Talk:Denmark in World War II/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Slesvig vs. Schleswig

I see that Slesvig is used in the article instead of Schleswig, as the province is known in German, and for the most part in other languages as well. Schleswig would be an inappropriate spelling were it only the German spelling, however as far as I know it is also the international (English) spelling (see Second War of Schleswig, among others). Any thoughts?

Current English usage is to use the German spelling, although I find it funny that the international commission in 1920 used a French name: "Commission Internationale Slesvig" which is based on the Danish name. I must admit that I don't mind seeing the other spelling used once in a while since the German spelling probably gives some people the impression that this region was always German, but such a picture is by no means true. Secondly, this region's first name was Sønderjylland (South Jutland) in contrast to Nørrejylland (North Jutland, i.e. Jutland north of the Kongeå River.) Although the name Nørrejylland has disappeared from active use and the word Sønderjylland for several centuries suffered the same fate, Sønderjylland is the name currently used in Denmark. In order to avoid both "(North)Schleswig" and "(Nord)slesvig", I normally use "South Jutland" when referring to a modern Danish context. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 22:35, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Failed GA nomination

I've failed this nomination due to its lack of line references. Please renominate once the article has these citations. Durova 16:07, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

According to the GA criterias:
  • 2 (b) the citation of its sources is essential, and the use of inline citations is desirable, although not mandatory
How does that compare to inline citations *appearently* being the only objection against this article becoming a GA? Poulsen 16:28, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't. It just seems that in order for the GA people to have something to complain about they always ask for more inline citations, until citations references take up at least 50% of the page height. Just look at passed GA articles. Carewolf 12:03, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Declaration of war against Germany?

I noticed a post on Talk:Allies of World War II. Since my reply became pretty long, I have moved the thread here, where I think it makes more sense. Btw, if I mess up a few details, this is all written from memory, except that I read Colonel Lunding's memoirs a few days ago. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 13:33, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

As I know, Greenland participated in WWII on Allies side with airdromes and some patrol forces even when Denmark capitulated.--Nixer 08:59, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

