Last modified on 18 June 2011, at 21:30

Category:Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany

English:Edit

Starting with the invasion of April 9, 1940, Norway was under military occupation of German forces and civil rule of a German commissioner in collaboration with a Pro-German puppet government. The occupation ended May 8, 1945, after the capitulation of German forces in Europe.

Having maintained its neutrality during World War I, Norwegian foreign and military policy since 1933 was largely influenced by three factors:

  • Fiscal austerity promoted by the conservative parties
  • Pacifism promoted by the Norwegian Labour Party
  • A doctrine of neutrality, on the assumption that there would be no need to bring Norway into a war if she remained neutral

These three factors met resistance as tensions grew in Europe in the 1930s, initially from Norwegian military staff and right-wing political groups, but increasingly also from individuals within the mainstream political establishment and, it has since come to light, by the king, behind the scenes. By the late 1930's, the Norwegian parliament had accepted the need for a strengthened military and expanded the budget accordingly, even by assuming national debt. As it turned out, most of the plans enabled by the budgetary expansion were not completed in time.

Although the principle of neutrality had been held sacrosanct until the invasion was a fait accompli, it was known throughout the government that Norway, above all, did not want to be at war with the United Kingdom. Several incidents in Norwegian maritime waters, notably the Altmark incident in Jøssingfjorden, put great strains on Norway's ability to assert its neutrality. By the fall of 1939, there was an increasing sense of urgency that Norway had to prepare to not just protect its neutrality but indeed to fight for its "freedom and independence." Efforts to improve military readiness and capability, and to sustain an extended blockade, were intensified between September of 1939 and April of 1940.

Norway managed to negotiate favorable trade treaties both with the United Kingdom and Germany under these conditions, but it became increasingly clear that both countries had a strategic interest in denying the other access to Norway.

Norwegian:Edit

Da annen verdenskrig startet i september 1939, erklærte Norge seg nøytralt, slik som under første verdenskrig. Landet opprettet nøytralitetsvakt og forsterket vaktholdet langs kysten, men hadde etter mange års nedrustning et svakt og gammeldags forsvar. Utover våren 1940 økte presset på Norge, og i følge utenriksminister Halvdan Koht var regjeringen enige om at man måtte sørge for å havne på britenes side, dersom krig var uungåelig. På den annen side sa Koht at han følte at britene hadde satt seg som formål å drive Norge ut i krigen. En av hovedgrunnene til Norges viktighet var at Narvik var utskipningshavn for strategisk viktig jernmalm til både Tyskland og Storbritannia. En av de alvorligste hendelsene var Altmark-affæren 16. februar, der den britiske jageren HMS Cossack bordet det tyske skipet «Altmark», for å befri britiske fanger, i Jøssingfjorden, til tross for norske protester. Dette ble brukt som argument fra tysk side om at Norge ikke var i stand til å ivareta sin nøytralitet. I virkeligheten hadde tysk planlegging for invasjonen startet allerede i desember året før. Tyskland var svært redde for at de allierte skulle ta kontroll over Norge, og benytte det som base for angrep mot Tysklands indre i tillegg til å blokkere malmeksporten fra Sverige. Både Tyskland og de allierte la planer om besettelse av Norge, og 8. april la britiske skip miner i Vestfjorden.

Subcategories

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