germany, it would have put up more of a fight than Denmark and Norway did.

    In a tweet to mark the 81st anniversary of the invasion of Denmark and Norway, Carl Bildt, who served as prime minister between 1991 and 1994, claimed that Germany’s fascist leader Adolf Hitler would have struggled to overrun Sweden.
    ....
    As always the irrelevant is "scandalized", while the real scandal is ignored. Churchill and other British plotted to drag both Sweden and Norway into their war, by getting Germany to respond to encroachment there.

    3. But is there any prospect of Sweden and Norway actively co-operating with us of their own free will to bring about a series of operations Which, as is well set out in the paper, will —

    (a) Ruin the trade of their ironfield and the shipping which carries it.
    (b) Involve them in war with Germany.
    (c) Expose the whole southern part of both countries to German invasion and occupation.

    Left to themselves they will certainly refuse, and, if pressed diplomatically, they will protest loudly to the world. Thus the minor operation is knocked out for the sake of the bigger, and the bigger is only declared practicable upon renditions which will not occur.

    4. The only way in which the desired train of events can, perhaps, be set in motion is by the practical step of stopping the Narvik ore. This causes little injury to Norway and Sweden and is the minimum violation of their neutrality. It is not comparable to an act of invasion of their soil. Nevertheless, as this paper shows, it may bring about a violent German reaction. If this reaction takes the form of the invasion of southern Norway and southern Sweden, then alone will the offence be given to those countries, which will make them take up arms in selfdefence, and this will be the moment when they will look to us for aid and be willing to open to us the passage to the northern orefields.
    https://archive.org/details/WinstonC...31December1939
    Accessible documents already show that the real history of WW2 is not compatible with the impression that has been created over decades.
    Let that sink it, the idiocy of believing the caricature of reality created by spin-doctors in the media, isn't new at all the present follows from past practice there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theunissen View Post
    As always the irrelevant is "scandalized", while the real scandal is ignored. Churchill and other British plotted to drag both Sweden and Norway into their war, by getting Germany to respond to encroachment there.



    Accessible documents already show that the real history of WW2 is not compatible with the impression that has been created over decades.
    Let that sink it, the idiocy of believing the caricature of reality created by spin-doctors in the media, isn't new at all the present follows from past practice there.
    It's true that Sweden would have put up a much better fight, at least in Vasa days. Denmark-Norway was a plaything of Schleswig-Holstein, so how would they not have been immobilised by their fifth column in charge of all institutions? Then again, England didn't let ties to Hannover or Sachsen-Coburg und Sachsen-Gotha prevent the war resolve from being as forthright as possible in fighting Napoleon Hitler--I mean Adolf Bonaparte. Speaking of that; should England have sat back and stuffed popcorn when the Jacobins and Bonaparte ran roughshod over Europe, any more than the Nazis and Hitler?

    Why wouldn't England have stepped in to engineer a settlement least coercive to English needs and wants in relation to Europe? Anyone familiar with Henry VIII, François I and Karl V? In that episode, the Tudors were constantly exposed to the Valois-Habsburg feuding. There was no easy way to take either side without grains of salt. England wanted the Valois gone so as to retake France. England wanted the Habsburgs gone so as to take the Church of England back from Rome. Is England evil for not being a tool for either of those other lands and having our own objectives?

    Lots of butthurt hypocrites.

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    Buried Nazi monument divides opinion



    A history professor in Trondheim has sparked controversy by calling for a buried Nazi monument to be unearthed at one of Norway’s most historically resonant sites.

    The nine-meter high pillar was erected on St Olaf’s day 1944 by the Nasjonal Samling, Norway’s wartime Nazi Party.

    It was put up at the site of the battle of Stiklestad, where the saint, who as King Olaf is lauded for uniting and Christianising Norway, was killed. It was decorated with a nordic sun cross, and scenes from the battle.

    After the defeat of the Nazis it was buried, ripped down by resistance fighters and covered with soil.

    Tor Einar Fagerland, professor of History at the NTNU in Trondheim, now wants the pillar to be unearthed.

    “Norwegian nationalism is often described as being positive and inclusive,” he told Aftenposten. “But Behring Breivik and Varg Vikernes' variants of racist nationalism shows that extreme nationalism also exists in our society. A partial unearthing of the monument will force the realisation that political extremism is something that is also found here, and not only there, amongst others,” he said.