It seems Greenland was occupied by the US on April 9, 1941.[1] (I also found this interesting article "Arctic Combat: The Capture of the German Naval Auxiliary Externsteine by the Coast Guard Icebreakers Eastwind & Southwind in Greenland, 1944".[2] It seems the Kriegsmarine still managed to have covert weather stations on Greenland between 1942 and 1944.) Grant65 (Talk) 10:28, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Greenland was technically speaking a group of Danish colonies at the time. On 9 April 1940, Germany occupied Denmark and shortly after, the British occupied the Faroe Islands and Iceland and the Americans Greenland. The British later transferred control of Iceland to the Americans, at a time when the U.S. had still not joined the war. Denmark never had time to declare war on Germany on 9 April due to the rapid occupation of the poorly-armed country and officially both the Germans and Danish talked of a so-called "Peace occupation" (Danish: fredsbesættelse). It was a concept pretty much developed in the Danish foreign office in the late 1930s. Regarding Greenland, the Danish envoy (ambassador) to the United States, Henrik Kauffmann signed a treaty with the U.S. authorising the U.S. to defend Greenland and construct military stations there. In fact minor clashes took place in East Greenland late in the war (1944 I believe). Kauffmann was supported in this decision by the Danish diplomats in the United States and the local authorities in Greenland. Signing this treaty "in the name of the King" was a clear violation of his diplomatic powers but Kauffmann argued that he would not receive orders from an occupied Copenhagen. In Denmark, he was tried with high treason in absentia and dismissed, a verdict he ignored. The Danish cabinet remained in office until 29 August 1943 when it officially handed its letter of resignation to King Christian X. Since he never officially accepted it, the government remained functioning de jure until the end of the war, but this is a technicality. In reality all day-to-day business had been handed over to the Permanent Secretaries, each effectively running his own ministry. The Germans ran the rest of the country. Following the Liberation of Denmark on 4-5 May 1945, the reconvened Parliament ratified the treaty signed by Kauffmann and annulled the sentence against him. He joined the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio a few days later. I am afraid this story *is* pretty longhaired. Even as a Dane, I wouldn't know where to properly position Denmark in this table, so perhaps it is better to leave it all out? Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 14:10, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
As I read from a Niels Bohr's biography, there was in fact declaration of war between Denmark and Germany and even some shooting (but much after the occupation itself).--Nixer 11:32, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
That is not entirely accurate. There was shooting on the morning of 9 April 1940. On 4:15 AM German forces crossed the border, and a Danish soldier already on the phone with the Army Intelligence effectively sounded the alarm by shouting "they are here" or something similar. Colonel Lunding later confirmed that the Intelligence knew the attack would be coming on either 8 or 9 April and had warned the Cabinet accordingly. Ambassador Zahle in Berlin issued a similar warning which was also ignored. Around 4:20 German troops were disembarked from ships in the heart of Copenhagen. This led to shooting near the Royal Palace Amalienborg where the Royal Guards took up the fight. Fighting also took place in Southern Jutland, especially near Haderslev. At the same time, German planes dropped the notorious Oprop leaflets over Copenhagen calling for Danes to accept the German occupation peacefully claiming that Germany had only occupied Denmark in order to protect it against England and France. Key members of the Cabinet quickly assembled and drove to the Palace. In the following meeting, all assembled decided that it would be pointless to attempt a fight Denmark was bound to lose. Even the very patriotic King Christian X agreed. Consequently, no declaration of war was ever issued and the General Staff issued an order to lay down all arms. A Danish intelligence officer, Colonel Lunding - who had been on the phone with the soldier sounding the first alarm - later reported that morale had been very good among the Danish troops he had seen and that some of them had destroyed their rifles in anger when they received the order to surrender. In at least two towns, the Army created secret weapons caches on 10 April. (Lunding's memoirs). The "peaceful occupation" lasted until 29 August 1943 when relations collapsed between the Danish and German governments. Lunding had met Hans Hedtoft (who would one day become Prime Minister) on 28 August. Hedtoft informed Lunding that the cabinet had decided that enough was enough and the cabinet would be stepping down. This breakdown in relations had followed a series of strikes and sabotage actions. In Danish these strikes are known as Folkestrejken (the People's Strike, "strike" in the meaning a labour movement would use the term.) No declaration of war was issued here either. On 29 August 1943, the Germans began arresting the Police and Army personnel, and Wehrmacht began rounding up the remaining Danish Jews (more than 90% had already gone underground). Hans Hedtoft played a role in this story as well. At the same time, the Danish Navy managed to sink most of the Danish fleet in Copenhagen Harbour. In 1943/44 the activities of the Danish Resistence increased but actual fighting was generally avoided. Instead it focussed on intelligence gathering and sabotage actions. E.g. blowing up trains or ships in drydock. This included (although rarely) the killing of German soldiers or Danes who were known to have placed fellow Danes in harm's way. The German response was a series of clearing murders (to even the score) and the destruction of a number of popular buildings, e.g. Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, and the Odin Tower in Odense. Such actions were often carried out by the notorious Schalburg Corps, which is why Danes refer to such actions as Schalburgtage. Perhaps the event that caused the most anger was at least one case where German forces raided a hospital (in Odense, I believe) and began killing the doctors. This was clearly the event which had shocked my grandparents the most.
Key disputes that led to the collapse of the "policy of collaboration" (Samarbejdspolitikken) was German demands to place key Danish industries under German military control, the introduction of the Yellow Star in Denmark, and sentencing Danish citizens accused of sabotage by German judges. Moving Danish prisoners from Danish camps to German camps was also an important matter of dispute. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 13:33, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
And what were the relations between Danish authorities and Germany after the collapse? Did they went underground or something?--Nixer 15:40, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
