Norwegian Campaign order of battle

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The German operation for the invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940 was code-named Weserübung, or "Weser Exercise." Opposing the invasion were the partially mobilized Norwegian military, and an allied expeditionary force composed of British, French, and Free Polish formations. The following list formed the order of battle for this campaign.

Germany[edit]

XXI Gruppe[edit]

On 1 March 1940, the German 21st Army Corps was renamed Group XXI and placed in charge of the invasion of Norway. The group was allotted two Mountain and five Infantry divisions for this task. It was led by the commanding officer of the XXI Korps, General der Infanterie Nikolaus von Falkenhorst. His Chief of Staff was Oberst Erich Buschenhagen.

Luftwaffe[edit]

The Luftwaffe's X Fliegerkorps was commanded by Generalleutnant Hans Ferdinand Geisler; it had operational command of all Luftwaffe units participating in Operation Weserübung.

Kriegsmarine[edit]

Baltic Sea and Norwegian Waters Naval Group Command WestGeneraladmiral Alfred Saalwächter

Battleship ForceVizeadmiral Günther Lütjens

Objective: Narvik Warship Group OneKapitän zur See and Kommodore Friedrich Bonte 10 April)

Transporting:

  • Advanced HQ/3rd Mountain Division – Generalleutnant Eduard Dietl, 139th Mountain Regiment/3rd Mountain Division – Oberst Windisch, coastal artillery battery (crew only), Naval signals section, Army signals platoon, I Bn/32nd LW Flak Regiment (personnel only)

Landing Group (planned to be at or entering Narvik when Warship Group One was scheduled to arrive.)

  • Bärenfels (cargo ship) (army equipment, guns, and ammunition) – diverted to Bergen and sunk by Fleet Air Arm air attack on 14 April
  • Rauenfels (cargo ship) (army equipment, guns, and ammunition) – sunk by British destroyers Havock and Hostile while entering the Ofotfjord on 10 April.
  • Alster (cargo ship) (motor transport and military stores) – captured by the British destroyer Icarus near Bodø on 10 April

Tanker Group

  • Jan Wellem (tanker) – arrived at Narvik, sunk 13 April
  • Kattegat (tanker) – scuttled by crew after being intercepted by Norwegian patrol boat Nordkapp on 9 April

Objective Trondheim

Admiral Hipper and a destroyer approaching Trondheim.

Warship Group TwoKapitän zur See Hellmuth Heye,

Transporting:

  • 138th Mountain Regiment/3rd Mountain Division – Oberst Weiss, minus one company on the Lutzow, diverted to Oslo,

1./112th Mountain Artillery Regiment, 1./38th Engineer Battalion, naval signals detachment, army signals platoon, Two Coast Artillery Batteries (crews only), I Bn/611th LW Flak Regiment – personnel only, airbase personnel Landing Group (Planned to be at or entering Trondheim when Warship Group Two was scheduled to arrive.)

  • Sao Paulo (supply ship) (mined off Bergen on 9 April, mine laid by Norwegian minelayer Tyr),
  • Levante (cargo ship)
  • Main (supply ship) (captured and sunk on 9 April by Norwegian destroyer Draug)

Tanker Group

Objective Bergen Warship Group Three – Rear Admiral Hubert Schmundt

1. S-Boatflotilla – Kapitänleutnant Heinz Birnbacher

  • S-Boat-Tender Carl Peters, Kapitänleutnant Otto Hinzke (damaged by Norwegian coastal artillery on 9 April)
  • S19, S21, S22, S23, S24, Schiff 9 (mined off Bergen on 10 April, mine laid by Norwegian minelayer Tyr), Schiff 18 (damaged and beached 25 April)

Transporting:

  • HQ/69th Infantry Division, 1./169th Engineer Bn, 2./169th Engineer Bn, HQ/159th Infantry Regiment, I./159th infantry Regiment,

II./159th infantry Regiment (-5. Company), 159th Band, naval signals section, army signals platoon, two coastal artillery batteries (crews only), I Bn/33rd LW Flak Regiment – personnel only, airbase personnel

Landing Group

Landing Group Stavanger

  • Roda (cargo ship) (captured and sunk on 9 April by Norwegian destroyer Æger)[1]

