The Full Wiki

Battles of Narvik: Wikis

  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...


More interesting facts on Battles of Narvik

Include this on your site/blog:

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Panorama of the fight between British and German destroyers.

The Battles of Narvik were fought from 9 April until 8 June 1940 as a naval battle in the Ofotfjord and as a land battle in the mountains surrounding the north Norwegian city of Narvik as part of the Norwegian Campaign of the Second World War.

The two naval battles in the Ofotfjord on 10 April and 13 April were fought between the British Royal Navy and the German Kriegsmarine, while the two-month land campaign was fought between Norwegian, French, British, and Polish troops against German and Austrian mountain troops, shipwrecked Kriegsmarine sailors and German Fallschirmjäger from 1st battalion of the 1st Regiment, 7th Flieger Division. Narvik provided an ice-free harbour in the North Atlantic for iron ore transported by the railway from Kiruna in Sweden. Both sides in the war had an interest in securing this iron supply for themselves and denying it to the enemy, setting the stage for one of the first large-scale battles during the Second World War, since the invasion of Poland.[1]

Prior to the German invasion, British forces had considered Narvik as a possible landing point for an expedition to help Finland in the Winter War. Such an expedition might also take control over the Swedish mines and open up the Batic for the Allies.[2] French politicians were also eager to start a second front as far away from France as possible.

Contents

German invasion

Naval battle preceding the first naval battle of Narvik
Part of the Second World War
Eidsvold class costal defence cruiser photo.jpg
An Eidsvold class coastal defence ship underway.
Date April 9, 1940
Location Narvik, Norway
Result German victory
Belligerents
 Norway Nazi Germany Germany
Commanders
Norway Per Askim
Norway Odd Isaachsen Willoch
Nazi Germany Friedrich Bonte
Nazi Germany Eduard Dietl
Strength
2 coastal defence ships 10 destroyers
Casualties and losses
2 coastal defence ships sunk
343 dead
None

On 1 March 1940, Adolf Hitler ordered the invasion of Norway, codenamed Weserübung.[3] This operation would involve most of the German navy (Kriegsmarine). Participating units were divided into five groups, which were to occupy six of the main Norwegian ports.[4]

Group I departed Bremerhaven on 6 April. It consisted of ten German destroyers of the 1934A and 1936 classes (the Georg Thiele, Wolfgang Zenker, Bernd von Arnim, Erich Giese, Erich Koellner, Diether von Roeder, Hans Lüdemann, Hermann Künne, Wilhelm Heidkamp (flagship) and Anton Schmitt, commanded by Commodore Friedrich Bonte. Each of the warships carried around 200 soldiers (a total of 1,900 Austrian mountain troopers (Gebirgsjäger) from the 139. Gebirgsjägerregiment of the 3rd Mountain Divisioncommanded by General Eduard Dietl).[5] The troop-carrying destroyers were escorted most of the way by the battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.[4]

On 9 April in the early morning, the destroyers of Group I passed Vestfjord and arrived at Ofotfjord leading to Narvik, in fog and heavy snow. In Ofotfjord they captured three Norwegian patrol boats (Senja, Michael Sars and Kelt). Before capture Kelt managed to send a message to the coastal defence ship HNoMS Norge, alerting the local Norwegian naval commander of the incoming vessels.[6] The German ships Wolfgang Zenker, Erich Koellner and Hermann Kunne landed their soldiers in Herjangsfjord (part of Ofotfjord) in order to capture a Norwegian regimental supply base in Elvegårdsmoen.[7] Hans Ludemann and Hermann Künne also landed their troops in order to engage the nearby Norwegian forts (which turned out to be non-existent). Diether von Roeder remained in Ofotfjord in order to ensure German control of the sea. Erich Giese was delayed by engine trouble and did not join the main force for some time.

The main defence of Narvik were the old coastal defence ships Eidsvold and Norge. Having been alerted by Kelt, both Norwegian ships prepared for combat: the guns were loaded and life preservers issued to the crew. Around 04:15am, the Germans spotted Eidsvold, and Eidsvold immediately signalled the leading German destroyer with an aldis lamp. When the Germans failed to respond to the signal, a warning shot was fired across their bow.[8]

The Germans had orders to occupy Norway peacefully if at all possible, so the German flagship Wilhelm Heidkamp stopped and signalled that it would send an officer to negotiate. A small launch ferried Korvettenkapitän (lieutenant commander) Gerlach over to Eidsvold. Gerlach was taken to the bridge to speak to Captain Willoch.[9]

Gerlach tried to convince Willoch that the Germans had arrived as friends, but that the Norwegians had to hand over their warships to the German armed forces. Captain Willoch asked for time to consult his commander, Captain Per Askim, the commander of Norge. This request was refused by the Germans, but while Willoch had been talking to the German officer the radio officer on board the Eidsvold had communicated the events to Askim. Askim's response to the German demands and order to Willoch came immediately; Willoch and the Eidsvold was to open fire.[10] Willoch responded to Askim; "I am attacking".[8] While this was going on the German destroyer Wilhelm Heidkamp had positioned herself 700 metres (770 yd) off the port side of Eidsvold and trained her torpedo launchers on the Norwegian ship.[8]

Gerlach tried once again to convince Willoch to surrender, but Willoch refused. As Gerlach left Eidsvold, he fired a red flare, indicating that the Norwegians intended to fight. At this point, Captain Willoch shouted: "På plass ved kanonene. Nå skal vi slåss, gutter!" ("Man the guns. We're going to fight, boys!").[11] Eidsvold turned towards the closest destroyer and accelerated, closing the distance to Wilhelm Heidkamp to 300 metres (330 yd) while the battery commander ordered the port battery (three 15 cm guns) to open fire.[12]

The Germans, afraid that Eidsvold might ram the destroyer, fired four torpedoes from Wilhelm Heidkamp at the old ship. Two of the torpedoes hit before the port guns could fire. The Norwegian amunition magazine was ignited and Eidsvold was blown in two. The forward part of the ship sank in seconds, the stern followed in minutes, propellers still turning. At around 04:37am she was gone 175 Norwegian sailors died in the freezing water, including Captain Willoch, eight surviving.[13]

Deeper inside the fjord, the explosions were heard aboard Norge, but nothing could be seen until two German destroyers suddenly appeared out of the darkness and Captain Per Askim of Norge gave orders to open fire at 04:45 am. Four rounds were fired from the 21 cm guns (one from the fore gun and three from the aft) as well as seven or eight rounds from the starboard 15 cm guns, against the German destroyer Bernd von Arnim, at a range of about 800 metres. Due to the difficult weather conditions, the guns' optical sights were ineffective: the first salvo fell short of the target and the next ones overshot it.

The German destroyers waited until they were alongside the pier before returning fire. Bernd von Armin opened fire with her 12.7 cm (5 inch) guns as well as with machine guns, but the weather gave the Germans problems as well. The destroyer also fired three salvoes of two torpedoes each. The first two salvoes missed, but the last struck Norge midships and she sank in less than one minute. 90 of the crew were rescued, but 101 perished in the battle which had lasted less than 20 minutes. The destruction of Norge signalled the end of Norwegian resistance in the port.

The morning of the German attack four Norwegian steamers were anchored in Narvik; the 4,285 g.r.t. Cate B, the 1,712 g.r.t. Eldrid, the 1,758 g.r.t. Haalegg and the 4,306 g.r.t. Saphir. In addition to the Norwegian vessels four foreign neutral ships were present; a 951 g.r.t. Dutch steamer, the Bernisse, and the three Swedish steamships Boden of 4,264 g.r.t., Oxelosund pf 5,613 g.r.t.and Strassa of 5,603 g.r.t.. As well as neutral ships the warring parties had vessels at Narvik, riding anchor in the same port. The British had five steamers in the harbour; the 6,582 g.r.t. Blythmoor, the 5,141 g.r.t. Mersington Court, the 4,304 g.r.t. North Cornwall, the 5,378 g.r.t. Riverton and the 4,887 g.r.t. Romanby. As the German armada seized Narvik there were 11 German merchant steamers at the port town; the 6,388 g.r.t. Aachen, the 5,398 g.r.t. Altona, the 4,902 g.r.t. Bockenheim, the 5,386 g.r.t. Hein Hoyer, the 4,879 g.r.t. Martha Henrich Fisser, the 8,096 g.r.t. Neuenfels, the 5,806 g.r.t. Odin , the 7,849 g.r.t. Lippe, the 4,339 g.r.t. Frielinghaus and the 5,881 g.r.t.Planet and the 11,776 g.r.t. replenishment oiler/maintenance ship Jan Wellem.[14] Jan Wellem, a converted former whale factory ship, awaited the arrival of the German warships, which she was tasked to refuel.[15][16][17] Working in the harbour were the Swedish tugs Diana (213 tons) and Styrbjörn (167 tons). As the German destroyers entered the harbour the captain of the Bockenheim, who assumed that the intruding warships were British, beached and scuttled his vessel.[14] In total 25 ore ships had been riding at anchor in Narvik at the outset of the fighting, 10 of which were German.[18]


