April 9th, 2011
Norway April 9, 1940 info
Two very important events took place on todays date in 1940 in Norway
| Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. The name comes from the German for Operation Weser-Exercise (Unternehmen Weserübung), the Weser being a German river. |
In the early morning of 9 April 1940 — Wesertag ("Weser Day") — Germany invaded Denmark and Norway, ostensibly as a preventive manoeuvre against a planned, and openly discussed, Franco-British occupation of Norway. After the invasions, envoys of the Germans informed the governments of Denmark and Norway that the Wehrmacht had come to protect the countries' neutrality against Franco-British aggression. Significant differences in geography, location and climate between the two countries made the actual military operations very dissimilar.
The invasion fleet's nominal landing time — Weserzeit ("Weser Time") — was set to 05:15 German time, equivalent to 04:15 Norwegian time.
| The Battle of Drøbak Sound took place in the northernmost part of the Oslofjord on 9 April 1940, on the first day of the German invasion of Norway. It was the start of the war in Western Europe—and an end to the "Phoney War". |
Oscarsborg Fortress engaged a German fleet sailing up the Oslofjord with the objective of seizing the Norwegian capital and capturing Haakon VII, the Norwegian king, and his government. At the time of the battle, the ageing fortress' Main Battery of guns was over forty years old and the installation had been relegated to training coastal artillery servicemen, leading the Germans to disregard the fortress' defensive value. Furthermore, the most powerful weapon of the fortress was a torpedo battery, which no one but the Norwegian military knew about.
In the end, the fortress' armament worked flawlessly. By sinking the lead ship of the German armada headed for Oslo, Oscarsborg Fortress saved the Norwegian king and government from being taken captive in the first hours of the invasion.
As it says in the Wikipedia article above the sinking of the German heavy cruiser Blücher
gave the Norwegian King and Government time enough to escape north from Oslo and later to England where they continued to lead Norway and the Norwegian resistance movement in exile.