Objectives Kristiansand and Arendal

Main article: Capture of Arendal

Warship Group FourKapitän zur See Friedrich Rieve

2. S-Boat-FlotillaKorvettenkapitän Rudolf Petersen

Transporting

  • HQ/310th Infantry Regiment, I/310th Infantry Regiment, 9 Co./310th Infantry Regiment, 234th Bicycle Infantry Co., naval signals platoon, two coastal artillery batteries (crews only)

Objectives Oslo and Oslofjord Warship Group Five – Rear Admiral Oskar Kummetz Objective Oslo

Objectives Son and Moss

Objective Horten

  • Torpedo boat AlbatrosKapitänleutnant Siegfried Strelow (grounded and wrecked 10 April while under fire from Norwegian coastal artillery)
  • Torpedo boat KondorKapitänleutnant Hans Wilcke
  • R17 (sunk 9 April by Norwegian warships Olav Tryggvason and Rauma)
  • R22 (damaged by Olav Tryggvason and Rauma)
  • Rau 7

Objective Rauøy Island

  • R20
  • R24

Objective Bolærne Island

  • R22
  • R23

Objective Egersund Cable Station

Main article: Capture of Egersund

Warship Group SixKorvettenkapitän Kurt Thoma, 2 Minehunting Flotilla

Objectives Korsör and Nyborg Warship Group SevenKapitän zur See Gustav Kleikamp

  • Schleswig-HolsteinKapitän zur See Gustav Kleikamp
  • Claus von Bevern (minesweeper)
  • Pelikan (minesweeper)
  • Nautilus (minesweeper)
  • Campinas (cargo ship)
  • Cordoba (cargo ship)
  • MRS 12 (minesweeper)

School Flotilla of Commander in Chief Baltic Approaches

Objectives Copenhagen Warship Group EightKorvettenkapitän Wilhelm Schroeder

Warship Group Eight supported in the waters of the Belt by 13. Patron-Flotilla – Kapitänleutnant Dr. Walther Fischer

Objectives Middelfart and Belt Bridge Warship Group NineKapitän zur See Helmut Leissner, F.d.V.O

  • Rugard (cargo ship), flagship of F.d.V.O,
  • Arkona (M115), Otto Braun (M129), Cressida, Silvia, R6, R7 (minesweepers)
  • UJ 107 (ASW patrol craft)
  • Passat, Monsun (Tugs)

Objectives Esbjerg and Nordby Warship Group TenKapitän zur See and Kommodore Friedrich Ruge F.d.M. West

  • Königin Luise (F6) (patrol craft)

12. Minehunter FlotillaKorvettenkapitän Karl Marguth

  • KFK M1201, KFK M1202, KFK M1203, KFK M1204, KFK M1205, KFK M1206, KFK M1207, KFK M1208, M4, M20, M84, M102 (minesweepers)

2. Minesweeper FlotillaKorvettenkapitän Gert von Kamptz

  • R25, R26, R27, R28, R29, R30, R31, R32 (R boat minesweepers)

Objective Thyborön 'Warship Group ElevenKorvettenkapitän Walter Berger 4. Minehunter FlotillaKorvettenkapitän Walter Berger

  • M-61, M-89, M-110, M-111, M-134, M-136 (minesweepers)

3. Minesweeper FlotillaKapitänleutnant Hagen Küster

Mine Sweeper Covering Group Laying minefields to the Skagerrak to protect the German resupply route to southern Norway.

Minelaying GroupKapitän zur See Kurt Böhmer:

U-Boat Force ForceRear Admiral Karl Dönitz

U-Boat Group One Patrol area: Narvik, Harstad, Vestfjord, Vågsfjord

U-Boat Group Two Patrol area: Trondheim, Namsos, Romsdalsfjord

U-Boat Group Three Patrol area: Bergen, Ålesund, Shetland Islands

U-Boat Group Four Patrol area: Stavanger

U-Boat Group Five Patrol area: East of the Shetland Islands, Vågsfjord, Trondheim

U-Boat Group Six Patrol area: Pentland, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands

U-Boat Group Seven Never assembled

U-Boat Group Eight Patrol area: Lindesnes, Egersund

U-Boat Group Nine Patrol area: Bergen, Shetland Islands

Unassigned to a group Operating in the area of the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, and Bergen

Danish[edit]

Due to a non-aggression treaty with Germany, the army of Denmark had not been mobilized and no fortifications had been built. As a result, only a few elements of the Royal Danish Army were able to mount a brief defence.