The German destroyers were now short of fuel and had only one fuel tanker in support (the 11,776 g.r.t. ex-whale factory ship Jan Wellem that had been despatched to Narvik, accordingly to some sources from the secret German naval base Basis Nord at Zapadnaya Litsa in the Soviet Union, where she had been based since 4 February 1940.[16][19][20] Another source indicates that she departed Murmansk in the evening of the 6 April[21] and that Basis Nord was never even established.[22] She had arrived off Narvik from the north on 8 April, and had been stopped by the Norwegian patrol boat Kvitøy. Jan Wellem was allowed entry to Narvik by the regional Norwegian naval command, where she was inspected. Her captain claimed that she was carrying 8,500 tons of fuel oil and 8,098 crates of food provisions and that she was on her way to Germany.[23] A second tanker, the 6,031 tonne Kattegat which had sailed to Norway from Wilhelmshaven,[21] had been sunk in the Glomfjord in the evening of 9 April. Kattegat had been stopped by the Norwegian fishery protection ship Nordkapp, the Norwegian ship first trying to take the tanker as a prize, but due to the large German crew could not control it all the way to Bodø, in the end sinking Kattegat by firing four 47 mm rounds into the tanker's water line.[24][25] Kattegat had been delayed from reaching Narvik in time by the British 8 April mining operations off Norway.[26] A third tanker, the Skagerrak had also been despatched to Norway, in support of the German landings at Trondheim, but she was intercepted by the British cruiser HMS Suffolk, on 14 April,[27][28] after she had been redirected by German naval command to a waiting position at sea. When the British warship tried to board the Skagerrak her crew scuttled her at 68°15′N 02°00′E / 68.25°N 2°E / 68.25; 2. Both Kattegat and Skagerrak, which were sister ships, were inspected at Kopervik by the Norwegian torpedo boat Stegg, on 5 and 7 April respectively. The captain of Kattegat told the Norwegians that he was headed to Narvik for further orders, and the captain of Skagerrak claimed Murmansk as their destination, and inspections revealed that both tankers had a full load of fuel oil. Skagerrak also carried 165 tons of food provisions, which was claimed as supplies for German merchant ships. The food crates were labelled Wehrmacht.[29][30] According to the German plan the destroyers were supposed to have been refuelled by two tankers, the Kattegat and the Jan Wellem, each receiving some 600 tons of fuel oil.[31] The flotilla was then to be on its way back to Germany by the evening of 9 April. The plan failed because only Jan Wellem made it to Narvik. Refuelling with just one tanker was difficult, only two destroyers could be refuelled simultaneously, taking seven or eight hours. At arrival in Narvik the destroyers were almost out of fuel.[32] Making the refuelling more challenging was the fact that Jan Wellem had only improvised refuelling arrangements and inferior pumping equipment.[17][15] While two destroyers were being refuelled at a time a third was on guard in fjord, the remaining seven being spread around in the nearby area.[33] By 0400hrs on 10 April 1940 the Jan Wellem had managed to fully refuel three of the German destroyers, and was in the process of refuelling two more.[17]

In the meantime, British forces had tried to engage the Kriegsmarine, but for the most part, unsuccessfully. On 8 April, the British G class destroyer HMS Glowworm engaged the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and two destroyers, and was lost, ramming and damaging Hipper in the battle. On 9 April, the British battlecruiser HMS Renown exchanged artillery salvos with the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, which were screening the destroyers, causing light damage to Gneisenau. The destroyers' main mission had been completed, however, as they had succeeded in landing the invasion force.

First Naval Battle of Narvik

First naval battle of Narvik
Part of the Second World War
UK-NWE-Norway-2.jpg
A map of the Narvik area
Date April 10, 1940
Location Narvik, Norway
Result British victory
Belligerents
 United Kingdom Nazi Germany Germany
Commanders
United Kingdom Bernard Warburton-Lee  Nazi Germany Friedrich Bonte 
Strength
5 destroyers 10 destroyers
Casualties and losses
2 destroyers sunk
1 destroyer heavily damaged
2 destroyers sunk
1 ammunition supply ship sunk
6 cargo ships sunk
4 destroyers damaged
163 casualties

The day after the German invasion, the Royal Navy took an opportunity to defeat the Kriegsmarine. The 2nd Destroyer Flotilla under Commodore Bernard Warburton-Lee comprising five H class destroyers (HMS Hardy (flagship), Hotspur, Havock, Hunter and Hostile (British H class destroyers were smaller than the German destroyers) moved up the fjord in the early morning. The German destroyers Hermann Künne and Hans Lüdemann were anchored alongside the tanker Jan Wellem and refuelling when the British destroyer attack began at 0430hrs.[17][14] The German picket ship (Diether von Roeder) had left its post to refuel and, as the British flotilla approached Narvik, they surprised and engaged a German force at the entrance to the harbour and sank two destroyers Wilhelm Heidkamp (killing Commodore Bonte) and Anton Schmidt, heavily damaged the Diether von Roeder and inflicted lesser damage on two others. They also exchanged fire with German invasion troops ashore, but did not have a landing force aboard and therefore turned to leave. Before the destroyers left the scene Hostile fired her torpedoes at the merchant ships in the harbour. In total eleven merchant ships (six German, one British, two Swedish and two Norwegian) were sunk during the British sortie into the harbour.[14][34]

The British flotilla was then engaged by three more German destroyers (Wolfgang Zenker, Erich Koellner and Erich Giese) emerging from the Herjangsfjord, led by Commander Erich Bey, and then two more (Georg Thiele and Bernd von Arnim) coming from Ballangen Bay, under Commander Fritz Berger. In the ensuing battle, two British destroyers were lost: the flotilla leader HMS Hardy, which was beached in flames, and HMS Hunter, which was torpedoed and sank. A third, HMS Hotspur, was also damaged badly by a torpedo. Hotspur and the other remaining British destroyers left the battlefield, damaging Georg Thiele as they did so. The German destroyers, now short of fuel and ammunition, did not pursue and the British ships were able to sink the 8,460 tonne ammunition supply ship Rauenfels[35] which they encountered on their way out the fjord. Soon the German naval forces were blocked in by British reinforcements, including the cruiser HMS Penelope. During the night of 11-12 April, while manoeuvring in Narvik harbour, Erich Koellner and Wolfgang Zenker ran aground. Wolfgang Zenker damaged her propellers and was restricted to a speed of twenty knots. Erich Koellner was much more badly damaged - so the Germans planned, when she was repaired enough to move, to moor her at the Tarstad in the same capacity as Diether von Roeder - as an immobile defence battery.[14]

As the British destroyers left the Vestfjord outside Narvik, two German submarines, U-25 and U-51, fired torpedoes at them, but German torpedoes at the time had severe problems with their magnetic detonator systems - possibly due to the high northern latitude: all of them failed and either did not detonate at all or detonated well before their targets.

Both the German naval commander, Commodore Friedrich Bonte (on Wilhelm Heidkamp), and the British commander, Captain Bernard Warburton-Lee (on Hardy), had been killed in the battle. Warburton-Lee was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, Bonte the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.[1][36][37]

Second Naval Battle of Narvik

Second naval battle of Narvik
Part of the Second World War
HMS Warspite, Norway 1940.jpg
Warspite engaging shore batteries during the Second Battle of Narvik.
Date April 13, 1940
Location Narvik, Norway
Result British victory
Belligerents
 United Kingdom Nazi Germany Germany
Commanders
United Kingdom William Whitworth Nazi Germany Erich Bey
Strength
1 battleship
9 destroyers
a small number of aircraft
8 destroyers
2 U-boats
Casualties and losses
3 destroyers damaged
28 killed
55 wounded
8 destroyers sunk or scuttled
1 U-boat sunk
128 killed
67 wounded

The Royal Navy considered it imperative, for morale and strategic purposes, to defeat the Germans in Narvik, so Vice Admiral William Whitworth was sent with the battleship HMS Warspite and nine destroyers; four Tribal class (HMS Bedouin, Cossack, Punjabi, Eskimo) and five others (HMS Kimberley, Hero, Icarus, Forester and Foxhound), accompanied by aircraft from the aircraft carrier HMS Furious. These forces arrived in the Ofotfjord on 13 April to find that the eight remaining German destroyers, now under the command of Fregattenkapitän (Commander) Erich Bey, were virtually stranded due to lack of fuel and were short of ammunition.

During the opening stages of the battle, a Fairey Swordfish launched from Warspite bombed and sank the German submarine U-64,[38] at anchor in a side-fjord near Bjerkvik. Most of the crew survived and were rescued by German mountain troops. This was the first U-boat to be sunk by an aircraft during the Second World War.

In the ensuing battle, three of the German destroyers were sunk by Warspite and her escorts, and the other five were scuttled by their own crews when they ran out of fuel and ammunition. First to go was Erich Koellner which was trying to ambush the Allied forces, but was spotted by Warspite's Swordfish and subsequently torpedoed and shelled by the destroyers and battleship. Then Wolfgang Zenker, Bernd von Arnim, Hans Ludemann and Hermann Künne engaged the British forces, but only managed to lightly damage HMS Bedouin. British aircraft from Furious tried to engage the German destroyers but were unsuccessful; two were lost. Wolfgang Zenker unsuccessfully attempted to torpedo Warspite.

HMS Eskimo after losing her bow.
Hermann Künne on fire.

Finally, when the German destroyers were low on ammunition, they retreated, except for Hermann Künne, which had not received the order. Hermann Künne was fired upon by the pursuing HMS Eskimo, but she took no hits. Out of ammunition but undamaged, Hermann Künne was scuttled by her crew in Trollvika in the Herjangsfjord. After scuttling the ship, the crew placed demolition depth charges on the ship, attempting to sink her in Trollvika's shallow waters. Eskimo, still in hot pursuit, launched a torpedo which hit Hermann Künne, setting her on fire. Whether the German's own depth charges or the torpedo from Eskimo was the source of the explosion, nobody knows.[39] Eskimo was in turn ambushed by Georg Thiele and Hans Ludemann, losing her bow but surviving. Diether von Roeder and Erich Giese, both suffering engine problems, fired upon the British forces while still docked, damaging Punjabi and Cossack, but they were both sunk before they could cause further damage. That was the last German counter-attack and the remaining German destroyers were scuttled soon after. The only German ship which survived within the port area was the submarine U-51.

Shore batteries and installations were also very badly damaged by Warspite's guns. On the Allied side, the damage to HMS Eskimo kept her in Norway until 31 May 1940. German submarines again suffered torpedo failures, when U-46 and U-48 fired at the departing Warspite on 14 April.

The Germans lost over 1,000 men and the destroyers Hermann Künne, Wolfgang Zenker, Erich Koellner, Georg Thiele, Bernd von Arnim, Erich Giese, Hans Lüdemann and Diether von Roeder, in addition to U-64.[40]

The scuttled wreck of the Bernd von Arnim in the Rombaksfjord.

