noewegian campaign

During the largely unsuccessful Norwegian Campaign of World War II, the Allies were in a fight to stop the Germans from fully occupying Norway, but it didn’t work in the end. The Norwegian campaign was carried out from April 8, 1940 to June 10, 1940, and 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.

The Norwegian Campaign was planned as Operation Wilfred and Plan R 4, prior to the actual German attack, which the Allies knew was imminent, but had not yet happened. On April 4th, the battlecruiser HMS Renown set out from Scapa Flow for the Vestfjorden with twelve destroyers. The Royal Navy and the Kriegsmarine met at the First Battle of Narvik on April 9 – 10. The British forces conducted the Åndalsnes landings on April 13, thereby putting everything in place for the actual operation. Germany’s strategic reason for wanting Norway was to seize the port of Narvik and guarantee the delivery of iron ore needed for German steel production. In any war, steel is necessary for much of the weaponry.

During one part of that campaign, in an air fight over Norway, a British fighter took down a German plane over a densely wooded area. Unfortunately, the British aircraft crashed as well. As it turns out, both crews survived the crashes, and while trying to get to a safe place, they encountered each other in the wilderness. In most situations, this could have been bad for one or both of the crews, but even though they were struggling against a language barrier, the rival airmen agreed not to turn on each other and instead, to team up in order to find safety. They stayed in an abandoned hotel and shared breakfast. It wasn’t peace exactly, but they formed an uneasy truce, while they waited to see which side would show up to help first.

Instead of the British or the Germans, it was a Norwegian ski patrol that showed up to rescue the British soldiers, and of course, to take the Germans as POWs. While that one battle seemed to indicate that the British were headed for a victory over the Germans, that was not to be the case. The Germans did finally take over Norway in its entirety. Of course, as we all know, one battle is not a very good indication of who will win the war, and in the end, it was Germany that took a great fall, losing the entirety of World War II.

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