The government and parliament? The politicians simply said that the government had resigned, and were left unharmed by the Germans. AFAIK Parliament didn't convene between 29 August 1943 and 5 May 1945, but members didn't go underground. They were no threat to the Germans since they'd given up their powers. One of the Conservative leaders, John Christmas Møller had fled to England early in the war, but he was the exception. Some of the politicians had connections to the Resistance / the Danish Freedom Council (e.g. Hans Hedtoft) and they held that pretty secret - although the Germans no doubt knew in some cases. Remember, the tip that saved the Danish Jews from destruction came from a German diplomat. The Gestapo was purely Nazi but many members of Wehrmacht in Denmark were not necessarily Nazis. A first guide for the Resistance was to check if an German referred to Hitler by his name or as "Der Führer". If he called him "Führer", the man was a Nazi. Another clue was Germans refusing to use the Hitler salute. Most importantly was that Dr. Werner Best, the German commander in Denmark, wanted to run things as smoothly as possible. He was a Nazi but he long tried to avoid confrontations that would make the Danish people rise up against the Germans. The occupation of Denmark was supposed to show the world a "friendly" face of Nazism: in short: "if the rest of Europe accepts German occupation, the conditions don't have to be so hard." That was the illusion anyway. This still didn't make Danes like Germany - most hated them - but it kept the situation pretty quiet. As long as the German Foreign Ministry held any influence that was also a help since many old German diplomats were not Nazis. The same with some German naval officers loyal to Admiral Canaris. When the policy of collaboration collapsed, the Nazis did, however, carry out their own policies: hunting down Danish Jews e.g. The Communist members of Parliament had been kicked out of that body already back in 1941 after pressure from Germany, but the Danish government managed to keep most of them simply locked up in Danish prisons to avoid shipping them to Germany where potential death waited. If you haven't guessed already: the main motivation of the Danish cabinet was to avoid loss of Danish lives, pretty much nomatter the cost and to avoid the Germans having full power in Denmark. In this respect they were successful: 4 million Danes survived the war, around 6-8,000 died.
When the war ended, Parliament reconvened, the King officially accepted the resignation of the old cabinet and a new was formed that included members of the Resistance, but many members of the Resistance were deeply offended at sharing power with the old politicians. A main reason this construction worked was that the old parties wanted to avoid calling an election. Denmark had been allowed to conduct an almost free election in 1943, which had an incredibly high voter turnout - the Communists were naturally underground and prevented from running - and in this election Danes had voted for the old democratic parties. In 1945, the Communist Party became incredibly popular since it was "untainted" by the war and the old politicians and the Social Democratic / Conservative / Liberal parts of the Resistance wanted to avoid calling an election which might bring the Communists to power, so they tried to stall things until people had calmed down again. The tactic worked: the Communist Party didn't get the landslide result it had expected when the election was finally called months later.
Regarding the police, navy and army personel. These people were indeed rounded up and sent to camp in Germany, where most survived the war. A large number of them managed to go underground and escape to neutral Sweden like the Jews, but e.g. Colonel Lunding was sent to Flossenbürg concentration camp which he barely survived. Political prisoners were also shipped to KZ in Germany in 1943 when the Germans arrested the Danish police and took over control of the prisons. For the rest of the war, the state "apparatus" was run by the administrators who were basically left in place, provided that they followed German orders (most importantly: provided Germany with the food shipments it asked for). After the war it became known that several of these officials had continued to consult their former ministers and asked for guidelines during the last part of the war. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 18:51, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
So the police, army and navy were rounded up. What the cause was to round them up? Did it happen peacefully or with some shooting? Were they considered POWs in Germany?--Nixer 19:03, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
The cause was that the Germans wanted to avoid an uprising from the Army / police after the Cabinet had stepped down. AFAIK the disarming happend mostly peacefully, but I haven't looked into this matter specifically. In Germany, these people were put in KZ and treated like other inmates but most avoided the worst camps and they were not treated as badly as Russians, Poles or Jews. They were not considered to be POWs AFAIK. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 19:13, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I have read that the small Danish harrisons were "smashed up" by German forces. It does not imply a peaceful process.--Nixer 19:24, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I've investigated the matter further. There was indeed fighting om 29 August 1943, but the number of troops involved was low, since the Germans had ordered most of the army disbanded back in 1940 where they had only allowed the army to keep 2,200 men + 1,100 auxilliary troops [3]. On 29 October, 18 November and 4 December 1942 the army was even forced to surrender major parts of its stored equipment and weapons to the Germans including at least half of its rifles.
On 29 August 1943, a large number of officers tried to go underground, the same with many policemen. Many had made early preparations before August '43 and kept false identification and money hidden, and a very large number managed to escape to Sweden where they established a Danish military unit which was supposed to take part in an Allied invasion of Denmark. This was established on neutral Swedish soil with tacit Swedish accept! Some soldiers might have surrendered because they presumed that the Germans would treat them as POWs. To answer your question: on 29 August 1943, the army fought back primarily in Copenhagen, Odense, and Næstved, in a total of at least 17 different locations. Despite an direct instruction from the Minister of Defence to avoid fighting (28 August). [4]
I know more about the status of the Fleet; the government had instructed on 28 August '43 that force should be avoided if the Germans tried to occupy ships and naval installations. However, the Naval Command added a line to this order saying that it would be acceptable to destroy the ships. The Chief of the Coastal Fleet, Commander Poul Ibsen read this order somewhat alternative and issued a top-secret "captain's eyes only" order to the commanders of all ships that specifically named ships - on a signal from Copenhagen - should be sunk immediately. Other ships (also named) should be ready to sail with 15 minutes notice and be ready to attempt to reach Swedish waters. All shoreleave was cancelled, arms should be worn but not used unless fired upon and life-saving equipment should be worn at all times. The planning of this action had begun already in 1941 after the Germans had forced Denmark to hand over 6 torpedo boats to the German Navy. In 1942 / 43 both Army and Navy drew up plans to secretly mobilise the army in case of either a German collapse or an Allied invasion. Back to '43: The ships ordered to attempt escape were 2 minelayers (a third if possible), 4 submarines, 2 torpedo boats and 4 minesweepers. The instruction also specified in what order the ships should sail out of Copenhagen Harbour (possibly to avoid confusion at the mouth of the harbour.) Most importantly Ibsen ordered that: "No ship must be surrendered to German forces unless all attempts to sink it have been completed."[5]. As instructed, the crews worked all night between 28 and 29 August on making preparations. Shortly after 04:00 AM the CO sent out three signals: I) Sink all [predesignated?] ships at the Copenhagen Navy docks. II) All other ships go to Alert. III) A few minutes later the last group received an order to head for Swedish waters. The fleet managed to sink 29 ships while others escaped to Sweden. In some cases, this led to combat with the Germans, e.g. in Korsør (8 Danish ships) and Nyborg (6 Danish ships). The total number of Danish dead on 29 August was 24 killed and 50 wounded. The Germans had 4 casualties and 59 wounded. [6]
Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 21:03, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Probably there was also a formal declaration of war, at least from the German side.--Nixer 06:15, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

