The Scramble For Norway – WW2 – 034 – April 20 1940

The Scramble For Norway – WW2 – 034 – April 20 1940

April 20, 1940 We’ve all heard the expression “haste
makes waste”, but when the haste is largely unplanned armed expeditions to combat an unforeseen
invasion, the waste can be measured in human lives. I’m Indy Neidell; this is World War Two. Last week Germany invaded Norway, and by the
end of the week had taken all major Norwegian ports, though at sea the German navy had not
fared well against the British. The Allies are already landing forces of their
own in Norway this week. Max Hastings has this to say about them: “The
makeshift Anglo-French landing forces sent to Norway…defied parody. Almost every effective unit of the British
army was deployed in France; only 12 half-trained Territorial battalions were available to cross
the North Sea. These were dispatched piecemeal, to pursue
objectives that changed almost hourly. They lacked maps, transport, and radios to
communicate with each other, far less with London… “Imagine how we felt when we saw a towering
ice-capped mountain in front of us… We South London boys, we had never seen a
mountain before, most of us had never been to sea.” I mentioned in February that German General
Niklaus von Falkenhorst had planned the Norway invasion with Baedeker tourist maps? Well, he isn’t alone. Since both sides are pretty surprised to find
themselves fighting in Norway, both sides get a lot of their battlefield intelligence
from Baedeker tourist guides. Both sides’ intelligence services are hard
at work, though, in the Norwegian campaign. The Germans can read around a third of the
British naval signals in the North Sea and thus can find and attack many ships they would
otherwise have missed. As for the British, well, starting this week
on the 15th, The Government Cypher and Signals School, which is at Bletchley Park, breaks
the Enigma Key used by both the Luftwaffe and the German Army during the Norwegian invasion. We’ve talked before about Enigma, it’s
the rotary encoding machine used by the Germans. Now, they key used here is relatively uncomplicated,
and there are loads of messages sent through Enigma and received at Bletchley, and some
of them take under an hour to de-crypt. This is a ton of information on pretty much
everything, organization, supply, invasion plans and intentions. Winston Churchill will later call these “golden
eggs”, but here’s the thing, British Intelligence is not yet at all prepared to make use of
the information. They have no secure way of getting it to the
army and navy commanders in the field; they can’t even really explain the nature of
the source of their insight, they don’t have a collating and distribution process,
and so, as Martin Gilbert succinctly puts it, “The breaking of the Norway Enigma Key,
a triumph of cryptography, thus had no influence on the course of the Norwegian campaign.” Now, since all campaigns eventually have an
end, it’s not really a spoiler to say that this one will too, whenever that may be, so
he continues, “With the ending of the campaign, its use by the Germans was to be discontinued… In the intelligence war, Germany, not Britain,
had been the victors in Norway.” As for the action in the field… At the end of last week, the Germans pushed
out from Oslo east, north, and west. They now have some quick successes, forcing
some Norwegians to surrender and others to cross into Sweden. But Norwegian General Otto Ruge is pretty
well positioned between Randsfjord and Lake Mjosa to take on the German force heading
for him, and the Luftwaffe is mostly grounded until the 17th by weather. But after that, with a Panzer battalion, the
Germans take ground both east and west of the lake. Ruge’s basic plan is to stop the Germans
in the passes leading from Oslo long enough for the British to arrive in force, but if
the Germans can make their way up Gulbrandsdal, the Allies landing this week at Andalsnes
to move on Trondheim would be threatened from the rear. On the 14th come small British landings at
Namsos and Harstad. The Allies are thinking of what to do to free
Trondheim and Narvik, but they will rule out direct assault. Instead they will build up from the landings
at Namsos, Harstad, and Andalsnes. The weather is causing some serious hassles,
though. At Namsos there is four feet of snow and no
possible cover from any air attacks, and the British force that was to try to land at Ålesund
is held back all week by the weather. Still, the main body of the British 24th Guards
arrives in Harstad and on the 16th, the 146th Brigade lands at Namsos. On the17th, the British begin to land at Andalsnes. With the landings, you can see that Hitler’s
orders now reflect uncertainty- on the 17th, he sends out the order to his men in Norway
to ”hold out as long as possible”. The next day, the British 148th brigade lands
at Andalsnes. Now, when they land there, Ruge demands- does
not ask- for them to not move on Trondheim as planned, but help consolidate the Norwegian
lines just south of Lillehammer. “However, the British troops were poorly
equipped and trained, and were not helped much by the hurried loading of their transport