Many of the shipwrecked Germans were shot upon by British artillery and machine guns,[41] and about 2,600 survivors were organised into an improvised marine infantry unit, the Gebirgsmarine, and fought alongside the 139. Gebirgsjägerregiment in the subsequent land battle.[37][42] Although unsuited for combat in the mountainous terrain around Narvik the shipwrecked sailors manned the two 10.5 cm guns and the 11 light anti-aircraft guns salvaged from the ships sunk during the naval battles and conducted defensive operations.[5] The sailors were armed from the stocks captured at the Norwegian army base Elvegårdsmoen, more than 8,000 Krag-Jørgensen rifles and 315 machine guns intended for the mobilisation of Norwegian army units in the Narvik area.[43]

Later naval operations

After the naval battles of Narvik, the port and its surroundings remained in German hands, as no Allied forces were available to be landed there. Naval operations were limited at this stage to shore bombardment, as Narvik was not a primary Allied objective.

Among others, the Polish destroyers - ORP Grom, ORP Burza and ORP Błyskawica took part in these operations, during which Grom was sunk by German aircraft on 4 May 1940.

Land battle

Battle of Narvik
Part of the Second World War
Narvik.jpg
Narvik during the Second World War
Date April 9 - June 8, 1940
Location Narvik, Norway
Result German victory following Allied withdrawal
Belligerents
 Norway
 United Kingdom
France France
Poland Poland
Nazi Germany Germany
Commanders
Norway Carl Gustav Fleischer
United Kingdom William Boyle, 12th Earl of Cork
Poland Zygmunt Bohusz-Szyszko
France Raoul Magrin-Vernerey
Nazi Germany Eduard Dietl
Strength
Norwegian 6th Division
Four British battalions
Three battalions of
Chasseurs alpins
Two battalions of
13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade
Four battalions of the
Polish Independent Highland Brigade
Total:24,500 men
5,600 men (2,600 of these were sailors and 1,000 were Fallschirmjäger)

During the Norwegian Campaign, Narvik and its surrounding area saw significant fighting, initially from 9 April between German and Norwegian forces, subsequently between Allied and German forces, conducted by the Norwegian 6th Division of the Norwegian Army as well as by an Allied expeditionary corps until 9 June 1940. Unlike the campaign in southern Norway, the Allied troops in Narvik would eventually outnumber the Norwegian troops. Five nations participated in the fighting. From 5 May to 10 May the fighting in the Narvik area was the only active theatre of land war in the Second World War. At the outset, the position of the German commander, Dietl, was not good: his 2,000 troops were outnumbered. After the German destroyers had been sunk, however, about 2,600 German sailors joined in the land battle. Another 290 German specialists travelled via Sweden posing as health care workers. During the last 3–4 weeks the Germans were also reinforced by about 1,000 men air dropped over Bjørnefjell, thus bringing the total number of Germans to around 5,000. Their position and outlook changed from good to dire several times. Hitler's mood was reportedly swinging heavily and he repeatedly contemplated withdrawal. On occasions, the entire operation was controlled directly from the German High Command in Berlin.

The Norwegian force under General Carl Gustav Fleischer eventually reached 8-10,000 men after a few weeks. The total number of Allied troops in the campaign, in and around Narvik, reached 24,500 men.[44]

The early phase of the invasion was marked by the German advantage of surprise. Norwegian troops in northern Norway had been called out on a three month neutrality watch during the winter of 1939/1940 and so they had trained together. During 9 - 25 April, the Norwegian forces suffered three catastrophes. First, the forces protecting Narvik were unable to resist the Germans due to the commanding officer, the later NS Hird commander Colonel Konrad Sundlo, refusing to fight the invaders; second, around 200 soldiers from the Narvik garrison who had escaped capture and was blocking the railway to Sweden was caught by surprise while resting at Bjørnefjell, most of the men being captured; third, the so-called "Trønder battalion" sent to hold Gratangsbotn was attacked by surprise while in camp, suffering casualties that ruined its spirit and effectively knocked it out of the remainder of the campaign.

German Gebirgsjägers in the mountains at Narvik.

Due to mounting Norwegian pressure and difficulties with bringing up supplies to the forward lying troops the Germans abandoned Gratangsbotn and withdrew from Lapphaugen and the Gratangsdalen Valley, following the Battle of Gratangen. In the beginning of May, the Norwegians started an advance southwards towards Narvik. Once it became clear that the Allies would mount the main invasion of Narvik itself, in mid May, the Norwegian direction altered towards Bjørnefjell.

The British arrived first and set up headquarters in Harstad on 14 April. In the following days three battalions were deployed mainly at Sjøvegan, Skånland (where a naval base was established) and at Bogen. Later they were deployed south of Ofotfjord, at Ballangen and Håkvik. In May most British troops were withdrawn from the Narvik area and redeployed southwards to Nordland, in order to delay the German advance there.

Group of Norwegian soldiers on the Narvik front

The initial British detachment was reinforced on 28 April by a French expeditionary force, led by General Antoine Béthouart. Three battalions of Alpine troops and two battalions of 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade were deployed both north and south of the Ofotfjord, but later, the north would be the main French area of operation. Four Polish battalions arrived on 9 May. They were first deployed north of the Ofotfjord, but later redeployed to the area south of the fjord. In early June they were formed into the Polish Independent Highland Brigade under Zygmunt Bohusz-Szyszko.

In addition, the Allies had difficulties in deciding how best to retake Narvik and the iron ore railway. There was no unified Allied command for the troops at Narvik: the Norwegians and the Allies retained separate commanders and cooperation between them was not always smooth. Even within the British forces, the Army and Navy commanders (Major General Pierse J. Mackesy and Admiral William Boyle) had difficulties cooperating: Boyle advocated a swift and direct attack from the sea while Mackesy advocated a cautious approach from both sides of the Ofotfjord. In the end, the British Naval commander, Boyle, was given command of all Allied troops.

A Norwegian M/01 7.5 cm field gun in action north of Narvik

In the second week of May, the Norwegian advances against the Germans east of Gratangseidet were the most significant movements on the Narvik front. In addition, on the Norwegian's right flank French alpine troops advanced up the Laberg valley supported by a company of Norwegian ski troops. In the south the Allies did not have much success and in the north of the Ofotfjord they were not making any movements. The Norwegians continued their successful mountain campaign and in mid May the Allies took the initiative and achieved significant victories. Both Paris and London had been growing impatient with the slow progress in Narvik and the French commander, Béthouart, had pressed for more action.

Norwegian M/29 heavy machine gun at the Narvik front

The cautious approach on land was abandoned and an amphibious attack was launched at around midnight on 12 May. This attack was directed at Bjerkvik and was preceded by a naval bombardment from British warships in Herjangsfjord. Then the French Foreign Legioneers were put ashore supported by five light French tanks. The French took Bjerkvik, Elvegårdsmoen army camp and advanced north east to where the Germans were withdrawing and south along the east side of Herjangsfjord. The plan also required Polish troops to advance towards Bjerkvik from land on the west side of the fjord, but heavy terrain delayed them and they did not arrive before Bjerkvik was taken. It had also been part of the plan for French and Norwegian troops to advance from the north in order to box the Germans in, but cooperation problems between the Norwegian and French commanders left a gap through which the Germans escaped. Despite this, the Allies had a clear path north of Narvik and planned to attack over Rombaksfjord.

Again the attack was stalled while the Allies waited for air support to be fully established from Bardufoss. At 23:40 on 28 May a naval bombardment commenced from the north. Two French and one Norwegian battalion would be transported across the Rombaksfjord and advance on Narvik from the north. In the south the Polish battalions would advance towards Ankenes and inner Beisfjord. The maximum capacity of the landing barges was 290 men and these troops could not be reinforced for 45 minutes. These first troops were able to get a foothold on Ornes by the time the rest of the French and the Norwegians were landed. The French moved westwards towards the city and eastwards along the railway. The Norwegians moved towards Taraldsvik mountain, circled around and moved down towards the city. The German commander decided to evacuate already before 07:00am and retired along Beisfjord. This was the first major allied victory on land.[45]

Operation Alphabet

British troops returning to the UK at Greenock in June 1940.

It seemed now that it was only a matter of time before the Germans would have to surrender. They were pushed from the north by the Norwegians, from the west by the French and from the southwest by the Poles. It looked like Bjørnefjell would be the Germans' last stand, but events elsewhere in Europe came to their rescue. London had already secretly decided to evacuate on 24 May and that became apparent in the following days. The night of 24/25 May, Lord Cork received orders to retreat, but under cover so the Germans would be prevented from interfering. The Allied commanders agreed that an attack on Narvik would disguise the retreat and allow the destruction of the iron ore harbour.

The Norwegian government and commanders were first told in early June and the news was met with disbelief and bitterness. The Norwegians still hoped to defeat the Germans alone and, as late as 5 June, one of the two Norwegian brigades was ordered to attack. The Norwegian government also explored the possibility of creating a neutral, but free Northern Norway. This plan was futile and on 7 June the King and government were evacuated to Britain. All Allied troops were evacuated from Narvik between 4 June and 8 June 1940.[37]

Three Polish passenger ships, MS Sobieski, MS Batory and MS Chrobry, took part in the evacuation operation. Chrobry was sunk on 14/15 May by German bombers. On 8 June, General Dietl retook Narvik and on 10 June the last Norwegian forces in Norway surrendered.

Operation Juno

On 7 June, the British aircraft carrier HMS Glorious, had taken on board 10 Gloster Gladiators and 8 Hawker Hurricanes from No. 46 Squadron RAF and No. 263 Squadron RAF Royal Air Force. These were flown off from land bases to keep them from being destroyed in the evacuation. Glorious left a larger convoy to proceed independently. The next day, while transiting through the Norwegian Sea to return to Scapa Flow, the carrier and her two escorts, the destroyers HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent, were intercepted by the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Both the carrier and her escorts were sunk with the loss of more than 1,500 men.