(resetting indent). Such an order could only have come from Dr. Werner Best but it would be contrary to his overall goal of keeping Danes quiet and getting the supplies Germany wanted, while occupying Denmark with as few troops as possible. Had he issued a declaration of war, he would have had no choice but to arrest the leading politicians and the royal family and both acts would almost with complete certainty have started a Danish uprising, something he tried to avoid. It was simply easier for him to forget about formalities and try to keep up the illusion that the government had peacefully transferred all power to him. It was an illusion, sure, but the media were censored. A further indicator is that Denmark never signed a peace treaty with Germany following World War II. I think the most likely conclusion is that both the Danish cabinet and Dr. Best played a double game. Interestingly, Dr. Best was arrested by the Allies following the war. He was sentenced to death by a Danish court in 1948, but he was not executed and the sentence was converted to 12 years imprisonment. He was pardoned in 1951 and died in 1989. Many Danes have speculated that he might also have shown some form of restraint in '43 (compared to the Gestapo e.g.) in order to increase his own chances of survival in case Germany were to lose the war, but this is speculation. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 08:46, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

In fact a peace treaty is not necessary to end a war. A war can be ended with capitulation instead of peace treaty. For example Russia still did not sign a peace treaty with Japan. What was the official reason for the German actions in August 1943 then? Restoration of order? Police action? Something else?--Nixer 10:08, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
You have a point about the Russian example. As far as I know, the Germans simply claimed that they were trying to restore public order. Essentially, a response to the (outgoing) cabinet's decision to refuse to introduce the death penalty / declaring a state of emergency / similar measures. This German demand was a response to a series of strikes that had gripped several towns due to the Germans imposing curfews and/or posting soldiers on key industries to avoid further acts of sabotage. These strikes also resulted in riots in the street. The Germans demanded that the Danish government should accept the use of tougher measures against this threat. The government refused - most importantly because the Germans demanded that the accused should be tried by German courts instead of Danish courts and that the death penalty should be introduced in Denmark. The Danish government refused both demands. I have never seen much in Danish books about the German "excuses" for 29 August but I believe "restoring public order" is correct. It would make sense from a German perspective. The Germans naturally wanted to keep the exports to Germany running and to keep the shipyards operational so they could repair German ships. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 11:18, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I read it was a German ultimatum to introduce the death penalty for sabotage. Danish government refused, which led the Germans attacked Danish military. It seems that there was a war declaration preceeded by the ultimatum.--Nixer 11:42, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
There was a German ultimatum, and the initiative seems to have come from Berlin [7]. I can't find a copy of the actual text but only descriptions of it. According to one description it demanded the following concessions (losely translated): ... a ban on people assembling in public, strikes were to be outlawed, the introduction of a curfew, censorship should be conducted with German assistance. Special [= German military] courts should be introduced and the death penalty should be introduced in case of sabotage. The city of Odense should pay 1 million crowns as a fine [for the death of a German soldier killed in that city] and hostages should be held as security. [8] The ultimatum was issued on 28 August 9 AM with a deadline of 4 PM. The cabinet filed its rejection at 4 PM and at the same time issued orders to the Army and Navy not to apply force should the Germans attack them. I can find no description of what the Germans threatened to do if their demands were not met (which they expected would be the case). Btw, if any Danes are interested, I found an audio recording of the radio news of 29 August '43 with a proclamation from the German army about the introduction of military law.[9] and an official webpage (English) with more information about the occupation [10] Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 14:54, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Btw, I also found a recording of the BBC's Danish programme announcing the German surrender on 4 May 1945 [11] The narrator begins the broadcast speaking about an imminent German collapse, denounces rumours about Soviet landings in Denmark and informs that information is sketchy but that British troops are located less than 50 kilometres south of the Danish border. The announcement of surrender arrived around 3½ minutes into the broadcast which is why there is more than 20 seconds of silence. The announcement was made once followed by a long pause (probably because somebody suddenly realised that the recording of the national anthem was not ready yet). The broadcast continues with a short announcement by the Danish Freedom Council, and the announcement of the German capitulation is repeated for a second time, this time followed by Denmark's royal and national anthems. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 08:55, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
This is all very interesting, so could I suggest that some of it be incorporated into the actual article? It would certainly improve it. Thanks Peregrine981 15:09, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
To be frank, I'm afraid I will not have the time to do a proper job myself. I am currently writing my thesis on a completely different subject and I'm about to cut my wiki-time pretty much down for a while. Unfortunately, I'm afraid it would take me a lot of time to find references for all the details since World War II is not a topic I normally work on :) But I would certainly love to see this artilce in better shape. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 16:06, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Despite of my comment above (which is still true) I fell into the trap again today. A post on Talk:Axis Powers asked five questions about the status of Denmark during the war. I have tried my best to answer them there. The post might contain material relevant for this article. There is also a little more material on Talk:Allies of World War II. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 19:45, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll see what I can do. Peregrine981 16:59, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Second GA review

I have taken on Occupation of Denmark for its second review under the Good Article criteria, as nominated on the Good article candidates page by User:Lilac Soul. You'll be pleased to hear that the article meets none of the quick-fail criteria, so I will shortly be conducting an in-depth review and will post the results below.