ships, which meant vital supplies and weapons were either missing or left behind.” Another quote, from WW2 Day by Day by Donald
Somerville, helps illustrate that further, “During the night part of the (French) 5th
Demi-Brigade Chasseurs Alpins lands at Namsos. There has, however, been a mistake made with
the equipment for this force and they lack some of the bindings necessary for their skis. This sort of elementary error is typical of
the muddled way the whole Norwegian Campaign has been conducted and will go on being conducted
on the Allied side.” By the 19th, the 146th, which has advanced
to Steinkjer, is forced to retreat to Namsos. Side note here, the Anglo-French forces at
Namsos are under the command of acting Major General Carton de Wiart, about whom you’ll
hear more next week. Anyhow, at the end of the first week of allied
landings, the Germans have complete air superiority and heavily bomb Namsos. There is no natural cover, as I said. Meanwhile, the Germans advancing from Oslo
reach Lillehammer and Rena. As for the administration of the conquered
territory, this is the Quisling situation. Germany’s ambassador to Norway, Curt Brauer,
is maneuvering Vidkun Quisling from power only a few days after Quisling set up a new
government. Hitler has written to Quisling thanking him
for his service and promising him some sort of position in the new governing commission,
but that’s not the same thing as being PM of a new Norwegian government. On the 15th, power is officially transferred
from the Quisling Cabinet to an Administrative Council of 7 men that Hitler hopes will be
able to work with Norway’s King Haakon. The Council is actually established by members
of Norway’s Supreme Court and is chaired by Ingolf Christensen. At this point, to the world at large, Quisling
is known as both a traitor and a failure. The occupation of Norway is just beginning,
but there’s news this week from an occupation now well over two years old. The Chinese Winter Offensive had shown that
China’s armed forces could do the occupying Japanese some real damage, and indeed the
Chinese are still harassing the Japanese with guerrilla attacks in the Shanxi-Hebei region. Japanese General Tada Toshi has built moats
and walls alongside the railway there, and even European style concrete pillboxes to
try and protect it, but this still doesn’t do the job, so this month the First Japanese
Army orders are, “Destroy enemy forces throughout southern Shanxi province and paralyze their
activities at their sources, thus crippling Chiang’s (Kai-Shek) government and, at the
same time, extending the Japanese-occupied area in order to expedite the creation of
a peaceful and orderly North China.” Now on the 17th, the Japanese attack the north
bank of the Yellow River at Monan. They face stiff resistance, but next week
will capture Jincheng. And this week comes to an end, and as it does
on April 20th, Adolf Hitler turns 51, making him the same age I am, and his mood turns
as well, he is not only elated by success, he orders a new SS regiment created (Gilbert),
to be called Nordland, and to be made up of Germans, Danes, and Norwegians. He has reason to be elated for the time being,
for his invasion of Norway is so far a great success, as his forces advance, battering
both the Norwegian defenders and the Anglo-French new arrivals. Something I read in Max Hastings’ “All
Hell Let Loose” shows the general reaction of the locals to invasion. “The Norwegians displayed implacable hostility
to their invaders. Even when compelled to acknowledge subjugation,
they were unimpressed by explanations.” Ruth Maier, an Austrian Jew who had escaped
the Nazis to Norway, but who will die in the gas chamber at Auschwitz two years from now,
writes in her diary of watching some German soldiers telling the Oslo locals that the
Poles had killed 60,000 German civilians in Poland before Germany invaded Poland to protect
the rest of them. A Norwegian local asked the soldiers if they
really believe that they are in Norway to protect the Norwegians, as it now says in
the local papers. The soldiers say that they are, in fact, there
to protect the Norwegians from the British. And this they do believe. We’ve talked in both this series and in
B2W and War Against Humanity about the stunning effect of total propaganda; that to the world
at large the German invasion of Poland was a dastardly act of unwarranted aggression,
but to the average German civilian it was justified, or even necessary, because the
Poles were killing all the ethnic Germans in Poland and planning to invade Germany. I mean, that’s what the papers and the radio
had been telling them every single day all last summer. I mean, they wouldn’t lie about that, right? Why would anyone make that up? If you want to see more about the broadcast
and control of information in the 20th century, check out our Between 2 wars episode about
the explosion of the radio age right here. Our patreon supporter of the week is James
Sinnott. James and our other Patrons provide us with
the cash to finance all of the TimeGhost productions, so please consider also supporting us if you
don’t already at or Don’t forget to subscribe; see you next