The Scharnhorst was badly damaged by a torpedo from Acasta, and both German vessels took a number of medium shell hits. The damage to the German ships was sufficient to cause the Germans to retire to Trondheim, which allowed the safe passage of the evacuation convoy through the area later that day.[37]

Aftermath

German soldiers wounded at Narvik being transported back to Germany on the Wilhelm Gustloff in July 1940.
British soldiers wounded at Narvik recuperating in Mearnskirk Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland

The Allied offensive started slowly. Unlike the Germans, they did not have a clear operational objective in Norway and therefore did not steer their operation with as much decisiveness. The British had drafted plans to land in Narvik before the German invasion and troops and supplies had even been loaded onto ships when they executed their mining operation on 8 April. These had been hastily unloaded when German ships were spotted northbound. The British thought that the German ships were trying to break into the Atlantic to avoid being trapped in German ports. Following this rationale, they wanted all their own ships available to intercept the German fleet. The consequent confusion would dog the troops for weeks: troops and materiel were shipped to Norway separately without clear landing sites and orders were changed while en route. It was as if the Allies were confused by the many small and large fjords and bays and could not decide where it would be best to start. In addition, British, French and Polish units would rapidly relieve each other.

The cold and snow was a common enemy for all troops at Narvik, but most of the Allies were poorly prepared for it. The Norwegians were the only ones fully equipped with skis and able to use them. The British attempted to use skis, but their troops were largely untrained and supply was scarce. German sailors faced the same problems. Even within the German and French mountain specialists, only a few units were equipped with skis.

Most troops were untested in battle. The German mountain specialists had participated in the invasion of Poland and some of the troops that had been air dropped over Bjørnefjell had fought in the Netherlands. Some of the French Foreign Legioneers came directly from fighting in North Africa and some Polish officers had participated in the defence of Poland.

The Allies had sea and air superiority until the very last stage of the operation, but did not take full advantage of that.

The Germans lost the naval battle, but achieved the main goal of their operation - the successful invasion and occupation of Norway.

Around Narvik, German naval losses were high: they lost 10 destroyers (half of their entire destroyer force), one submarine and several support ships. In exchange, they sank two Allied destroyers and damaged several others. The reason for this defeat lay in the German plans which made it impossible for the destroyers to retire quickly, even if they had had adequate supplies. This was compounded by the design of German destroyers: despite their relatively large size and armament they had inadequate fuel and ammunition storage.

On the other hand, British forces, while achieving an indisputable local naval victory, were unprepared to follow it up with any land operation. This allowed the Germans to consolidate their foothold in Norway and made the subsequent Allied counter invasion more difficult.

The Narvik Peace Foundation was established in 1990 with the events of 1940 as a background.

References

  1. ^ a b Narvik Naval Battle - A BBC article
  2. ^ Brown, David (2000). Naval operations of the campaign in Norway, April-June 1940. Routledge. p. 3. ISBN 9780714651194. http://books.google.no/books?id=pt2ci58xTRMC&pg=PA44&dq=tanker+skagerrak+suffolk&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q=tanker%20skagerrak%20suffolk&f=false.  
  3. ^ Derry, T. K. (1952). The Campaign in Norway. London: HMSO. p. 18. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/UK-NWE-Norway/UK-NWE-Norway-2.html.  
  4. ^ a b Derry 1952: 27
  5. ^ a b Jaklin, Asbjørn (2006) (in Norwegian). Nordfronten - Hitlers skjebneområde. Oslo: Gyldendal. p. 31. ISBN 978-82-05-34537-9.  
  6. ^ Kristiansen, Trond (2006) (in Norwegian). Fjordkrigen – Sjømilitær motstand mot den tyske invasjonsflåten i 1940. Harstad: Forlaget Kristiansen. p. 35. ISBN 82-997054-2-8.  
  7. ^ Don Kindell (17 September 2008). "Naval Events, April 1940, Part 2 of 4". Naval-History.Net. http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-4004-13APR02.htm. Retrieved 14 January 2010.  
  8. ^ a b c Hauge, Andreas (1995) (in Norwegian). Kampene i Norge 1940. 2. Sandefjord: Krigshistorisk Forlag. p. 184. ISBN 82-993369-0-2.  
  9. ^ Brennecke, Jochen (2003). The hunters and the hunted. Naval Institute Press. p. 48. ISBN 9781591140917. http://books.google.com/books?id=aWqG313WZgwC&pg=PA48&dq=gerlach+narvik&as_brr=3&cd=1#v=onepage&q=gerlach%20narvik&f=false.  
  10. ^ Bjørnson, Bjørn (1977) (in Norwegian). Det utrolige døgnet. Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag. p. 95. ISBN 82-05-10553-7.  
  11. ^ Rune Bang. "Falne og omkomne under siste krig" (in Norwegian). Lurøy lokalhistorie og fotoarkiv. http://www.luroy.folkebibl.no/artikkel_76_lokalhist.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  
  12. ^ Hauge 1995: 184, 186
  13. ^ O'Hara 2004: 30
  14. ^ a b c d e Don Kindell (17 September 2008). "Naval Events, April 1940, Part 2 of 4". Naval-History.Net. http://www.royalnavy-history.net/xDKWW2-4004-13APR02.htm. Retrieved 9 January 2010.  
  15. ^ a b Williamson, Gordon (2003). German Destroyers 1939-45. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 9781841765044. http://books.google.com/books?id=1hDLLpQNG3AC&dq=refuelling+destroyers+narvik&q=jan+wellem#v=snippet&q=jan%20wellem&f=false.  
  16. ^ a b Weinberg, Gerhard L. (2005). A world at arms: a global history of World War II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 114-115. ISBN 9780521618267. http://books.google.com/books?id=xlsrAxuWekQC&pg=PA114&dq=jan+wellem+basis+nord&cd=2#v=onepage&q=jan%20wellem%20basis%20nord&f=false.  
  17. ^ a b c d O'Hara, Vincent P. (2004). The German fleet at war, 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. p. 32. ISBN 9781591146513. http://books.google.com/books?id=z85Xh21qniEC&pg=PA32&lpg=PA32&dq=naval+tanker+jan+wellem&source=bl&ots=CE9tYMqx-R&sig=kF-Kc41YiXriOoWjwi0p2S7UYw0&hl=en&ei=QlJKS-nhLNHA-QaE88xL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CBcQ6AEwBjgK#v=onepage&q=naval%20tanker%20jan%20wellem&f=false.  
  18. ^ Waage, Johan (1963) (in Norwegian). Kampene om Narvik. Oslo: Dreyers Forlag. p. 56.   (Also published in English [The Narvik Campaign] and French [La bataille de Narvik] editions.)
  19. ^ Philbin, Tobias R. (1994). The lure of Neptune: German-Soviet naval collaboration and ambitions, 1919-1941. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 102, 110, 113-114. ISBN 9780872499928. http://books.google.com/books?id=OiKxyqNp8SUC&pg=PA114&lpg=PA114&dq=jan+wellem+basis+nord&source=bl&ots=WJoNLUuu68&sig=y_RjiefgIf8G5YGeGtdrPHifvbo&hl=en&ei=uOBJS6OoLcL1-QaVgNVM&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CBMQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=jan%20wellem%20basis%20nord&f=false.  
  20. ^ Kovalev, Sergey (2004), "The Basis Nord Mystery", Oil of Russia International Quarterly Edition (2), http://www.oilru.com/or/16/204/  
  21. ^ a b Don Kindell (17 September 2008). "Naval Events, April 1940, Part 1 of 4". Naval-History.Net. http://www.royalnavy-history.net/xDKWW2-4004-13APR01.htm. Retrieved 10 January 2010.  
  22. ^ Duffy, James P. (2005). Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet: The Deadliest Ships of World War II. University of Nebraska Press. p. 128. ISBN 9780803266520. http://books.google.com/books?id=qXt8iTfDNacC&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=von+Baumbach+1940&source=bl&ots=5QesFnS4sM&sig=JVs4gw1ofcMgT6K8nVGVNFvDHVM&hl=en&ei=WpJQS_ahIYiUnwO_t_yZCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=von%20Baumbach%201940&f=false.  
  23. ^ Berg, Ole F. (1997) (in Norwegian). I skjærgården og på havet – Marinens krig 8. april 1940 – 8. mai 1945. Oslo: Marinens krigsveteranforening. p. 35. ISBN 82-993545-2-8.  
  24. ^ O'Hara, Vincent P. The German Fleet at War, Naval Institute Press, 2004, p. 32
  25. ^ Dildy, Doug (2007). Denmark and Norway 1940: Hitler's boldest operation. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 1846031176. http://books.google.com/books?id=VjDG09h86OwC&pg=PA47&dq=German+tanker+%22kattegat%22&lr=&sig=ACfU3U36rsEuvCHHp9nlqYtt5GJ2y-qmEA.  
  26. ^ Sivertsen, Svein Carl (ed.) (2000) (in Norwegian). Med Kongen til fornyet kamp - Oppbyggingen av Marinen ute under Den andre verdenskrig. Hundvåg: Sjømilitære Samfund ved Norsk Tidsskrift for Sjøvesen. p. 23. ISBN 82-994738-8-8.  
  27. ^ Brown 2000: 44
  28. ^ "Search results for "5606831"" (Click on link for ship data). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/ship/list?search_op=OR&IDNo=5606831. Retrieved 13 January 2010.  
  29. ^ Berg 1997: 49
  30. ^ Sivertsen 2000: 23-24
  31. ^ Berg 1997: 49
  32. ^ Hauge, Andreas (1995) (in Norwegian). Kampene i Norge 1940. 2. Sandefjord: Krigshistorisk Forlag. p. 189. ISBN 82-993369-0-2.  
  33. ^ Williamson 2003: 35
  34. ^ Williamson 2003: 35
  35. ^ "Search results for "5606783"" (Click on link for ship data). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/ship/list?search_op=OR&IDNo=5606783. Retrieved 2 February 2009.  
  36. ^ First Battle of Narvik - German Naval History.com
  37. ^ a b c d Narvik: The British Counterattack
  38. ^ U-64 entry at uboat.net
  39. ^ Capt. Dickens, Peter (1997) [1974]. Sweetman, Jack. ed. Narvik: battles in the fjords. Classics of Naval Literature. U.S. Naval Institute. pp. 138. ISBN 1-55750-744-9.  
  40. ^ Second Naval Battle of Narvik - British and German Order of Battle.
  41. ^ Tötung von Schiffbrüchigen
  42. ^ Second Battle of Narvik - German Naval History.com
  43. ^ Waage 1963, p. 110
  44. ^ Jaklin 2006, p. 33
  45. ^ The land battle (Norwegian)

Literature

  • Macintyre, Donald G. F. W Narvik W. W. Norton, 1959.
  • Ziemke, Earl F. The German Northern Theater of Operations 1940-1945 Department of the Army, 1959.


