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Invasion of Denmark, Norway & the Low Countries. LTC Oakland McCulloch. Outline. German Invasion of Denmark & Norway The Invasion of the Low Countries Consequences of these victories. Invasion of Denmark and Norway. Operation WESERUBUNG began on 09 April 1940

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Invasion of Denmark,

Norway & the Low Countries

LTC Oakland McCulloch



  • German Invasion of Denmark & Norway
  • The Invasion of the Low Countries
  • Consequences of these victories

Invasion of Denmark and Norway

  • Operation WESERUBUNG began on 09 April 1940
  • Germans were concerned about a Franco-British
  • occupation of both Denmark and Norway
    • Sold as protecting these countries’ neutrality
  • Naval engagements between British and German
  • warships along the Norwegian Coast
  • Very little danger with invasion of Denmark
  • Huge danger for German Navy while invading
  • Norway

The Fall of Denmark

  • German Ambassador to Denmark asked for a meeting with
  • the Danish Foreign Minister
  • 3 German Infantry Divisions & 1 Motorized Rifle Brigade drive
  • across the border into Denmark (with air support)
    • Flat terrain was perfect for the German operation
    • small, poorly equipped & poorly trained Danish Army had
    • no chance of stopping the invasion
  • 1000 Infantry, who where hiding in a Merchant ship in the
  • Copenhagen harbor, disembarked to seize the King and
  • Government
  • Denmark fell almost without bloodshed in one day
  • Control of naval & shipping access to major German &
  • Russian ports

The Invasion of Norway

  • German Navy takes a beating but successfully escorts all the troop transports to Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondeheim and Narvik
  • First use of Airborne landings in combat at Oslo and Kristiansand
  • Germans used 6 plus Divisions (81,000 soldiers) plus huge amounts of air support
  • Norwegian Army, about 12,000 strong, was better trained than the Danes and had some warning

The Battle for Norway

9-13 April 1940

  • The Capture of Oslo
    • despite stubborn resistance the Germans landed by sea
    • and air to quickly capture the capital
    • Oslo was the communications hub in southern Norway
  • Germans are successful at landing troops at all
  • ports - some do suffer casualties
  • Disaster at Narvik for German Navy
  • Germans begin exploitation by fanning out from
  • captured cities
    • Germany flies in reinforcements
    • Luftwaffe attacks British warships off the coast

The Battle for Norway

  • Allied Landings 14-19 April 1940
    • 10,000 French & British troops land in Norway
    • had been assembled to land in Finland
    • Allied force eventually grows to 25,000 men
  • Germans react very quickly establishing hasty
  • defenses and using the Luftwaffe to strike Allied
  • troops, landing areas and support ships
  • Only Allied success was at Narvik
  • Allied evacuation of Norway 8-9 June 1940
    • Things not going so well on the Continent!

The Capture Norway

Consequences of the Battle

  • Prime Minister Chamberlain resigns and Winston
  • Churchill becomes the Prime Minister
  • Germany gains access to ports into the North
  • Atlantic for its warships and u-boats
  • Loosening of the British Naval blockade
  • Safe passage for Germany’s iron ore from Sweden
  • German Navy crippled for several months to come

The Fall of The Low Countries

  • Predawn bombardment of all major Dutch and
  • Belgian airfields
  • Army Groups A and B crossed the Belgian and
  • Dutch frontiers
    • Initially the main effort was against Holland
    • Paratroop drops in the vicinity of Rotterdam, The Hague
    • and other major cities
    • Glider troops attack and capture Fort Eban Emael which
    • opens the door for German troops to cross the Albert
    • Canal
  • Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain

The Fall of The Low Countries

  • Dutch flood much of the country side to slow
  • German advance
    • German ground forces begin to force their way into the
    • interior thanks to the airborne forces holding key bridges
  • The Luftwaffe destroys the business district of
  • Rotterdam in terror bombing killing 30,000 civilians
  • Holland surrenders on 14 May - just four days after
  • the war begins

The Fall of The Low Countries

  • Once Fort Eban Emael fell the Germans poured
  • across the Albert Canal into Belgium
    • The Belgium Army retired to the Dyle Line, to be
    • reinforced by elements of the BEF and 1st French Army
  • By the 15th of May some 35 Allied Divisions,
  • including most of the BEF were on the Dyle Line.
  • The King of Belgium surrenders on 15 May - just five
  • days after the war began
  • The Germans now have the Allies exactly where
  • they want them – more to follow next week