Royal Danish Army[edit]

The Commander in chief of the Danish army was General William Wain Prior.

Royal Danish Navy[edit]

The Royal Danish Navy consisted of:

Norwegian[edit]

Due to the speed and surprise achieved by the German forces, the Norwegian military was only able to partially mobilize their military. Actual unit strengths only achieved a portion of their listed organizations. Some of the Norwegian forces were ad hoc battalions. The commander of the Norwegian Army at the time of the invasion was General Kristian Laake. He was replaced by Colonel Otto Ruge on 11 April.

Unlike the armies of most other nations, the Norwegian 'division' was more of an administrative and mobilization unit, rather than a fighting unit. The most important tactical unit of the Norwegian army was the regiment. When mobilized, each regiment was supposed to muster two battalions of infantry of the line, and one battalion of landvern.

Norwegian Army[edit]

  • The Royal Guards battalion – based in Oslo and Elverum, the only unit in Southern Norway that received proper training during the inter-war years.
  • 2nd Division – This division had its headquarters in Oslo, and was commanded by Major-General Jacob Hvinden Haug.
    • 4th Infantry Regiment (based in Trandum)
    • 5th Infantry Regiment (based in Elverum)
    • 6th Infantry Regiment (based in Hønefoss)
  • 4th Division – This division had its headquarters in Bergen, and was commanded by Major-General William Steffens.
    • 9th Infantry Regiment (based in Bergen)
    • 10th Infantry Regiment (based in Voss)
During the campaign, the 6th Division formed two light infantry brigades. The 6th Brigade was initially commanded by Colonel Kristian Løken, and from 9 May by Lieutenant Colonel Ole Berg, and the 7th Brigade, commanded by Colonel Wilhelm Faye.[2]

At the time of the German invasion, the Norwegian Army was only partially mobilized, and thus only the following land units were immediately available to the Norwegians;

  • The Oslo battalion of the Royal Guards
  • Four infantry battalions at Trandum, Madla, Gimlemoen and Ulven, as well as five additional infantry battalions in the extreme north, plus one partially mobilized infantry battalion at the outskirts of Trondheim.
  • One motorized infantry company at Gimlemoen
  • Three landvern companies at Horten, Haugesund and on various fortresses in the Oslofjord.
  • One artillery battalion at Fredrikstad, and another one in the extreme north.
  • One artillery battery at Gardermoen, and two more in the extreme north.
  • One mountain artillery battery at Evjemoen
  • One engineer company near Madla
  • Partially mobilized elements of the 3rd Dragoon Regiment at the outskirts of Trondheim

Norwegian Army Air Service[edit]

At the outbreak of the German invasion, the Norwegian Army Air Service consisted of:[4]

Of the Norwegian Army Air Service's aircraft, all were shot down, destroyed or captured by the Germans during the campaign, except two Fokker C.Vs and one Tiger Moth that were flown to Finland on 8 June 1940. The three biplanes were intended to form a Norwegian Army Air Service training unit in Finland under the command of Captain Ole Reistad, but were eventually taken over by the Finnish Air Force.[5]

Royal Norwegian Navy[edit]

The Royal Norwegian Navy during the campaign consisted of:

Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service[edit]

The Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service consisted of:[12]

Of the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service's fleet of aircraft, four Heinkel He 115s were evacuated to the United Kingdom at the end of the campaign, while one He 115 and three Marinens Flyvebaatfabrikk M.F.11s were flown to Finland and taken over by the Finnish Air Force.[13]

Allied[edit]

Mauriceforce[edit]

Commanded by Major-General Carton de Wiart V.C., this group began landing at Namsos on 14 April.

  • French 5e Demi-Brigade Chasseurs Alpins – Commanded by Général de Brigade Antoine Béthouart
    • 13ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins
    • 53ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins
    • 67ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins

Sickleforce[edit]

Commanded by Major-General Bernard Charles Tolver Paget, this force landed at Åndalsnes starting 18 April.

Rupertforce[edit]

Commanded by Major-General Pierse Joseph Mackesy, this force landed at Harstad, north of Narvik, between 15 April and 5 May.