100 thoughts on “The Scramble For Norway – WW2 – 034 – April 20 1940

  1. We have returned back from our roadtrip to France. As I wrote last week, we have filmed many very interesting locations and learned tons of fascinating or shocking stories. For every day that we were filming in Northern France last week, we have uploaded a short vlog-style video to show our whereabouts and showcase some funny moments with the crew. We had a great time and we hope that you will enjoy the specials when they are released over the spring. You can check out the first episode of the daily roadtrip video's right here:



    STAY CIVIL AND POLITE we will delete any comments with personal insults, or attacks.
    AVOID PARTISAN POLITICS AS FAR AS YOU CAN we reserve the right to cut off vitriolic debates.
    HATE SPEECH IN ANY DIRECTION will lead to a ban.
    RACISM, XENOPHOBIA, OR SLAMMING OF MINORITIES will lead to an immediate ban.

  2. I just would like to say that Poles had broken first type of Enigma 🙂

    WIKIPEDIA: (…) A month before the outbreak of World War II, at a conference held near Warsaw, the Polish Cipher Bureau shared its Enigma-breaking techniques and technology with the French and British. During the German invasion of Poland, core Polish Cipher Bureau personnel were evacuated, via Romania, to France where they established the PC Bruno signals intelligence station with French facilities support. Successful cooperation among the Poles, the French, and the British at Bletchley Park continued until June 1940, when France surrendered to the Germans (…)

  3. Are you going to brake down smaller battles and get in to the smaller battles like the battle of Taffy 3 vs Center force doring the battle to recapture the Philippines I know you haven't gotten to that year though or even brake down the history of famous ships like USS Enterprise CV-6 or USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413

  4. Constantly being told a news narrative over and over to the point where you feel compelled to believe it? I can't help but think of Russiagate.

  5. So, I think the question everybody wants to ask is: Did Hitler have a birthday party while this invasion was going on?

  6. Wonderful! How similar is it to today's situation: Today there are USA troops to protect Europe from imminent (just about the corner, 1-2-3 go!) invasion by the Russians! Great episode! Jews do have rights: Everybody who didn't learn from it's past deserve it to be repeated.

  7. It's scary to see how propaganda shaped people's opinions so easily, and can still continue to do so today! I'm always impressed by the quality of work and the amount of research the team puts into producing such well polished videos, you're all doing a wonderful job!

  8. Fact is, the press in all nations was nothing but half-truths and lies.

    Wasn't is Edward Grey who said something like the press is owned by a mere few families?

  9. Terrific video, Indy. Propaganda; "Why would anyone make that up?" Not just in the 20th century. Even today, recent behavior by the republican fear mongers tell us that hispanics are invading our country to steal our jobs, rape our women, and sell drugs to our children. Why would they make that up? Why, for power. Nothing has changed. Propaganda is still prevalent, and it's still believed by tens of millions of people.

  10. FYI: PROBLEM WITH THE VIDEO OR YOUTUBE!!! At 10:46, where you point to your left so supposedly indicate a link to another video, there is nothing on the screen; I don't know how many other people this happens to. Perhaps add and tell of a link in the description too, so we don't miss your other videos. I did watch that section of the video multiple times; on the fifth or sixth take, the link finally showed up. I don't know how that's happening. But I'd hate to have others missing your videos because something is going on in youtube. Thanks.

