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  • #31
    Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
    Pardon? How will a distant blockade interrupt coastal shipping?...
    The British simply move their blockade into Norwegian waters and sink the transports (assuming no occupation of Narvik). The actual occupation of Narvik by the British severs the winter ore route without a British ship getting anywhere near Germany.

    Somewhere in the basement I have the units used by the British which amounted to three independent brigades (minus some heavy kit). The French had an Alpine division and a couple of demi-brigades which included the Foreign Legion. The Norwegians had six brigades that were spread around the country from top to bottom. They were lightly equipped and did not have much in the way of heavy equipment (but plenty of skis. ).

    Oh, hell. I'm gonna have to dig out the articles on the campaign and forces involved.

    Soon.

    Maybe.

    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by The Purist View Post
      The British simply move their blockade into Norwegian waters and sink the transports (assuming no occupation of Narvik). The actual occupation of Narvik by the British severs the winter ore route without a British ship getting anywhere near Germany.
      So by breaching Norwegian neutrality, you intend to protect Norway from invasion? Moving the blockade into Norwegian waters works only if the shipping restricts itself to that sea lane. It also invites German forces north to break the blockade, either by submarine attacks on the blockading vessels or by aerial attack from Norwegian bases.

      Or maybe you could just do a quick raid into northern Sweden - the mines were rigged with explosives to render them useless in the event of an invasion.
      Somewhere in the basement I have the units used by the British which amounted to three independent brigades (minus some heavy kit). The French had an Alpine division and a couple of demi-brigades which included the Foreign Legion. The Norwegians had six brigades that were spread around the country from top to bottom. They were lightly equipped and did not have much in the way of heavy equipment (but plenty of skis. ).

      Oh, hell. I'm gonna have to dig out the articles on the campaign and forces involved.

      Soon.

      Maybe.

      Does it give the name of the pet monkey responsible for the operational planning, loading and dispatch of the force?

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by broderickwells
        So by breaching Norwegian neutrality, you intend to protect Norway from invasion? Moving the blockade into Norwegian waters works only if the shipping restricts itself to that sea lane. It also invites German forces north to break the blockade, either by submarine attacks on the blockading vessels or by aerial attack from Norwegian bases...
        Who said anything about defending Norway from invasion? As per the OP the premise here is that the Germans do not invade Norway. They do not have naval and air bases to protect the winter route from Navik, they have not outflanked Britain to the north, they have no means of interdicting the Murmansk Convoys with any effectiveness.

        In this case the British, at a time of their choosing ,apply the carrot and stick method to Norway to cease shipment of Swedish ore via Narvik and hence through Norwegian waters to Germany. The British could, like they did with Turkish strategic materials, simply pay Norway not to permit the shipments (carrot). In order to give some credence to Norway's accepting the 'interdiction' the British could blockade Narvik and its approaches including within Norwegian waters. If the Norwegians refuse, Narvik is occupied. In any case German iron shipments in the winter months are cut with extremely dire consequences for the German economy.

        The fact is, Germany *must* occupy Norway. It really has no choice. Germany needs the Norwegina ports to ease the transit of submarine and surface raiders into the Atlantic. It needs to secure the Narvik route for the 85% of its required iron ore it imports from Sweden (in exchange for coal) to protect its already fragile economy and needs the North Cape for future interdiction of the Murmansk routes (otherwise there is almost free convoy route between Britain and Murmansk).

        Originally posted by broderickwells
        ...Does it give the name of the pet monkey responsible for the operational planning, loading and dispatch of the force?
        Considering the "on again-off again" nature of the operation, the surprise German move that final triggered the go and the fact that troops and their commanders were newly raised "territorials" it is rather remarkable the British brigades even got to Norway and proved capable of making a fight of it until late June. It was a shaky start but they did sort themselves out. Historically only two of the Norwegian brigades were able to mobilise before their depots were overrun but these linked up with the British and executed a fighting withdrawal to the north (Narvik). In the above scenario, where the British have more time to actually sort them selves out those same three brigades would have beem more than adequate to do the job. The RAF could also have flown in a/c to Narvik once secured and provid what was needed to hold but was lacking in the OTL, air support.

        Two French divisions and three British brigades could have secured everything from Trondhein north to Narvik and imposed a summer campaign on the Germans that would have continued well after the fall of France (the OTL battle lasted up to and just past the French collapse). Germany was wise to move first.
        The Purist

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
          Who said anything about defending Norway from invasion? As per the OP the premise here is that the Germans do not invade Norway. They do not have naval and air bases to protect the winter route from Navik, they have not outflanked Britain to the north, they have no means of interdicting the Murmansk Convoys with any effectiveness.

