The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against Norway & Denmark
(Part 2 of 10)

B. Early Planning for Invasion.

The Norwegian invasion is in one respect not a typical Nazi aggression, in that Hitler had to be persuaded to embark upon it. The chief instruments of persuasion were Raeder and Rosenberg; Raeder because he thought Norway strategically important, and because he coveted glory for his Navy; Rosenberg because of his political connections in Norway, which he sought to develop. And in the Norwegian, Vidkun Quisling, Rosenberg found a very model of the Fifth Column agent.

The early stages of the Nazi conspiracy to invade Norway are disclosed in a letter which Raeder wrote on 10 January 1944 to Admiral Assmann, the official German Naval historian (C- 66). It is headed "Memorandum for Admiral Assmann for his own information; not to be used for publications." The first part deals with "Barbarossa" (the plan to invade Russia). The next part is headed " (b) Weseruebung," which was the code name for the invasion of Norway and Denmark. The following is a pertinent passage from the letter:

"During the weeks preceding the report on 10 October 1939, I was in correspondence with Admiral Carls, who, in a detailed letter to me, first pointed out the importance of an occupation of the Norwegian coast by Germany. I passed this letter on to CISKl (the Chief of Staff of the Naval War Staff) for their information and prepared some notes based on this letter for my report to the Fuehrer, which I made on 10 October 1939, since my opinion was identical with that of Admiral Carls, while at that time the SKl was more dubious about the matter. In these notes, I stressed the disadvantages which an occupation of Norway by the British would have for us -- control of the approaches to the Baltic, outflanking of our naval operations and of air attacks on Britain, pressure on Sweden. I also stressed the advantages for us of the occupation of the Norwegian coast -- outlet to the North Atlantic, no possibility of a British mine barrier, as in the year 1917-18. Naturally at the time, only the coast and bases were considered; I included Narvik, though Admiral Carls, in the course of our correspondence thought that Narvik could be excluded. The Fuehrer saw at once the sig-

[Page 737]

nificance of the Norwegian problem; he asked me to leave the notes and stated that he wished to consider the question himself." (C-66)

This report of Raeder shows that the evolution of this Nazi campaign against Norway affords a good example of the participation of the German High Command in the Nazi conspiracy to attack inoffensive neighbors.

Before this report of October 1939 was made to the Fuehrer, Raeder sought a second opinion on the Norwegian invasion. On 3 October 1939, he made out a questionnaire headed, "Gaining of Bases in Norway (extract from War Diary)" (C-122).It reads: "The Chief of the Naval War Staff considers it necessary that the Fuehrer be informed as soon as possible of the opinions of the Naval War Staff on the possibilities of extending e operational base to the North. It must be ascertained whether it is possible to gain bases in Norway under the combined pressure of Russia and Germany, with the aim of improving our strategic and operational position. The following questions must be given consideration:

"(a) What places in Norway can be considered as bases?

"(b) Can bases be gained by military force against Norway's will, if it is impossible to carry this out without fighting?

"(c) What are the possibilities of defense after the occupation?

"(d) Will the harbors have to be developed completely as bases, or have they already advantages suitable for supply position?"

("F.O.U.-boats" [a reference to Doenitz] "already considers such harbors extremely useful as equipment and supply bases or Atlantic U-boats to call at temporarily.")

"(e) What decisive advantages would exist for the conduct of the war at sea in gaining bases in North Denmark, e.g. Skagen" (C-122)

A memorandum written by Doenitz on Norwegian bases presumably relates to the questionnaire of Raeder, which was in circulation about that time. Doenitz's document is headed, "Flag officer Submarines, Operations Division," and is marked "Most Secret." The subject is "Base in Norway." Then there are set out "suppositions', "advantages and disadvantages", and then 'conclusions. The last paragraph (III) reads:

"The following is therefore proposed:

"(1) Establishment of a base in Trondheim, including:

[Page 738]

"a. Possibility of supplying fuel, compressed air, oxygen, provisions.

"b. Repair opportunities for overhaul work after an encounter.

"c. Good opportunities for accommodating U-boat crews.

"d. Flak protection, L.A. armament, petrol and M/S units. "Secondly, establishment of the possibility of supplying fuel in Narvik as an alternative." (C-5)

In October 1939 Hitler was merely considering the Norwegian aggression and had not yet committed himself to it. Raeder persevered in pressing his point of view with regard to Norway, and at this stage he found a powerful ally in Rosenberg.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.