  11. All though this comment is for far in the future of 1944. There are two books called "D-Day through German Eyes" that are must read. It is very telling how the German soldiers believed they were defending Europe as a whole against Bolshevism. Many had French girlfriends and the French locals treated them well. While we today call it propaganda, think if they had been successful in repelling the attack on D-Day. A United Europe would have existed in 1945 and the same soldiers would have been hero's of the EU. Propaganda is some times what the leaders believe will happen and they try to instill this belief in others. When it succeeds it is truth, when it fails it is propaganda.

  12. Caller: "So, how do you get to next level in Mario? "
    Indy: "Golden eggs."
    Caller: "Really?"
    Indy: "Yeah, that's what Churchill said."

  13. Guys Japanese actually fought very well in China its really impressive. Just think about it 10 years later China destroyed USA and allies in Korea…. but Japan defeated China by itself.

  14. Excellent example of the importance of free speech and the US 1st Amendment. These videos have surpassed my expectations. Great job!

  15. what does the timeghost team think about dresden ?

    Me? Absolutly not a war crime or "hollocaust" as some people claim,I made my research on dresden,here what I found:

  16. Is there any truth in the story that another considerable motivation for the invasion of Norway was that the Germans wanted to loot Norway's $9 billion gold reserves?

  17. for "the war against humanity" ,also why this one didn't have a playlist?

  18. On propaganda: nothing is new under the sun. In the same way most of the modern Russians believe they have to protect Russians in Ukraine and justify all the hostility against a sovereign country:(

  19. Just a little question: where are the other videos about war against humanity? Am I missing them or didn't you simply make more?

  20. What did the Poles mean with that poster to the right? What could those numbers mean?

  21. You aren't 51 years old, Indy! You look much better than that! My dad is 57 and looks nearly double as old as you!

    But darn, you are holding good. I though you were 30, maybe 35.

  22. Hi Indy, greetings from Iceland

    Thank you for a great start of the new show, I have a question for Out of the Foxholes,

    I was wondering if you could go into details about comparison of the german military equipment for both the world wars, more specifically, their uniforms. Just superficially judging by their looks they look quite the same, did Germany just use their basic designs from the previous war, or were there any major modifications added to the uniforms?

  23. Yeah the Poles were going to invade Germany… Right! The polish still had cavalry on horseback! Sure the Germans and poles had problems over territory in Poland, but there were never genocides between the two.

  24. Broooo you are pretty good at making thumbnails like all of your videos have really nice looking thumbnails

  25. Great work as always. Too bad the Brits couldn't have sent 1 or 2 first tier divisons from France to help. But i imagine they were rather busy.

  26. It is almost shocking to realize that Indy's question "Why would anybody do that?" still relevant today.
    The only difference that today we have other sources for information not just that.

  27. yeah…Germans saved Norwegians from British…Danish from French and Poles from Russians… Americunts saving Afghans from Talibans, Iraqis from ISIS, Syrians from Russians and will save Iranians from Aliens!

  28. Total propaganda………..what do we call Twitter,Youtube and Facebook these days………..same thing.

  29. At this point I’m having trouble understanding how Britain survives and am appreciating how much the Finns taught the soviets to fight a winter war. This will come in handy soon.

  30. About that propaganda effect… you know that Russians do believe that they need to protect “Russian-speakers” in wild and dangerous places like Ukraine or Baltic states?

  31. Here is the video when Quisling was sentenced to death by Norwegian court. (It's not subtitled so it's in Norwegian only)

  32. Jesus.. So in essence the Germans are raping a woman saying "STOP STRUGGLING IM TRYING TO HELP YOU". Lmao

  33. Germans could not risk England gaining control of Norway, because of the RAF could reach Germany with bombers.

  34. Why did I get an ad in hebrew? I'm not in Israel! I neither speak, read or understand Hebrew! That's weird..

  35. So…. the Germans invaded Norway to protect Norway from Britain, while Britain wanted to invade Norway to protect it from Germany and to invade Sweden for iron.

  36. When it came to Propaganda, the Nazis where nothing compared to the British. Heck, Some of it has lasted to this day. Like the one of the plucky little Island taking on an Empire.