The Battles of Narvik were fought from 9 April until 8 June 1940 as a naval battle in the Ofotfjord and as a land battle in the mountains surrounding the north Norwegian city of Narvik as part of the Norwegian Campaign of the Second World War.

The two naval battles in the Ofotfjord on 10 April and 13 April were fought between the British Royal Navy and the German Kriegsmarine, while the two-month land campaign was fought between Norwegian, French, British, and Polish troops against German and Austrian mountain troops, shipwrecked Kriegsmarine sailors and German Fallschirmjäger from 1st battalion of the 1st Regiment, 7th Flieger Division. Narvik provided an ice-free harbour in the North Atlantic for iron ore transported by the railway from Kiruna in Sweden. Both sides in the war had an interest in securing this iron supply for themselves and denying it to the enemy, setting the stage for one of the first large-scale battles during the Second World War, since the invasion of Poland.[1]

Prior to the German invasion, British forces had considered Narvik as a possible landing point for an expedition to help Finland in the Winter War. Such an expedition might also take control over the Swedish mines and open up the Baltic for the Allies.[2] French politicians were also eager to start a second front as far away from France as possible.

Contents

German invasion

Naval battle preceding the first naval battle of Narvik
Part of the Second World War
Date 9 April 1940
Location Narvik, Norway
Result German victory
Belligerents
 Norway Germany
Commanders and leaders
File:Flag of Norway, Per Askim
File:Flag of Norway, Odd Isaachsen Willoch
Friedrich Bonte
Eduard Dietl
Strength
2 coastal defence ships 10 destroyers
Casualties and losses
2 coastal defence ships sunk
343 dead
None

On 1 March 1940, Adolf Hitler ordered the invasion of Norway, codenamed Weserübung.[3] This operation would involve most of the German navy (Kriegsmarine). Participating units were divided into five groups, which were to occupy six of the main Norwegian ports.[4]

Group I departed Bremerhaven on 6 April. It consisted of ten German destroyers of the 1934A and 1936 classes (the Georg Thiele, Wolfgang Zenker, Bernd von Arnim, Erich Giese, Erich Koellner, Diether von Roeder, Hans Lüdemann, Hermann Künne, Wilhelm Heidkamp (flagship) and Anton Schmitt, commanded by Commodore Friedrich Bonte. Each of the warships carried around 200 soldiers (a total of 1,900 Austrian mountain troopers (Gebirgsjäger) from the 139. Gebirgsjägerregiment of the 3rd Mountain Division commanded by General Eduard Dietl).[5] The troop-carrying destroyers were escorted most of the way by the battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.[4]

On 9 April in the early morning, the destroyers of Group I passed Vestfjord and arrived at Ofotfjord leading to Narvik, in fog and heavy snow. In Ofotfjord they captured three Norwegian patrol boats (Senja, Michael Sars and Kelt). Before capture Kelt managed to send a message to the coastal defence ship HNoMS Norge, alerting the local Norwegian naval commander of the incoming vessels.[6] The German ships Wolfgang Zenker, Erich Koellner and Hermann Kunne landed their soldiers in Herjangsfjord (part of Ofotfjord) in order to capture a Norwegian regimental supply base at Elvegårdsmoen.[7] Hans Ludemann and Hermann Künne also landed their troops in order to engage the nearby Norwegian forts (which turned out to be non-existent). Diether von Roeder remained in Ofotfjord in order to ensure German control of the sea. Erich Giese was delayed by engine trouble and did not join the main force for some time.

The main defence of Narvik were the old coastal defence ships Eidsvold and Norge. Having been alerted by Kelt, both Norwegian ships prepared for combat: the guns were loaded and life preservers issued to the crew. Around 04:15am, the Germans spotted Eidsvold, and Eidsvold immediately signalled the leading German destroyer with an aldis lamp. When the Germans failed to respond to the signal, a warning shot was fired across their bow.[8]

The Germans had orders to occupy Norway peacefully if at all possible, so the German flagship Wilhelm Heidkamp stopped and signalled that it would send an officer to negotiate. A small launch ferried Korvettenkapitän (lieutenant commander) Gerlach over to Eidsvold. Gerlach was taken to the bridge to speak to Captain Willoch.[9]

Gerlach tried to convince Willoch that the Germans had arrived as friends, but that the Norwegians had to hand over their warships to the German armed forces. Captain Willoch asked for time to consult his commander, Captain Per Askim, the commander of Norge. This request was refused by the Germans, but while Willoch had been talking to the German officer the radio officer on board the Eidsvold had communicated the events to Askim. Askim's response to the German demands and order to Willoch came immediately; Willoch and the Eidsvold was to open fire.[10] Willoch responded to Askim; "I am attacking".[8] While this was going on the German destroyer Wilhelm Heidkamp had positioned herself 700 metres (770 yd) off the port side of Eidsvold and trained her torpedo launchers on the Norwegian ship.[8]

Gerlach tried once again to convince Willoch to surrender, but Willoch refused. As Gerlach left Eidsvold, he fired a red flare, indicating that the Norwegians intended to fight. At this point, Captain Willoch shouted: "På plass ved kanonene. Nå skal vi slåss, gutter!" ("Man the guns. We're going to fight, boys!").[11] Eidsvold turned towards the closest destroyer and accelerated, closing the distance to Wilhelm Heidkamp to 300 metres (330 yd) while the battery commander ordered the port battery (three 15 cm guns) to open fire.[12]

The Germans, afraid that Eidsvold might ram the destroyer, fired four torpedoes from Wilhelm Heidkamp at the old ship. Two of the torpedoes hit before the port guns could fire. The Norwegian ammunition magazine was ignited and Eidsvold was blown in two. The forward part of the ship sank in seconds, the stern followed in minutes, propellers still turning. At around 04:37am she was gone 175 Norwegian sailors died in the freezing water, including Captain Willoch, eight surviving.[13]

Deeper inside the fjord, the explosions were heard aboard Norge, but nothing could be seen until two German destroyers suddenly appeared out of the darkness and Captain Per Askim of Norge gave orders to open fire at 04:45 am. Four rounds were fired from the 21 cm guns (one from the fore gun and three from the aft) as well as seven or eight rounds from the starboard 15 cm guns, against the German destroyer Bernd von Arnim, at a range of about 800 metres. Due to the difficult weather conditions, the guns' optical sights were ineffective: the first salvo fell short of the target and the next ones overshot it.

The German destroyers waited until they were alongside the pier before returning fire. Bernd von Armin opened fire with her 12.7 cm (5 inch) guns as well as with machine guns, but the weather gave the Germans problems as well. The destroyer also fired three salvoes of two torpedoes each. The first two salvoes missed, but the last struck Norge midships and she sank in less than one minute. 90 of the crew were rescued, but 101 perished in the battle which had lasted less than 20 minutes. The destruction of Norge signalled the end of Norwegian resistance in the port.

The morning of the German attack four Norwegian steamers were anchored in Narvik; the 4,285 g.r.t. Cate B, the 1,712 g.r.t. Eldrid, the 1,758 g.r.t. Haalegg and the 4,306 g.r.t. Saphir. In addition to the Norwegian vessels four foreign neutral ships were present; a 951 g.r.t. Dutch steamer, the Bernisse, and the three Swedish steamships Boden of 4,264 g.r.t., Oxelosund pf 5,613 g.r.t.and Strassa of 5,603 g.r.t.. As well as neutral ships the warring parties had vessels at Narvik, riding anchor in the same port. The British had five steamers in the harbour; the 6,582 g.r.t. Blythmoor, the 5,141 g.r.t. Mersington Court, the 4,304 g.r.t. North Cornwall, the 5,378 g.r.t. Riverton and the 4,887 g.r.t. Romanby. As the German armada seized Narvik there were 11 German merchant steamers at the port town; the 6,388 g.r.t. Aachen, the 5,398 g.r.t. Altona, the 4,902 g.r.t. Bockenheim, the 5,386 g.r.t. Hein Hoyer, the 4,879 g.r.t. Martha Henrich Fisser, the 8,096 g.r.t. Neuenfels, the 5,806 g.r.t. Odin , the 7,849 g.r.t. Lippe, the 4,339 g.r.t. Frielinghaus and the 5,881 g.r.t.Planet and the 11,776 g.r.t. replenishment oiler/maintenance ship Jan Wellem.[14] Jan Wellem, a converted former whale factory ship, awaited the arrival of the German warships, which she was tasked to refuel.[15][16][17] Working in the harbour were the Swedish tugs Diana (213 tons) and Styrbjörn (167 tons). As the German destroyers entered the harbour the captain of the Bockenheim, who assumed that the intruding warships were British, beached and scuttled his vessel.[14] In total 25 ore ships had been riding at anchor in Narvik at the outset of the fighting, 10 of which were German.[18]