Where an article is not an outright pass, but requires relatively minor additional work to be brought up to GA standard, I will normally place it on hold - meaning that editors have around a week to address any issues raised. As a precaution to prevent failure by default should this occur, if editors are likely to be unavailable over the next ten days or so, feel free to leave a message on my talk page so we can arrange a more convenient time for review. Regards, EyeSereneTALK 11:22, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

GA on hold

I have now reviewed this article under the six Good article criteria, and have commented in detail on each criterion below:

1 Well written FAIL

1.1 Prose

There were a few issues here (mainly with the Invasion section) but I have tried to copyedit these out as I have gone along. Please feel free to correct any mistakes I have made ;) Otherwise I think the prose is good and the article is well-constructed and pleasant to read.

1.2 Manual of Style

The article is generally well-constructed, well wikilinked and complies with layout guidance. There are some small points though:

  • The lead needs expanding to cover the entire article. Per WP:LEAD, it should be capable of standing as a mini-article in its own right and should at least mention every major section of the article. Perhaps a sentence or two on the post 1943 protectorate administration, Danish resistance and collaboration, and the economy and post-war hardship?
  • Change Anti-Comintern Pact to Anti-Comintern pact per WP:HEAD Done
  • Ditto for Telegram Crisis and Increasing Hostility (although I wonder if "Resistance" might be a better heading for the last one?) Done
  • Maybe also change Danish 'Protectorate' Government 1940-43 to Protectorate Government 1940-43 (don't need to specify it's Danish, this is the article subject). Done
  • Finally, it is recommended to use the citation templates at WP:CITET for citing books, web sites etc because they not only help promote comsistency, but allow bots to run automated tasks (like updating ISBNs or finding archived web pages). Note that this is a preference though, not a GA pass criteria ;)

2 Factual accuracy FAIL

I hate to confirm the opinions at the top of this page, but the generally accepted rule of thumb for GAs is to have a minimum of one cite per paragraph (preferably at the end), and additional citations for sentences that need them. I have listed these sentences below (most are from the Invasion section, which seems to be the article's weak point):

  • "The occupation of Denmark was never an important objective for the German government."
  • "The issue was finally settled when Hitler personally crossed out the words die Nordspitze Jütlands (the Northern tip of Jutland) and replaced them with , a German abbreviation for Denmark."
  • "Colonel Lunding from the Danish army's intelligence office later confirmed that Danish intelligence knew the attack would be coming on either April 8th or 9th and had warned the government accordingly. The Danish ambassador to Germany, Herluf Zahle, issued a similar warning which was also ignored."
  • "Even stiff resistance from the Danes would not have lasted long." This sentence should probably be removed; whilst it is undoubtedly true it comes across as opinion.
  • The last paragraph of Invasion needs citing.
  • Additionally, there are quite a few paragraphs with no sources at all - these should ideally be added, but I'll not be too strict here as I think on the whole the article is reasonably sourced.

3 Coverage PASS

The subject is covered in appropriate depth, and coverage mostly remains focused. I'm not including this as a GA fail criteria (although others might!), but the section on post-war currency reform might be better in an article of its own, as it doesn't relate directly to the German occupation.

4 Neutrality PASS

The article is neutral in its tone; there is no evidence of POV.

5 Stability PASS

There is no evidence of recent instability or edit warring.

6 Images PASS, but see comments

The images used have suitable licenses and are appropriately captioned. Only one concern which I've included here although it relates more to criterion 2 (Factual accuracy):

  • Caption for Danish soldiers on 9 April 1940.jpg: "Two of these men were killed later that day" needs either removal or a citation. Done

As a result of the above concerns I have placed the article on hold. This gives editors up to a week to address the issues raised (although in some circumstances the hold period can be briefly extended). To help with tracking, editors may like to strike through each comment as it is dealt with, or use the template {{done}} after each comment.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or are ready for a re-review. In any case I'll check back here in seven days (Thurs 16th Aug). All the best, EyeSereneTALK 13:48, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I've edited much of this article, but I won't get the time to fix it before this deadline. I have to prioritise work IRL. Valentinian T / C 20:57, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Revert of template delete