  37. Ain't it odd how history repeats itself but never does exactly? In the 19th century the European powers of in a scramble for Africa. Now, they're in a scramble for Norway. Crazy stuff.

  38. #34, Propaganda at its filthiest: Germans telling Norwegian natives they were protecting them from the British. Insanity continues …

  39. The bit about propaganda at the end of the video should be a warning to present day Americans. The corporate media and the west coast tech monopolies are in an advanced state of misinforming and censoring “news” in this country.

  40. You are so cool man keep up the good work you are doing great i hope teachers play your videos in schools all over the world

  41. The basic principles of War Propaganda

    1. We don't want war, we are only defending ourselves !
    2. Our adversary is solely responsible for this war !
    3. Our adversary's leader is inherently evil and resembles the devil
    4. We are defending a noble cause, not our particular interests!
    5. The enemy is purposefully committing atrocities; if we are making mistakes this happens without intention
    6. The enemy makes use of illegal weapons
    7. We suffer few losses, the enemy's losses are considerable
    8. Recognized intellectuals and artists support our cause
    9. Our cause is sacred
    10. Whoever casts doubt on our propaganda helps the enemy and is a traitor

    KenFM im Gespräch mit: Jochen Scholz (Oberstleutnant der Bundeswehr a.D. und geopolitischer Analyst)
    Jochen Scholz was an officer in the german MOD, he had send the original military reports about Kosovo that went over his desk and the lies the politicans had made up to the german press to expose them and stop the war.
    You can imagine how it went, english subs available.

  42. For the Grenada invasion in 1983 – travel agencies all around Fort Bragg were cleaned out of tourist maps of the island. And the first US military maps of the Island were made from a combination of photo-reconnaissance images, encyclopedia entries and tourist maps. I remember using a military map that listed the location of every hotel and tourist attraction. As well as getting missions to drive down a road and then report back where it went.

    Trivia note when the alert for the invasion occurred none of us believed that it was anything other than a no-notice emergency deployment exercise – until we started getting issued live ammunition. Then there was a mad dash for the dayroom because the TV morning news was about to come on.

  43. Well if we want be honest british are first who wants occupy Norway. Germans just be better prepared and faster

  44. Beklagelig at oversetterforlengelsen har sluttet å virke, jeg lurer på om rekvisisjonskommandoer i Norge skrevet av franske offiserer for å kjøpe det manglende utstyret vil gi opphav til refusjon til nordmennene etter krigen.

    Dommage que l'extension translator ne marche plus, je me demande si les procès verbaux de réquisition en Norvège établis par les officiers français, pour acheter le matériel manquant, vont donné lieu à remboursement aux Norvégiens après guerre.

    Regrettable that the translator extension has ceased to work, I wonder if the requisition orders in Norway written by French officers to buy the missing equipment will give rise to a refund to the Norwegians after the war.

  45. Propaganda is still active everywhere. I mean how many people believe that trump is racist against blacks or gays, even though he never said anything like that. He is literally not worse than any other us president. But the constant coverage is like propaganda. The democrats really believe that, because that is all they hear.

  46. Sweden: nah we gonna stay neutral bro
    Finland: we fight for every inch of land!
    Iceland: hehe u funny
    Norway: Gentleman, we are fucked 🍾
    Denmark: u wat mate?

  47. ummmm … do you mean that Josef Goebbels told big fish stories about Poland over the German radio … ? and that German people believed him…? nah, couldn't possibly be true. Why would he lie ?

    😂 🤣 😃 😄 😅 😁

  48. To the last remark about Poland: It was not completely wrong, what newspaperswrote about Poland before September ^39. Poland was aggressive, it was racist and it attacked very single neighbor after 1918. That doesn^t excuse the attack on Poland from the 1st.of September 39, but it helps to understand the bitterness of Germans who had suffered 20 years under polish atrosities and ethnic cleansing….

  49. Je regarde vos capsules depuis 05:14hrs ,maintenant il est 15:20 hrs . C,est captivant,détaillé ,nouvelles infos je vous donne 100/100 je suis agréablement surpris le 21/12/19 Merçi

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