The German destroyers were now short of fuel and had only one fuel tanker in support (the 11,776 g.r.t. ex-whale factory ship Jan Wellem that had been despatched to Narvik, accordingly to some sources from the secret German naval base Basis Nord at Zapadnaya Litsa in the Soviet Union, where she had been based since 4 February 1940.[16][19][20] Another source indicates that she departed Murmansk in the evening of the 6 April[21] and that Basis Nord was never even established.[22] She had arrived off Narvik from the north on 8 April, and had been stopped by the Norwegian patrol boat Kvitøy. Jan Wellem was allowed entry to Narvik by the regional Norwegian naval command, where she was inspected. Her captain claimed that she was carrying 8,500 tons of fuel oil and 8,098 crates of food provisions and that she was on her way to Germany.[23] A second tanker, the 6,031 tonne Kattegat which had sailed to Norway from Wilhelmshaven,[21] had been sunk in the Glomfjord in the evening of 9 April. Kattegat had been stopped by the Norwegian fishery protection ship Nordkapp, the Norwegian ship first trying to take the tanker as a prize, but due to the large German crew could not control it all the way to Bodø, in the end sinking Kattegat by firing four 47 mm rounds into the tanker's water line.[24][25] Kattegat had been delayed from reaching Narvik in time by the British 8 April mining operations off Norway.[26] A third tanker, the Skagerrak had also been despatched to Norway, in support of the German landings at Trondheim, but she was intercepted by the British cruiser HMS Suffolk, on 14 April,[27][28] after she had been redirected by German naval command to a waiting position at sea. When the British warship tried to board the Skagerrak her crew scuttled her at 68°15′N 02°00′E / 68.25°N 2°E / 68.25; 2. Both Kattegat and Skagerrak, which were sister ships, were inspected at Kopervik by the Norwegian torpedo boat Stegg, on 5 and 7 April respectively. The captain of Kattegat told the Norwegians that he was headed to Narvik for further orders, and the captain of Skagerrak claimed Murmansk as their destination, and inspections revealed that both tankers had a full load of fuel oil. Skagerrak also carried 165 tons of food provisions, which was claimed as supplies for German merchant ships. The food crates were labelled Wehrmacht.[29][30] According to the German plan the destroyers were supposed to have been refuelled by two tankers, the Kattegat and the Jan Wellem, each receiving some 600 tons of fuel oil.[29] The flotilla was then to be on its way back to Germany by the evening of 9 April. The plan failed because only Jan Wellem made it to Narvik. Refuelling with just one tanker was difficult, only two destroyers could be refuelled simultaneously, taking seven or eight hours. At arrival in Narvik the destroyers were almost out of fuel.[31] Making the refuelling more challenging was the fact that Jan Wellem had only improvised refuelling arrangements and inferior pumping equipment.[15][17] While two destroyers were being refuelled at a time a third was on guard in fjord, the remaining seven being spread around in the nearby area.[32] By 0400hrs on 10 April 1940 the Jan Wellem had managed to fully refuel three of the German destroyers, and was in the process of refuelling two more.[17]

In the meantime, British forces had tried to engage the Kriegsmarine, but for the most part, unsuccessfully. On 8 April, the British G class destroyer HMS Glowworm engaged the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and two destroyers, and was lost, ramming and damaging Hipper in the battle. On 9 April, the British battlecruiser HMS Renown exchanged artillery salvos with the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, which were screening the destroyers, causing light damage to Gneisenau. The destroyers' main mission had been completed, however, as they had succeeded in landing the invasion force.

First Naval Battle of Narvik

First naval battle of Narvik
Part of the Second World War
Date 10 April 1940
Location Narvik, Norway
Result British victory
Belligerents
 United Kingdom Germany
Commanders and leaders
Bernard Warburton-Lee  Friedrich Bonte 
Strength
5 destroyers 10 destroyers
Casualties and losses
2 destroyers sunk
1 destroyer heavily damaged
2 destroyers sunk
1 ammunition supply ship sunk
6 cargo ships sunk
4 destroyers damaged
163 casualties

The day after the German invasion, the Royal Navy took an opportunity to defeat the Kriegsmarine. The 2nd Destroyer Flotilla under Commodore Bernard Warburton-Lee comprising five H class destroyers (HMS Hardy (flagship), Hotspur, Havock, Hunter and Hostile (British H class destroyers were smaller than the German destroyers) moved up the fjord in the early morning. The German destroyers Hermann Künne and Hans Lüdemann were anchored alongside the tanker Jan Wellem and refuelling when the British destroyer attack began at 0430hrs.[14][17] The German picket ship (Diether von Roeder) had left its post to refuel and, as the British flotilla approached Narvik, they surprised and engaged a German force at the entrance to the harbour and sank two destroyers Wilhelm Heidkamp (killing Commodore Bonte) and Anton Schmidt, heavily damaged the Diether von Roeder and inflicted lesser damage on two others. They also exchanged fire with German invasion troops ashore, but did not have a landing force aboard and therefore turned to leave. Before the destroyers left the scene Hostile fired her torpedoes at the merchant ships in the harbour. In total eleven merchant ships (six German, one British, two Swedish and two Norwegian) were sunk during the British sortie into the harbour.[14][32]

The British flotilla was then engaged by three more German destroyers (Wolfgang Zenker, Erich Koellner and Erich Giese) emerging from the Herjangsfjord, led by Commander Erich Bey, and then two more (Georg Thiele and Bernd von Arnim) coming from Ballangen Bay, under Commander Fritz Berger. In the ensuing battle, two British destroyers were lost: the flotilla leader HMS Hardy, which was beached in flames, and HMS Hunter, which was torpedoed and sank. A third, HMS Hotspur, was also damaged badly by a torpedo. Hotspur and the other remaining British destroyers left the battlefield, damaging Georg Thiele as they did so. The German destroyers, now short of fuel and ammunition, did not pursue and the British ships were able to sink the 8,460 tonne ammunition supply ship Rauenfels[33] which they encountered on their way out the fjord. Soon the German naval forces were blocked in by British reinforcements, including the cruiser HMS Penelope. During the night of 11–12 April, while manoeuvring in Narvik harbour, Erich Koellner and Wolfgang Zenker ran aground. Wolfgang Zenker damaged her propellers and was restricted to a speed of twenty knots. Erich Koellner was much more badly damaged - so the Germans planned, when she was repaired enough to move, to moor her at the Tarstad in the same capacity as Diether von Roeder - as an immobile defence battery.[14]

As the British destroyers left the Vestfjord outside Narvik, two German submarines, U-25 and U-51, fired torpedoes at them, but German torpedoes at the time had severe problems with their magnetic detonator systems - possibly due to the high northern latitude: all of them failed and either did not detonate at all or detonated well before their targets.

Both the German naval commander, Commodore Friedrich Bonte (on Wilhelm Heidkamp), and the British commander, Captain Bernard Warburton-Lee (on Hardy), had been killed in the battle. Warburton-Lee was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, Bonte the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.[1][34][35]

Second Naval Battle of Narvik

Second naval battle of Narvik
Part of the Second World War
Date 13 April 1940
Location Narvik, Norway
Result British victory
Belligerents
 United Kingdom Germany
Commanders and leaders
William Whitworth Erich Bey
Strength
1 battleship
9 destroyers
a small number of aircraft
8 destroyers
2 U-boats
Casualties and losses
3 destroyers damaged
28 killed
55 wounded
8 destroyers sunk or scuttled
1 U-boat sunk
128 killed
67 wounded

The Royal Navy considered it imperative, for morale and strategic purposes, to defeat the Germans in Narvik, so Vice Admiral William Whitworth was sent with the battleship HMS Warspite and nine destroyers; four Tribal class (HMS Bedouin, Cossack, Punjabi, Eskimo) and five others (HMS Kimberley, Hero, Icarus, Forester and Foxhound), accompanied by aircraft from the aircraft carrier HMS Furious. These forces arrived in the Ofotfjord on 13 April to find that the eight remaining German destroyers, now under the command of Fregattenkapitän (Commander) Erich Bey, were virtually stranded due to lack of fuel and were short of ammunition.

Before the battle, Warspite launched its catapult plane (Fairey Swordfish L 9767), which bombed and sank U-64, anchored in the Herjangsfjord near Bjerkvik. Most of the crew survived and were rescued by German mountain troops. This was the first U-boat to be sunk by an aircraft during World War II, and the only instance where an aircraft launched from a battleship sank a U-Boat.[36]

In the ensuing battle, three of the German destroyers were sunk by Warspite and her escorts, and the other five were scuttled by their own crews when they ran out of fuel and ammunition. First to go was Erich Koellner which tried to ambush the Allied forces, but was spotted by Warspite's Swordfish and subsequently torpedoed and shelled by the destroyers and battleship. Then Wolfgang Zenker, Bernd von Arnim, Hans Ludemann and Hermann Künne engaged the British forces, but only managed to damage HMS Bedouin lightly. British aircraft from Furious tried to engage the German destroyers but were unsuccessful; two were lost. Wolfgang Zenker tried to torpedo Warspite.


Finally, when the German destroyers were low on ammunition, they retreated, except for Hermann Künne, which had not received the order. Hermann Künne was fired upon by the pursuing HMS Eskimo, but she took no hits. Out of ammunition but undamaged, Hermann Künne was scuttled by her crew in Trollvika in the Herjangsfjord. After scuttling the ship, the crew placed demolition depth charges on the ship, attempting to sink her in Trollvika's shallow waters. Eskimo, still in hot pursuit, launched a torpedo which hit Hermann Künne, setting her on fire. Whether the German's own depth charges or the torpedo from Eskimo was the source of the explosion, nobody knows.[37] Eskimo was in turn ambushed by Georg Thiele and Hans Ludemann, losing her bow but surviving. Diether von Roeder and Erich Giese, both suffering engine problems, fired upon the British forces while still docked, damaging Punjabi and Cossack, but they were both sunk before they could cause further damage. That was the last German counter-attack and the remaining German destroyers were scuttled soon after. The only German ship which survived within the port area was the submarine U-51.

Shore batteries and installations were also very badly damaged by Warspite's guns. On the Allied side, the damage to HMS Eskimo kept her in Norway until 31 May 1940. German submarines again suffered torpedo failures, when U-46 and U-48 fired at the departing Warspite on 14 April.

The Germans lost over 1,000 men and the destroyers Hermann Künne, Wolfgang Zenker, Erich Koellner, Georg Thiele, Bernd von Arnim, Erich Giese, Hans Lüdemann and Diether von Roeder, in addition to U-64.[38]

Many of the shipwrecked Germans were shot upon by British artillery and machine guns,[39] and about 2,600 survivors were organised into an improvised marine infantry unit, the Gebirgsmarine, and fought alongside the 139. Gebirgsjägerregiment in the subsequent land battle.[35][40] Although unsuited for combat in the mountainous terrain around Narvik the shipwrecked sailors manned the two 10.5 cm guns and the 11 light anti-aircraft guns salvaged from the ships sunk during the naval battles and conducted defensive operations.[5] The sailors were armed from the stocks captured at the Norwegian army base Elvegårdsmoen, more than 8,000 Krag-Jørgensen rifles and 315 machine guns intended for the mobilisation of Norwegian army units in the Narvik area.[41]

Later naval operations

After the naval battles of Narvik, the port and its surroundings remained in German hands, as no Allied forces were available to be landed there. Naval operations were limited at this stage to shore bombardment, as Narvik was not a primary Allied objective.