  • French 27e Demi-Brigade de Chasseurs Alpins – Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Sèrge Valentini
    • 6ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins
    • 12ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins
    • 14ème Bataillon Chasseurs Alpins

North Western Expeditionary Force[edit]

Commanded by Lieutenant-General Claude Auchinleck, this force resulted from the reorganisation of British forces in the Narvik area on 13 May 1940.[16]

  • 24th (Guards) Brigade, acting commander, Brigadier Colin Gubbins; organisation as above. Brought back to Narvik from Bodø for evacuation on 29–31 May.[17]
  • Nos 2, 3 and 5 Independent Companies: brought back to Narvik from Bodø for evacuation on 29–31 May, Nos 1 and 4 Companies having been evacuated directly to home ports.
  • One troop 3rd Kings Hussars without tanks
  • 229 and 230 Field Companies, Royal Engineers
  • Detachment 231 Field Park Company, Royal Engineers

Royal Navy[edit]

French Navy[edit]

  • 2 cruisers – Emile Bertin and Montcalm
  • 4 auxiliary cruisers – El Djezaïr, El Mansour, El Kantara, Ville d'Oran
  • 9 destroyers – Bison (sunk 3 May), Tartu, Maillé Brézé, Chevalier Paul, Boulonnais, Milan, Épervier, Brestois, Foudroyant
  • 17 transport ships – Ville d'Alger, Djenné, Flandre, Président Doumer, Chenonceaux, Mexique, Colombie, Amiénois, Saumur, Cap Blanc, Châteu Pavie, Saint Firmin, Albert Leborgne, Paul Émile Javary, Saint Clair, Vulcain, Enseigne Maurice Préchac
  • 1 submarine – Rubis

Polish Navy in exile[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The 3rd The King's Own Hussars embarked three Light Tank Mk VIs, the only British tanks despatched to Norway, on the Polish troopship MS Chrobry; but, in while en route to Bodø in the early hours of 15 May 1940, she was attacked by German aircraft with the resulting loss of the ship and all of the equipment aboard it.[14][15]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Jürgen Rohwer (2007). "Chronik des Seekrieges 1939-1945: 1940 April". Bibliothek für Zeitgeschichte (in German). Württembergische Landesbibliothek. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Berg and Vollan 1999, pp. 138, 233
  3. ^ "Trygve Andersen: Varanger bataljons historie 1898-1995". Norsk Militært Tidsskrift. Oslo Militære Samfund. 2002. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Hafsten, Larsstuvold, Olsen and Stenersen 2005, p. 54
  5. ^ Hafsten, Larsstuvold, Olsen and Stenersen 2005, pp. 80-81
  6. ^ Abelsen 1986, pp. 12-15
  7. ^ Abelsen 1986, pp. 16-19, 26-
  8. ^ Abelsen 1986, pp. 134-149
  9. ^ Abelsen 1986, pp. 88-101
  10. ^ Abelsen 1986, pp. 47-49, 52-60
  11. ^ Abelsen 1986, pp. 152-170
  12. ^ Hafsten, Larsstuvold, Olsen and Stenersen 2005, p. 63
  13. ^ Hafsten, Larsstuvold, Olsen and Stenersen 2005, pp. 81-82
  14. ^ Derry 1952, p. 184
  15. ^ Dildy 2007, p. 80
  16. ^ Derry 1952, p. 201 and Appendix B.
  17. ^ Joslen 2003, pp. 269–7.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Abelsen, Frank (1986). Norwegian naval ships 1939–1945 (in Norwegian and English). Oslo: Sem & Stenersen AS. ISBN 82-7046-050-8. 
  • Berg, Johan Helge; Vollan, Olav (1999). Fjellkrigen 1940: Lapphaugen - Bjørnfjell (in Norwegian). Trondheim: Nord-Hålogaland regiment. ISBN 82-995412-0-4. 
  • Derry, T.K. (1952). Butler, J.R.M, ed. The campaign in Norway. History of the Second World War: Campaigns Series (1st ed.). London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 
  • Dildy, Doug (2007). Denmark and Norway 1940: Hitler's Boldest Operation. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-117-5. 
  • Hafsten, Bjørn; Ulf Larsstuvold; Bjørn Olsen; Sten Stenersen (2005). Flyalarm – luftkrigen over Norge 1939–1945 (in Norwegian) (2nd, revised ed.). Oslo: Sem og Stenersen AS. ISBN 82-7046-074-5. 
  • Lt-Col H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2003, ISBN 1843424746

External links[edit]