    The suggestion has generated sharp controversy, with Kolbein Dahle, a journalist and conservationist in Nord-Trřndelag county dismissing the suggestion as “sensationalist”.

    Thelocal.no

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  10. #487
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    Ten years ago Hevneren contended somewhere in this thread that Norway would've resisted a Franco-British invasion as well as a German offensive - I never forgot that - but a few months ago on YouTube I discovered the Norwegian government's intentions in the case of that eventuality. Norway's military forces would've stood down and let the allies land unopposed, allowing them to settle in certain parts of the country. The authorities wouldn't have been too happy being dragged in someone else's war but they were not going to fight France and Britain. Also understandable, as at the time that would've meant having only Germany for an ally - one Norway doesn't want. When forced to pick a side in WW2 as a democracy, while still being able to make money of their huge merchant fleet of back in the day, it's a no-brainer for Oslo.

    This would've come at a cost though, state actors which do not defend their territorial integrity with at least a token effort (like Denmark or Luxembourg did in their own way), lose standing in the international community and are treated like dirt during peace settlements. If Germany had won the war regardless of a Franco-British invasion, Norway's future as a sovereign, united country would've been in serious jeopardy.
    “As brothers and sisters we knew instinctively that if we were going to stand in darkness, best we stand in a darkness we had made ourselves.” - Douglas Coupland

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  12. #488
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    Ten years ago Hevneren contended somewhere in this thread that Norway would've resisted a Franco-British invasion as well as a German offensive - I never forgot that - but a few months ago on YouTube I discovered the Norwegian government's intentions in the case of that eventuality. Norway's military forces would've stood down and let the allies land unopposed, allowing them to settle in certain parts of the country. The authorities wouldn't have been too happy being dragged in someone else's war but they were not going to fight France and Britain. Also understandable, as at the time that would've meant having only Germany for an ally - one Norway doesn't want. When forced to pick a side in WW2 as a democracy, while still being able to make money of their huge merchant fleet of back in the day, it's a no-brainer for Oslo.
    .....
    Norway was a monarchy at the time. But as you point out, the Norwegian elites knew where their interests were. If they picked the Axis side, their huge merchant fleet would be palmed in by the Allies. The Axis wasn't in the position to do that. The only major common interest with Germany was the transport of iron ore via Norway and its coast towards Germany. Guess the Dutch were in a similar position... While there is also the connection via major corporation like Shell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    This would've come at a cost though, state actors which do not defend their territorial integrity with at least a token effort (like Denmark or Luxembourg did in their own way), lose standing in the international community and are treated like dirt during peace settlements. If Germany had won the war regardless of a Franco-British invasion, Norway's future as a sovereign, united country would've been in serious jeopardy.
    Does this hypothesis hold up in modern-era history? Did Czechoslovakia receive worse treatment after the war than Poland did, for instance?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theunissen
    Norway was a monarchy at the time.
    A parliamentary constitutional monarchy (like Norway, the Netherlands or Belgium were during that era) is democracy, different from monarchy. You got a kingdom in name only here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ţoreiđar
    Does this hypothesis hold up in modern-era history? Did Czechoslovakia receive worse treatment after the war than Poland did, for instance?
    It will still always always come at some cost I would think - if Belgium had not resisted the German invasion of 1914 it's doubtful it would still be around today as a unified country, Belgium would've been punished for that by the allied victors for that for sure - they wouldn't have stopped at regime change. But when Czechoslovakia gave in in 1939 WW2 had not even started, hence the decision not to fight didn't negatively impact anyone's military situation on the battlefield and so it's unclear what anyone could've blamed the country for that way. And there's the unique context of the Cold War starting as WW2 ends and Czechoslovakia being more useful as a puppet to the Soviets than as a partitioned state. We can't really know what would've happened without the Cold War occuring. "Independent" Slovakia was re-attached to the Czechs again however. There's also the important fact that at the time Czechoslovakia wanted to fight Germany and was still in a position to do so its allies deserted it and hence there was widespread public sympathy for Czechoslovakia's plight after the war - it helped.

    It's hard to say what would happen today, invasions without resistance from the central authority didn't happen all that often post-1945 - even Tibet fought back a little in 1950 - Lebanon 2006 comes to mind. The Lebanese government certainly was royally ignored during and after the ceasefire, but the I.D.F. did leave after hostilities ended of course.
    “As brothers and sisters we knew instinctively that if we were going to stand in darkness, best we stand in a darkness we had made ourselves.” - Douglas Coupland

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