Among others, the Polish destroyers - ORP Grom, ORP Burza and ORP Błyskawica took part in these operations, during which Grom was sunk by German aircraft on 4 May 1940.

Land battle

Battle of Narvik
Part of the Second World War
Date 9 April - 8 June 1940
Location Narvik, Norway
Result German victory following Allied withdrawal
Belligerents
 Norway
 United Kingdom
France
Poland
Germany
Commanders and leaders
Carl Gustav Fleischer
William Boyle, 12th Earl of Cork
Zygmunt Bohusz-Szyszko
Raoul Magrin-Vernerey
Eduard Dietl
Strength
Norwegian 6th Division
Four British battalions
Three battalions of
Chasseurs alpins
Two battalions of
13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade
Four battalions of the
Polish Independent Highland Brigade
Total:24,500 men
5,600 men:
2,000 Gebirgsjägers (mostly from Austria[42])
2,600 sailors
and
1,000 were Fallschirmjägers

During the Norwegian Campaign, Narvik and its surrounding area saw significant fighting, initially from 9 April between German and Norwegian forces, subsequently between Allied and German forces, conducted by the Norwegian 6th Division of the Norwegian Army as well as by an Allied expeditionary corps until 9 June 1940. Unlike the campaign in southern Norway, the Allied troops in Narvik would eventually outnumber the Norwegian troops. Five nations participated in the fighting. From 5 May to 10 May the fighting in the Narvik area was the only active theatre of land war in the Second World War. At the outset, the position of the German commander, Dietl, was not good: his 2,000 troops were outnumbered. After the German destroyers had been sunk, however, about 2,600 German sailors joined in the land battle. Another 290 German specialists travelled via Sweden posing as health care workers. During the last 3–4 weeks the Germans were also reinforced by about 1,000 men air dropped over Bjørnefjell, thus bringing the total number of Germans to around 5,000. Their position and outlook changed from good to dire several times. On occasions, the entire operation was controlled directly from the German High Command in Berlin - Hitler's mood was reportedly swinging heavily and he repeatedly contemplated withdrawal. Intelligence agents captured later in the war also stated that Dietl himself had been considering crossing the Swedish frontier with his troops to be interned, until the German agent Marina Lee infiltrated Auchinleck's headquarters at Tromsø and obtained the British battle plan[43]; however, the accuracy of this allegation has been questioned[44]. The Norwegian force under General Carl Gustav Fleischer eventually reached 8-10,000 men after a few weeks. The total number of Allied troops in the campaign, in and around Narvik, reached 24,500 men.[45]

The early phase of the invasion was marked by the German advantage of surprise. Norwegian troops in northern Norway had been called out on a three month neutrality watch during the winter of 1939/1940 and so they had trained together. During 9–25 April, the Norwegian forces suffered three catastrophes. First, the forces protecting Narvik were unable to resist the Germans due to the commanding officer, the later NS Hird commander Colonel Konrad Sundlo, refusing to fight the invaders; second, around 200 soldiers from the Narvik garrison who had escaped capture and was blocking the railway to Sweden was caught by surprise while resting at Bjørnefjell, most of the men being captured; third, the so-called "Trønder battalion" sent to hold Gratangsbotn was attacked by surprise while in camp, suffering casualties that ruined its spirit and effectively knocked it out of the remainder of the campaign.

Due to mounting Norwegian pressure and difficulties with bringing up supplies to the forward lying troops the Germans abandoned Gratangsbotn and withdrew from Lapphaugen and the Gratangsdalen Valley, following the Battle of Gratangen. In the beginning of May, the Norwegians started an advance southwards towards Narvik. Once it became clear that the Allies would mount the main invasion of Narvik itself, in mid May, the Norwegian direction altered towards Bjørnefjell.

The British arrived first and set up headquarters in Harstad on 14 April. In the following days three battalions were deployed mainly at Sjøvegan, Skånland (where a naval base was established) and at Bogen. Later they were deployed south of Ofotfjord, at Ballangen and Håkvik. In May most British troops were withdrawn from the Narvik area and redeployed southwards to Nordland, in order to delay the German advance there.

The initial British detachment was reinforced on 28 April by a French expeditionary force, led by General Antoine Béthouart. Three battalions of Alpine troops and two battalions of 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade were deployed both north and south of the Ofotfjord, but later, the north would be the main French area of operation. Four Polish battalions arrived on 9 May. They were first deployed north of the Ofotfjord, but later redeployed to the area south of the fjord. In early June they were formed into the Polish Independent Highland Brigade under Zygmunt Bohusz-Szyszko.

In addition, the Allies had difficulties in deciding how best to retake Narvik and the iron ore railway. There was no unified Allied command for the troops at Narvik: the Norwegians and the Allies retained separate commanders and cooperation between them was not always smooth. Even within the British forces, the Army and Navy commanders (Major General Pierse J. Mackesy and Admiral William Boyle) had difficulties cooperating: Boyle advocated a swift and direct attack from the sea while Mackesy advocated a cautious approach from both sides of the Ofotfjord. In the end, the British Naval commander, Boyle, was given command of all Allied troops.

in action north of Narvik]]

In the second week of May, the Norwegian advances against the Germans east of Gratangseidet were the most significant movements on the Narvik front. In addition, on the Norwegian's right flank French alpine troops advanced up the Laberg valley supported by a company of Norwegian ski troops. In the south the Allies did not have much success and in the north of the Ofotfjord they were not making any movements. The Norwegians continued their successful mountain campaign and in mid May the Allies took the initiative and achieved significant victories. Both Paris and London had been growing impatient with the slow progress in Narvik and the French commander, Béthouart, had pressed for more action.

heavy machine gun at the Narvik front]]

The cautious approach on land was abandoned and an amphibious attack was launched at around midnight on 12 May. This attack was directed at Bjerkvik and was preceded by a naval bombardment from British warships in Herjangsfjord. Then the French Foreign Legioneers were put ashore supported by five light French tanks. The French took Bjerkvik, Elvegårdsmoen army camp and advanced north east to where the Germans were withdrawing and south along the east side of Herjangsfjord. The plan also required Polish troops to advance towards Bjerkvik from land on the west side of the fjord, but heavy terrain delayed them and they did not arrive before Bjerkvik was taken. It had also been part of the plan for French and Norwegian troops to advance from the north in order to box the Germans in, but cooperation problems between the Norwegian and French commanders left a gap through which the Germans escaped. Despite this, the Allies had a clear path north of Narvik and planned to attack over Rombaksfjord.

Again the attack was stalled while the Allies waited for air support to be fully established from Bardufoss. At 23:40 on 28 May a naval bombardment commenced from the north. Two French and one Norwegian battalion would be transported across the Rombaksfjord and advance on Narvik from the north. In the south the Polish battalions would advance towards Ankenes and inner Beisfjord. The maximum capacity of the landing barges was 290 men and these troops could not be reinforced for 45 minutes. These first troops were able to get a foothold on Ornes by the time the rest of the French and the Norwegians were landed. The French moved westwards towards the city and eastwards along the railway. The Norwegians moved towards Taraldsvik mountain, circled around and moved down towards the city. The German commander decided to evacuate already before 07:00am and retired along Beisfjord. This was the first major allied victory on land.[46]

Operation Alphabet

File:Norwegian troops
British troops returning to the UK at Greenock in June 1940.

It seemed now that it was only a matter of time before the Germans would have to surrender. They were pushed from the north by the Norwegians, from the west by the French and from the southwest by the Poles. It looked like Bjørnefjell would be the Germans' last stand, but events elsewhere in Europe came to their rescue. London had already secretly decided to evacuate on 24 May and that became apparent in the following days. The night of 24/25 May, Lord Cork received orders to retreat, but under cover so the Germans would be prevented from interfering. The Allied commanders agreed that an attack on Narvik would disguise the retreat and allow the destruction of the iron ore harbour.

The Norwegian government and commanders were first told in early June and the news was met with disbelief and bitterness. The Norwegians still hoped to defeat the Germans alone and, as late as 5 June, one of the two Norwegian brigades was ordered to attack. The Norwegian government also explored the possibility of creating a neutral, but free Northern Norway. This plan was futile and on 7 June the King and government were evacuated to Britain. All Allied troops were evacuated from Narvik between 4 June and 8 June 1940.[35]

Three Polish passenger ships, MS Sobieski, MS Batory and MS Chrobry, took part in the evacuation operation. Chrobry was sunk on 14/15 May by German bombers. On 8 June, General Dietl retook Narvik and on 10 June the last Norwegian forces in Norway surrendered.

Operation Juno

On 7 June, the British aircraft carrier HMS Glorious, had taken on board 10 Gloster Gladiators and 8 Hawker Hurricanes from No. 46 Squadron RAF and No. 263 Squadron RAF Royal Air Force. These were flown off from land bases to keep them from being destroyed in the evacuation. Glorious left a larger convoy to proceed independently. The next day, while sailing through the Norwegian Sea to return to Scapa Flow, the carrier and her escorts, the destroyers HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent, were intercepted by the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. The carrier and escorts were sunk with the loss of more than 1,500 men.

The Scharnhorst was badly damaged by a torpedo from Acasta and both German vessels were hit by a number of medium shells. The damage to the German ships was sufficient to cause the Germans to retire to Trondheim, which allowed the safe passage of the evacuation convoy through the area later that day.[35]

Aftermath

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-L12208, Lazarettschiff "Wilhelm Gustloff".jpg
German soldiers wounded at Narvik being transported back to Germany on the Wilhelm Gustloff in July 1940.
File:Navrik wounded in Mearnskirk
British soldiers wounded at Narvik recuperating in Mearnskirk Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland

The Allied offensive started slowly. Unlike the Germans, they did not have a clear operational objective in Norway and therefore did not steer their operation with as much decisiveness. The British had drafted plans to land in Narvik before the German invasion and troops and supplies had even been loaded onto ships when they executed their mining operation on 8 April. These had been hastily unloaded when German ships were spotted northbound. The British thought that the German ships were trying to break into the Atlantic to avoid being trapped in German ports. Following this rationale, they wanted all their own ships available to intercept the German fleet. The consequent confusion would dog the troops for weeks: troops and materiel were shipped to Norway separately without clear landing sites and orders were changed while en route. It was as if the Allies were confused by the many small and large fjords and bays and could not decide where it would be best to start. In addition, British, French and Polish units would rapidly relieve each other.

