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Norway fights off the invasion in 1940

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  • Norway fights off the invasion in 1940

    What if in April 1940, the Norwegians had decided on complete mobilization of their forces? They start broadcasting on national radio for reservists to report to their units, as opposed to the historical path of mailing out call up notices to specific units.

    The UK and France react to this by advancing their plans to invade Norway and secretly tell the Norwegians they will provide assistance if they are invaded. The Home Fleet sallies and remains focused on crushing the German invasion at sea (historically they were concerned that the major Kriegsmarine units were trying to break into the Atlantic). Perhaps their intelligence is better.

    The KM gets blasted out of the water (which it nearly did historically anyway) and the invasion is repulsed after heavy fighting ending with the recapture of Narvik on the 28th of May by Allied forces.

    Now what?

    1. The Germans have still invaded France on the 10th of May.
    2. With no "Norway Debate" does Chamberlain remain in power, or will the coming collapse of France bring Churchill to power anyway?
    3. Will the Germans attempt a "Sea Lion" type invasion of Norway once France has collapsed?
    4. What effect does this have on Sweden and Finland?
    Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

  • #2
    Consider reading a similar thread here:

    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...?f=11&t=153531

    Its a really interesting proposition. My take is hitler would not tolerate this & a German second attack could be expected later in 1940.

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    • #3
      ^ how , german fleet is 50% lost in the "real invasion " anyway ...in the proposed scenario scharnhorst & gneisenau are probably sunk by RN are the lutzow and hipper ( which were damaged in reality)

      KM at most has 2 -3 cruisers and maybe 8 destroyers...germany has no navy to speak of

      allies cut off the supplies of iron ore, gain a foothold in the baltic ....

      invading norway again ( let alone sealion possibly one of the most hyped up "what ifs" ) was well beyond german military's capability

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      • #4
        What effect does this have on Sweden and Finland?
        Finns probably wud still side with germans ( only other regional power which has any hope of resisting soviets)

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        • #5
          Operations in the Baltic would not necessarily be dependant on the German warships. As long as the Luftwaffe can dominate the air over the seas bordering on Denmark and south Norway the British will have difficulty interdicting German transport across the straits and the Baltic. It is similar to the situation facing the combatants in the Mediterrainian from November 1942. As long as the Axis airforces could defend the air over the water adjacent to Sicilly & Tunisia the powerfull Allied navy did not effectively interdict Axis sea transport to Tunis & Bizerte. Similarly the USN was able to contest the air over Guadacannal leading to a Japanese inability to interdict enough USN supply transport to the Solomon islands. I think the later 1940 campaign for Scandinavia would start with a larger version of these two example airbattles.

          This leads me to two questions. How fast could the RAF & GAF respectively build up their airbases in Norway & Denmark? And, which has the advantage in reinforcing the battle area with combat worthy air units? A secondary question is would the British aircraft carriers give a usefull advanatage?

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          • #6
            With so much less Iron half the year, its hard to figure how Germany could go on (almost as hard as it is to figure out how the Norwegians could have held out in the first place).

            A Negotiated settlement right after France, with no pretense at a Sea-Lion operation at all. France is un-occupied aside from Alsace Loraine, and pays some indemnity of some kind... and Italy is forced to call off it's invasion of Egypt.

            The Full force of teh Axis is thrown against the USSR, but in this scenario Stalin is ready for them... hopefully... maybe.
            "Why is the Rum gone?"

            -Captain Jack

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
              With so much less Iron half the year, its hard to figure how Germany could go on ....
              I'm aware of two schools on this. One tells me the Swedish ore was critical & German industry would collapse. The other contends the attraction of the Swedish ore was its quality. Other sources such as Spain, Alsace, Yugoslavia, and a aggresive recyling program (scrap steel is superior to any iron ore) would be suffcient. The downside would be less of the highest quality grades of steel and a higher refining cost (fuel & labor).

              Anyone have some accurate sources to resolve this question?

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              • #8
                Its not just steel. Norway has useful coal reserves and lots of things like Nickel and Molybdenum (for hardening tank armour) and Tungsten (to make AP ammo). Don't forget the trees either- wood is a vital resource in war.

                As well as Norwegian iron ore, the Swedish stuff is exported from Narvik in winter (the Gulf of Bothnia froze in winter during the '40s) so the ore was trained to ice free ports in Norway. No Norway = No swedish iron ore in winter either.

                Strategically it would be an amazing base for RAF medium bombers/strike planes to raid the straits between Denmark and Norway (effectively shutting the Baltic) and would allow permanent allied air support for convoys going to Murmansk.