          In this case the British, at a time of their choosing ,apply the carrot and stick method to Norway to cease shipment of Swedish ore via Narvik and hence through Norwegian waters to Germany. The British could, like they did with Turkish strategic materials, simply pay Norway not to permit the shipments (carrot). In order to give some credence to Norway's accepting the 'interdiction' the British could blockade Narvik and its approaches including within Norwegian waters. If the Norwegians refuse, Narvik is occupied. In any case German iron shipments in the winter months are cut with extremely dire consequences for the German economy.

          The fact is, Germany *must* occupy Norway. It really has no choice. Germany needs the Norwegina ports to ease the transit of submarine and surface raiders into the Atlantic. It needs to secure the Narvik route for the 85% of its required iron ore it imports from Sweden (in exchange for coal) to protect its already fragile economy and needs the North Cape for future interdiction of the Murmansk routes (otherwise there is almost free convoy route between Britain and Murmansk).
          Unfortunately, the moment the British start operating close to or within Norwegian waters by attempting to blockade the legal neutral trade of Sweden, Germany has to take steps to circumvent it. Which means invasion. The only way the OP makes sense is for Sweden to transport the ore to the Baltic. And that wasn't economically viable. Unfortunately, the carrot and stick thing doesn't really work - Britain can't offer enough to convince Norway to prevent the trade. The comparison with Turkey isn't valid, as Turkey had a strategic alliance with Britain but did continue to trade with Germany in certain strategic materials, such as tungsten ore (Spain too). Nor can Britain wave a big enough stick without appearing to be a bully boy and alienating the Norwegian government and people. After all, Norway was a sovereign, neutral country with all the rights and duties those entailed.

          For Germany, and for Britain, the situation strongly resembles a quick draw contest. Germany has to invade to protect the iron ore trade. Britain has to invade to disrupt the trade (the Norwegians have the right to insist that any British warships stay out of Norwegian waters and can even arrest said ships and crew).

          Due to their more active support of Finland than the British or French during the Winter War, the Germans had access to Petsamo, a port which is now back in Russian control. This was a useful base for the Germans for operations against the British-Russian Lend Lease convoys. But in 1940, it would have been a brave man to predict that Britain would be sending supplies to the USSR via Murmansk.

          Considering the "on again-off again" nature of the operation, the surprise German move that final triggered the go and the fact that troops and their commanders were newly raised "territorials" it is rather remarkable the British brigades even got to Norway and proved capable of making a fight of it until late June. It was a shaky start but they did sort themselves out. Historically only two of the Norwegian brigades were able to mobilise before their depots were overrun but these linked up with the British and executed a fighting withdrawal to the north (Narvik). In the above scenario, where the British have more time to actually sort them selves out those same three brigades would have beem more than adequate to do the job. The RAF could also have flown in a/c to Narvik once secured and provid what was needed to hold but was lacking in the OTL, air support.

          Two French divisions and three British brigades could have secured everything from Trondhein north to Narvik and imposed a summer campaign on the Germans that would have continued well after the fall of France (the OTL battle lasted up to and just past the French collapse). Germany was wise to move first.
          You're right - the pet monkey was in charge of the authorisation button.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
            Anyone have the plans at hand for what the Brits intended or had near ready to send to Norway? A lot depends here on what the Brits would have in place after France collapses.
            I'm finally home.

            John Ellis puts the NW Expeditionary Force as follows:

            British:
            24th Inf Bde: landed 15 Apr, evacuated 8 Jun
            146th Inf Bde: landed 16 Apr, evacuated 3 May
            148th Inf Bde: landed 18 Apr, evacuated 2 May
            15th Inf Bde: landed 23 Apr, evacuated 2 May

            French:
            1 Lt Dvn (organized as 2 chasseur alpin demi-Bdes: 5th and 27th)
            5th demi-Bde: landed 30 Apr, evacuated 4 Jun
            27th demi-Bde: landed 27 Apr, evacuated min-Jun
            13th dem-Bde: landed 28 Apr, evacuated min-Jun

            Polish Bde: landed 7 May, evacuated early Jun

            Sorry it took so long to get this.
            If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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            • #36
              Thanks for the info. Where would be good sources for the air component, and perhaps for the logistics plans?

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                Thanks for the info. Where would be good sources for the air component, and perhaps for the logistics plans?
                I'll try to dig a little deeper in Hitler's Pre-emptive War, and a few others I have here at the house, and see what I find. I'm home until tomorrow so I can always throw a few books in the truck.
                If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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