The "Scandinavia in World War II" template was removed with the following comment: "Removing template. All links but one refer to Norway, so it is not relevant here." Not so. There is already a template that deals with WWII articles specific to Norway, so another that draws together all Scandinavia has been added (and welcomed). Four - not one - of the links refer to articles that deal with aspects concerning Denmark, Sweden and Finland so the justification is also faulty. Using the Milhist Nordic task force scope, one could also add Iceland. I've reverted the deletion. Folks at 137 20:33, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I still don't see the relevance. The only thing that connects the occupations of Denmark and Norway is that they started on the same day and that Denmark was attacked to provide the Germans with a stepping stone to Norway. I don't see any reason for this article to include links to events in Lofoten, the Altmark Incident, Tirpitz, "Silver Fox", Sweden's iron ore exports, or concentration camps in Norway. Likewise, if somebody one day writes an article about the Gestapo's assassinations of Danish doctors in Odense in 1944, how can links to such an article be relevant to an article about Swedish ore exports? The paths of Norway and Denmark split on 9 April 1940, as the Norwegian cabinet and King escaped from Oslo and took up arms against the Germans, while Denmark collapsed on the same day. And Sweden's path through the war doesn't show any resemblance to the experiences of either Denmark or Norway. A link to Operation Weserübung is relevant to include, and Norwegian campaign might be relevant, but both articles contain next to no material concerning Denmark. But I don't see the relevance for including the other articles. When the material shows more growth, a box concerning Danish affairs might be relevant, but this material is not yet there. Valentinian T / C 18:48, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
For comparision, I consider the first two templates on Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany more relevant, but the similar material for Denmark is still very underdeveloped. I'd much prefer to one day see a template created with links to articles about Christian X of Denmark, Thorvald Stauning, Erik Scavenius, Frits Clausen, the Danish resistance movement, "Holger Danske", Information, Frit Danmark, Danmarks Frihedsråd, Schalburgtage, Kaj Munk, editor Clemmensen, Søren Kam, the bombing of Shellhuset, the scuttling of the Danish fleet, the post-war process against collaborators, the post-war currency reform etc. Unfortunately, most of the relevant material isn't yet covered in articles - neither on this wiki or the Danish one - and this material grows very slowly. Valentinian T / C 19:03, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
As an outsider, geographically, I see Scandinavia as a geographic unit. Indeed, there's a Nordic task force that reflects this, so it's not just me. As a region, events in one Nordic country did affect its neighbours - the Germans weren't fussy about boundaries, nor were the Soviets or British. Swedish iron ore kept Germany in the war and influenced British and German planning for Weserubung and that, in turn, also cost Denmark its neutrality. Finland was used by the Soviets and Germany as a route for invasions and influenced German views of Soviet capability. The invasion of Denmark left Iceland in a void which the British reacted to. In short, the only distinction in the belligerents' eyes was Swedish neutrality and that wore thin at times, so, separation is illusory, IMO. Folks at 137 06:03, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
To put in my opinion, I totally agree that Denmark's wartime experience was unique and different from those of the other Scandinavian/Nordic countries, but that goes for all the Nordic nations. Only certain issues, like the fact that the Germans used Denmark as a springboard against Norway in 1940, bind the countries' experiences together. Still, we are one region and is there something wrong with having this template here? I mean, there are things tying the different countries together and many Wikipedians might like to have links to the other countries included via such a template as this. Manxruler 20:31, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Denmark never an important objective for Germany ?

Instead of trying to determine why this whole article gives me an uneasy feeling, I will simply point to the first statement that appears to be grossly misleading: The occupation of Denmark was never an important objective for the German government. Let us assume for a moment that Denmark was in fact deemed an unimportant objective by the Germans and that consequently Denmark had never been invaded by Nazi-Germany. Although it is difficult to state with any certainty what this would have meant, the following appears likely:

  • No stepping stone for the German invasion of Norway.
  • No easy subsequent troop transport to/from Norway (via Sweden).
  • No easy transport of iron ore from Sweden to Germany.
  • Starting in 1944 the Americans would have the option to ferry their lend-lease supplies through Danish waters to the Soviet held Baltic coast, close to the front.
  • The Atlantic wall would have a major gap close to Hamburg.
  • Much less if any of the agricultural supplies from Denmark to Germany (of which Denmark, with its small size did supply in relatively large quantities, with a payment only in worthless IOUs).
  • A whole different Danish-German relationship than that which lead to the formation of the relatively strong Frikorps Danmark.

Please note that I am not supplying any sources for the above, because the burden of proof lies on the author who states that The occupation of Denmark was never an important objective for the German government. Lklundin 22:04, 11 September 2007 (UTC).