                Realistically its impossible for Norway to fight off Germany, but a full Royal Navy commitment to defend her being accepted before Germany attacked, allied troops already in Narvik, Hurricanes rather than Gladiators defending..... we might have done it. As it was Germany lost far more of her navy than she could have afforded. A tougher fight for Norway, even if unsuccesful would have resulted in so many German ships going to the bottom that Sea Lion would be impossible.

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                • #9
                  As it was Germany lost far more of her navy than she could have afforded. A tougher fight for Norway, even if unsuccesful would have resulted in so many German ships going to the bottom that Sea Lion would be impossible.
                  sea lion was impossible to begin with even if germany had bismarck/tirpitz ready by summer 1940.And even if luftwaffe defeated RAF in 1940.
                  After norway germans had barely enough ships for coastal defence let alone take on the royal navy.

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                  • #10
                    Strategically it would be an amazing base for RAF medium bombers/strike planes to raid the straits between Denmark and Norway (effectively shutting the Baltic) and would allow permanent allied air support for convoys going to Murmansk
                    and for british ships and subs to lay mines and interdict traffic in baltic ...even denying germany the home waters and upset u-boat training areas

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                    • #11
                      If the British can hold it Norway is a valuable stratigic advantage. The question is can they?

                      After France collapses in June just how rapidly could German redirect air and ground forces to the Scadinavian front? Can the British reinforce Norway as strongly and quickly as necessary?

                      Does anyone have a good map of the airbases in Denmark for 1940-41? Next to nothing about that on my shelf here. I'd think the Germans could add air bases as required, but if there are already several large airfields availalble that helps.

                      I'd guess there would be enough cargo ships and ferrys available to the Germans in the Baltic to move ground forces to any remaining enclave in Norway. The British navy would no doubt try to interdict this, but if the German air forces in Denmark & southern Norway are strong enough that may not work.

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                      • #12
                        The altas of WW2 that I have shows air bases in Aalborg, Denmark. In Norway there are 2 near Oslo, one in Stavenger, one in Trondheim, and one in Narvik. Just taking the ones near Oslo, Stavenger and Aalborg would probably guarantee that supplies could get into Oslo while being covered by the Luftwaffe.

                        Funny thing, I was just reading "History of the Second World War" by Hart. He related that Hitler did not want to invade Norway and wanted to keep Norway and Sweden neutral. He only invaded because the Allies were throwing out propaganda about all the smaller neutral countries joining the Allies to defeat Germany. It also states the German invasion beat the Allied intervention by 24 hours or so. According to Hart the Allies kept dithering about what to do while Germany, once it decided to invade, acted quickly. First I have heard of that but it is interesting to read.

                        Dan

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BooBoo130 View Post

                          Funny thing, I was just reading "History of the Second World War" by Hart. He related that Hitler did not want to invade Norway and wanted to keep Norway and Sweden neutral. He only invaded because the Allies were throwing out propaganda about all the smaller neutral countries joining the Allies to defeat Germany. It also states the German invasion beat the Allied intervention by 24 hours or so. According to Hart the Allies kept dithering about what to do while Germany, once it decided to invade, acted quickly. First I have heard of that but it is interesting to read.

                          Dan
                          Thanks for the infor on airbases. Sounds like the Germans have what they might need.

                          Churchill amoung many others refer to the Anglo/French delays in preperation for 'entering' Norway. That seems a well supported view.

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                          • #14
                            The problem isn't bases to take off from in Denmark. Its bases to land in on Norway. Look at arnhem or Malame in Crete. Even in Holland (a pancake flat country) good LZ's were few and far apart and to avoid flak, trees, boggy ground etc the Paras ended up dropping 8 miles away. At Malame the fallschrimjagers took horrific loses taking one, fairly poorly defended airstrip. With the terrain in Norway making jumping suicidal with the non-steering parachutes available to them it would be a bloodbath.

                            Despite this an airborne invasion MAY be possible but there won't be many paras left for taking the Albert canal or Crete.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by peter_sym View Post
                              The problem isn't bases to take off from in Denmark. Its bases to land in on Norway. Look at arnhem or Malame in Crete. Even in Holland (a pancake flat country) good LZ's were few and far apart and to avoid flak, trees, boggy ground etc the Paras ended up dropping 8 miles away. At Malame the fallschrimjagers took horrific loses taking one, fairly poorly defended airstrip. With the terrain in Norway making jumping suicidal with the non-steering parachutes available to them it would be a bloodbath.

                              Despite this an airborne invasion MAY be possible but there won't be many paras left for taking the Albert canal or Crete.
                              Uh.. I was refering to airbases for use in fighting the British navy and air forces over Norway and the waters surrounding it after July 1940, after France has collapsed.

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