The cold and snow was a common enemy for all troops at Narvik, but most of the Allies were poorly prepared for it. The Norwegians were the only ones fully equipped with skis and able to use them. The British attempted to use skis, but their troops were largely untrained and supply was scarce. German sailors faced the same problems. Even within the German and French mountain specialists, only a few units were equipped with skis. The Polish mountain brigade had no mountain training in fact.

Most troops were untested in battle. The German mountain specialists had participated in the invasion of Poland and some of the troops that had been air dropped over Bjørnefjell had fought in the Netherlands. Some of the French Foreign Legioneers came directly from fighting in North Africa and most of Polish officers and many soldiers had participated in the defence of Poland, some even in the Spanish Civil War, and were highly motivated[47].

The Allies had sea and air superiority until the very last stage of the operation, but did not take full advantage of that.

The Germans lost the naval battle, but achieved the main goal of their operation - the successful invasion and occupation of Norway.

Around Narvik, German naval losses were high: they lost 10 destroyers (half of their entire destroyer force), one submarine and several support ships. In exchange, they sank two Allied destroyers and damaged several others. The reason for this defeat lay in the German plans which made it impossible for the destroyers to retire quickly, even if they had had adequate supplies. This was compounded by the design of German destroyers: despite their relatively large size and armament they had inadequate fuel and ammunition storage.

On the other hand, British forces, while achieving an indisputable local naval victory, were unprepared to follow it up with any land operation. This allowed the Germans to consolidate their foothold in Norway and made the subsequent Allied counter invasion more difficult.

The Narvik Peace Foundation was established in 1990 with the events of 1940 as a background.

References

  1. ^ a b Narvik Naval Battle - A BBC article
  2. ^ Brown, David (2000). Naval operations of the campaign in Norway, April-June 1940. Routledge. p. 3. ISBN 9780714651194. http://books.google.com/?id=pt2ci58xTRMC&pg=PA44&dq=tanker+skagerrak+suffolk&cd=1#v=onepage&q=tanker%20skagerrak%20suffolk. 
  3. ^ Derry, T. K. (1952). The Campaign in Norway. London: HMSO. p. 18. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/UK-NWE-Norway/UK-NWE-Norway-2.html. 
  4. ^ a b Derry 1952: 27
  5. ^ a b Jaklin, Asbjørn (2006) (in Norwegian). Nordfronten - Hitlers skjebneområde. Oslo: Gyldendal. p. 31. ISBN 978-82-05-34537-9. 
  6. ^ Kristiansen, Trond (2006) (in Norwegian). Fjordkrigen – Sjømilitær motstand mot den tyske invasjonsflåten i 1940. Harstad: Forlaget Kristiansen. p. 35. ISBN 82-997054-2-8. 
  7. ^ Don Kindell (17 September 2008). "Naval Events, April 1940, Part 2 of 4". Naval-History.Net. http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-4004-13APR02.htm. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c Hauge, Andreas (1995) (in Norwegian). Kampene i Norge 1940. 2. Sandefjord: Krigshistorisk Forlag. p. 184. ISBN 82-993369-0-2. 
  9. ^ Brennecke, Jochen (2003). The hunters and the hunted. Naval Institute Press. p. 48. ISBN 9781591140917. http://books.google.com/?id=aWqG313WZgwC&pg=PA48&dq=gerlach+narvik&cd=1#v=onepage&q=gerlach%20narvik. 
  10. ^ Bjørnsen, Bjørn (1977) (in Norwegian). Det utrolige døgnet. Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag. p. 95. ISBN 82-05-10553-7. 
  11. ^ Rune Bang. "Falne og omkomne under siste krig" (in Norwegian). Lurøy lokalhistorie og fotoarkiv. http://www.luroy.folkebibl.no/artikkel_76_lokalhist.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  12. ^ Hauge 1995: 184, 186
  13. ^ O'Hara 2004: 30
  14. ^ a b c d e Don Kindell (17 September 2008). "Naval Events, April 1940, Part 2 of 4". Naval-History.Net. http://www.royalnavy-history.net/xDKWW2-4004-13APR02.htm. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Williamson, Gordon (2003). German Destroyers 1939-45. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 9781841765044. http://books.google.com/?id=1hDLLpQNG3AC&dq=refuelling+destroyers+narvik&q=jan+wellem#v=snippet&q=jan%20wellem. 
  16. ^ a b Weinberg, Gerhard L. (2005). A world at arms: a global history of World War II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 114–115. ISBN 9780521618267. http://books.google.com/?id=xlsrAxuWekQC&pg=PA114&dq=jan+wellem+basis+nord&cd=2#v=onepage&q=jan%20wellem%20basis%20nord. 
  17. ^ a b c d O'Hara, Vincent P. (2004). The German fleet at war, 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. p. 32. ISBN 9781591146513. http://books.google.com/?id=z85Xh21qniEC&pg=PA32&lpg=PA32&dq=naval+tanker+jan+wellem&q=naval%20tanker%20jan%20wellem. 
  18. ^ Waage, Johan (1963) (in Norwegian). Kampene om Narvik. Oslo: Dreyers Forlag. p. 56.  (Also published in English [The Narvik Campaign] and French [La bataille de Narvik] editions.)
  19. ^ Philbin, Tobias R. (1994). The lure of Neptune: German-Soviet naval collaboration and ambitions, 1919-1941. University of South Carolina Press. pp. 102, 110, 113–114. ISBN 9780872499928. http://books.google.com/?id=OiKxyqNp8SUC&pg=PA114&lpg=PA114&dq=jan+wellem+basis+nord&q=jan%20wellem%20basis%20nord. 
  20. ^ Kovalev, Sergey (2004). "The Basis Nord Mystery". Oil of Russia International Quarterly Edition (2). http://www.oilru.com/or/16/204/. 
  21. ^ a b Don Kindell (17 September 2008). "Naval Events, April 1940, Part 1 of 4". Naval-History.Net. http://www.royalnavy-history.net/xDKWW2-4004-13APR01.htm. Retrieved 10 January 2010. 
  22. ^ Duffy, James P. (2005). Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet: The Deadliest Ships of World War II. University of Nebraska Press. p. 128. ISBN 9780803266520. http://books.google.com/?id=qXt8iTfDNacC&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=von+Baumbach+1940&q=von%20Baumbach%201940. 
  23. ^ Berg, Ole F. (1997) (in Norwegian). I skjærgården og på havet – Marinens krig 8. april 1940 – 8. mai 1945. Oslo: Marinens krigsveteranforening. p. 35. ISBN 82-993545-2-8. 
  24. ^ O'Hara, Vincent P. The German Fleet at War, Naval Institute Press, 2004, p. 32
  25. ^ Dildy, Doug (2007). Denmark and Norway 1940: Hitler's boldest operation. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 1846031176. http://books.google.com/?id=VjDG09h86OwC&pg=PA47&dq=German+tanker+%22kattegat%22. 
  26. ^ Sivertsen, Svein Carl (ed.) (2000) (in Norwegian). Med Kongen til fornyet kamp - Oppbyggingen av Marinen ute under Den andre verdenskrig. Hundvåg: Sjømilitære Samfund ved Norsk Tidsskrift for Sjøvesen. p. 23. ISBN 82-994738-8-8. 
  27. ^ Brown 2000: 44
  28. ^ ""5606831"" (subscription required). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  29. ^ a b Berg 1997: 49
  30. ^ Sivertsen 2000: 23-24
  31. ^ Hauge, Andreas (1995) (in Norwegian). Kampene i Norge 1940. 2. Sandefjord: Krigshistorisk Forlag. p. 189. ISBN 82-993369-0-2. 
  32. ^ a b Williamson 2003: 35
  33. ^ ""5606783"" (subscription required). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  34. ^ First Battle of Narvik - German Naval History.com
  35. ^ a b c d Narvik: The British Counterattack
  36. ^ U-64 entry at uboat.net
  37. ^ Capt. Dickens, Peter (1997) [1974]. Sweetman, Jack. ed. Narvik: battles in the fjords. Classics of Naval Literature. U.S. Naval Institute. pp. 138. ISBN 1-55750-744-9. 
  38. ^ Second Naval Battle of Narvik - British and German Order of Battle.
  39. ^ Tötung von Schiffbrüchigen
  40. ^ Second Battle of Narvik - German Naval History.com
  41. ^ Waage 1963, p. 110
  42. ^ vgl. Manfred Scheuch: Österreich im 20. Jahrhundert. Christian Brandstätter, Wien-München 2000. ISBN 3-85498-029-9 (Abschnitt „1938–1945 Österreich unter der Hitlerherrschaft“, S. 120)
  43. ^ Alan Travis (26 August 2010). "The Russian ballerina Nazi spy who aided British defeat in Norway". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/26/russian-ballerina-nazi-spy-marina-lee. 
  44. ^ Guy Walters. "Nazis and Beautiful Spies: How Tittle-Tattle becomes history". The Daily Telegraph. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/guywalters/100051670/nazis-and-beautiful-spies-how-tittle-tattle-becomes-history/. 
  45. ^ Jaklin 2006, p. 33
  46. ^ The land battle (Norwegian)
  47. ^ (Polish) Dec, Władysław (1981), Narwik i Falaise, Wydawnictwo MON, pp.26-29, ISBN 83-11-06583-7

Literature

  • Macintyre, Donald G. F. W Narvik W. W. Norton, 1959.
  • Ziemke, Earl F. The German Northern Theater of Operations 1940-1945 Department of the Army, 1959.








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message