I think it depends how one reads the statement. I think it means that Denmark, in itself was unimportant. It's importance arose, as I understand it, from the need to protect communications to Norway, which was the important objective for its iron ore transit route from Sweden. The lend lease was probably not a factor, since lend lease to the UK hadn't occurred and the Soviet Union was still a non-belligerent; in any case, transit of war materiel would have had to pass through neutral waters and the Germans would hardly have sat back. Was the Atlantic Wall a factor at all around Hamburg? How important were the Danish foodstuffs and would Danish neutrality have ceased their supply (Ireland continued to supply the UK)? To reiterate, Denmark's importance lay in its location alone: I doubt it was a primary objective. Folks at 137 17:16, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
OK, it depends how one reads the statement is an admission that it is in the least open to interpretation, which is in itself a problem. Whether an objective that was invaded was an important objective in itself, or whether it was simply an objective important enough warrant invasion seems a largely irrelevant distinction. But if this distinction is deemed relevant, it must be clearly made in the article. An additional problem with the sentence is the word never. This word means at no point in time with very little room for interpretation. Starting from 1944 the Danish waters would have significance for the lend-lease supplies for the USSR as stated above. As also stated above, without a German invasion, the Atlantic wall would not have been constructed on the west coast of Jutland, thus leaving an unfortified and undefended piece of Atlantic coast about 250 km from Hamburg (and about three times as far from England as Normandy). As such the strategic importance of controlling Jutland and the internal Danish waters cannot be neglected. The above comment also assumes that Denmark would have remained neutral in absence of a German invasion. In order to use this in defence of the contested sentence, the author must convince the reader that France and Britain would not have carried out their stated intention of invading Denmark. As for the Danish food-production (and any other resources that Germany exacted from Denmark) it is again up to the author to convince the reader that this benefit did not play a role in making the Germans decide to invade all of Denmark. To reiterate: Without significant clarification (that would likely cause a reformulation), the contested sentence is confusing to the reader. Lklundin 16:56, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I think the deconstruction of the sentence is picky. In English, it's clear: as a native English speaker I would, without a second thought, take it to mean that Denmark was a means to an objective, not the objective itself - but I would support a clarification, if it helps. The remainder of the last response is, IMO, also v debatable. Folks at 137 17:25, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand, I think that a Top-importance rating calls for pickiness. I would be nice to hear an opinion from other readers. The comments so far prompts me to suggest either: strike the sentence, or replace never with not in itself. (I notice that the exact same change would be called for in the Danish edition). Lklundin 18:32, 13 September 2007 (UTC).
The occupation in itself was not important. The Germans initially only planned to invade Jutland. The invasion on the other hand was important as it provided the Luftwaffe with easier access to Norway, among other strategic advantages. The Germans themselves at least initially didn't consider the occupation of Denmark as a primary goal. At the time of the invasion there was some concern over British plans to preemptively occupy Denmark which may have led the Germans to believe that a full occupation was the better option. However, this is pure speculation on my part (at least until a source is found). EconomicsGuy 12:47, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
The Atlantic wall with its concrete bunkers and mine fields along the west coast of Jutland provides tangible proof that Hitler considered the continued occupation of Jutland important. Hitler ordered the construction of the atlantic wall late in 1941, so I think it is reasonable to say that at least from that time on the occupation of Denmark was important to Germany. Lklundin (talk) 07:50, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
From that point on yes. Initially, however, the occupation was mostly a strategic move. The primary objective was the occupation of Norway. This is an important point. Whatever real advantages the Germans gained from occupying Denmark were not part of the initial reason for the invasion. During the course of the war as the Germans lost more territory and met fiercer resistance elsewhere the occupation became more important as Denmark was pretty much the only country where the Germans did not at one point or the other face any large scale attacks from the Allies (disregarding the arial bombings which weren't even close to forcing the Germans to leave Denmark). You do however have a valid point about the fortifications along the Western coast of Jutland. As it turned out those fortifications served little more purpose than keeping the British from too easily liberating Denmark (something they weren't planning to do as an independent operation anyway as their efforts were concentrated on strengthening the Danish resistance through the use of SOE agents and supply of weapons by air combined with the occasional arial bombings). But the fortifications certainly were a sign that the Germans had real concerns about this. EconomicsGuy (talk) 02:18, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so following an agreement that at least the 'never' is misleading I propose to bring this discussion to a conclusion by letting 'The occupation of Denmark was initially not an important objective for the German government' replace 'The occupation of Denmark was never an important objective for the German government'. Lklundin (talk) 11:15, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
That we can fully agree on. Full support for that change. EconomicsGuy (talk) 12:09, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Two questions:

a) The currency reform (which was a pretty well-executed idea, I have to say):

This law allowed any Dane to exchange a total of 100 kroner to new notes, no questions asked. An amount up to 500 kroner would be exchanged...

It might be worth providing some context there - 100kr was how much? An exact conversion is fairly meaningless and wouldn't help, but are we talking a week's wages, a month's wages...?

b) The forces-in-exile. What was the legal status of these, and did they actually engage in any combat, or just wait for the end of the occupation so they could return and help establish order? Shimgray | talk | 16:18, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Answer to b) - the forces in exile didn't really have a legal status as such, and ere never engaged in any combat. There were sometime during 1943 plans to use them in case of an allied landing in Jutland, but this never happened. So they simply returned at the end of the war and helped to maintain order. Some units could have been involved in some of the fightings May 5th. but this is purely speculation on my part. Dylansmrjones (talk) 12:15, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

South Jutland/North Schleswig

Why didn't Hitler annex the territory, even in 1943? (talk) 17:52, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Possibly by 1943 the prospects of the vast territories to gain from the conquest of the Soviet Union would make these areas look unimportant at the time. Also 1943 did not create a complete break by the Danish government with Nazi Germany (even though they presented it as such after the war), so Hitler still had something to gain by not severing the link completely with the Danish politicians and thus officially making Denmark an enemy. --Saddhiyama (talk) 20:21, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Who and what was this minister?

This article says:

The permanent secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs Nils Svenningsen in January 1944 suggested establishment of a Danish camp in order to avoid deportations to Germany.

This appears to say a Danish government official did something in 1944. But the article earlier says that the Danish government had been disolved during the previous year. Can someone resolve the apparent contradiction? Michael Hardy (talk) 03:45, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

The ministers stepped down in 1943, leaving the permanent secretaries in charge of their ministries. The ministries remained functional without ministers. There is a short paragraph about this two paragraphs up from the one you quoted but maybe further clarification would be good? (talk) 08:33, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Thank you.

That additional clarification couldn't hurt. Michael Hardy (talk) 04:06, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Anti-Comintern pact

"Anti-Comintern pact

On 20 November 1941, 5 months after the invasion of the USSR, the Danish government received a German "invitation" to join the Anti-Comintern pact. Finland accepted reluctantly on 25 November and stated that it presumed that Denmark would also attend the ceremony (effectively conditioning its own attendance)."

I think it is way out of the context of Denmark's occupation to compare Finland's and Denmark's relation to the USSR regarding the signing of the Anti-Comintern pact in November of 1941 - why?

1. Finland had already had an "independent war" (no German involvement) with the USSR in 1939-1940 - also known as the Winter War

2. Finland was again at war with the USSR from June 1941 forward - at this point (full scale war) signing the Anti-Comintern pact makes no practical difference in comparison to a country that is trying to stay "out of conflict" or "neutral".

The problem with the above quoted sentence is that it tends go give the impression that Finland was occupied by Germany and therefore forced to sign the treaty or wishing not to sign as in a way of trying to stay out of conflict with the USSR. In my understanding the situation was quite the contrary and by no means comparable to Denmark. It is possible that Finland might have been reluctant to sign the treaty because it was not in the interest of the country to give the impression that they were at war against the Allies with Germany when the country was trying to recover what they lost in the previous war. Anyway i believe that adding Finland to the equation is out of context.

- just my five cents —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, August 30, 2007 (UTC)

"Erik Scavenius was Prime Minister for most of the war as head of a coalition cabinet."

Well, no. He was PM from November 1942 to August 1943, when the government was dissolved. --Palnatoke 06:56, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

This article contains some glaringly inconsistent representations which may need to be rewritten. For example, the business about Denmarks legitimate government joining the Anti-Comintern Pact needs to be taken out of the Post Occupation section and placed into a (==Wartime==) section. Thank you. Nobs 15:57, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Why? Denmark did join the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1941. --Palnatoke 19:20, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Why is in the section of Contents Occupation_of_Denmark#Post-Occupation_Government when it should be in a section about "Wartime" actions of the legitimate government. Nobs 21:26, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
It was named "post occupation" in terms or the occupation day, not the whole occupation. However, it is a confusing title and I renamed it "Danish government 1940-43." Peregrine981 02:55, May 22, 2005 (UTC)


This is a great article, but would a better title not be Denmark in World War II? It certainly goes well beyond the scope of just talking about the occupation! ---Brigade Piron (talk) 08:52, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

It's an interesting question. However, I'm inclined to leave the title as is. The Occupation of Denmark more or less encompasses the Danish experience of WWII, other than the invasion itself, which is covered in its own article Operation Weserubung. Most other countries in a similar situation have a stand-alone "occupation of" article, see: Category:German_military_occupations. However, there are indeed some countries, Belgium, Netherlands for example, which are covered with a much broader article title. All in all, I don't see that the scope of this article goes that much beyond the occupation itself, and with the redirect in place, see no compelling need to move it. Open to argument though. Peregrine981 (talk) 10:03, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
I can certainly see your point here, but it does seem that the article as it is goes significantly beyond just the occupation. All it would need now is mention of the (admittedly small) "Free Danish" forces and it would be complete. Alternatively, a cut-and-past could be made for the details relevant to the occupation to a different article? -Brigade Piron (talk) 17:06, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, I don't think it's excessively important overall. However, on review it seems that the vast bulk of countries that were occupied during WWII, have an article in the format of "Occupation of X (during World War II)" (parentheses where necessary). Certainly in the case of Denmark, the occupation is the overwhelmingly important fact of the war experience, and I think it is appropriate to use this title, with some adjacent info that isn't strictly part of the occupation (like the free forces). Occupation of Denmark just seems like a more natural title, and a more "real" thing than just the abstract title DK in WWII. I just don't see the compelling case for moving it, given that the title has served for 10 years now... Peregrine981 (talk) 17:41, 4 June 2013 (UTC)