Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.
In honor of WWII and the courageous vets of the time, this is my reporting and take of the news, 75 years ago today
April 9, 1940
As trouble continues on land and sea throughout the world, your Roving Reporter brings you the news as it happens to give you folks at home the stories of the day…
GERMANY INVADES DENMARK AND NORWAY
‘German Fleet Spotted In The Norwegian Sea‘
Just days after issuing warnings of an impending German invasion, and despite Norwegian protests against Britain’s plan to lay mines off their coast, British minelayers stumbled upon the invading German fleet off the coast of Norway yesterday.
At 8am that same morning, after a short delay when a crewman fell overboard, British destroyer HMS Glowworm, came across the invading warships and gave chase to 2 German destroyers.
Outgunned and badly damaged when the German cruiser Admiral Hipper joined the fight, HMS Glowworm rammed the German cruiser in an attempt to inflict as much damage before its own demise. Despite the ramming, the German cruiser rescued 40 of Glowworm’s survivors after an explosion killed 109 crewmen shortly before sinking. Among those killed was the Glowworm’s captain, Lt. Commander Gerard Broadmead Roope.
Later that morning, Polish submarine Orzel, under the British command, intercepted and sank the German transport ship Rio de Janairo. The rescued crewmen professed to being headed to Bergen on an attack mission.
And although others in high command believe there weren’t any additional German fleets, Vice Admiral Max Horton sent off 6 more submarines on that same day to patrol the waters between Denmark and Norway.
‘Denmark Surrenders After 6 Hours!‘
In a surprising move by Germany today, simultaneous naval and air landings took place across Denmark and Norway, including the very first use of combat paratroopers in history. At 4am this morning, German ambassador to Denmark, Cecil von Renthe-Finke, demanded Danish Foreign Minister Peter Munch to immediately surrender the country as German troops already entered Denmark. While the Danish government debated their options, 2 German divisions headed toward the capital with minimal resistance.
Germany’s simultaneous assault included crossing the country’s borders on foot, sea and paratrooper landings near Copenhagen, an attack on the Royal Palace in an attempt to capture the Danish monarchy, destruction of the majority of the country’s air force, and dropping leaflets over Copenhagen instructing the citizens to remain calm and cooperate with the invading German army during the occupation, proclaiming themselves to be protectors.
After 6 hours from the start of the invasion, with only 20 casualties reported and learning Germany’s capability of bombing the public at will, the Danish monarch and government agreed to surrender.
‘Germany Invades Norway!‘
While Germany’s small neighbor Denmark surrenders, in the Scandinavian country of Norway, the cities of Oslo, Bergen, and Narvik fell to German control, but not without a fight.
In Narvik, 13 German warships, the largest part of the Norwegian invasion, approached the city after a brief entanglement with the British cruiser HMS Renown out at sea, and having evaded other British patrols. Once they sunk the defending Norwegian cruisers Eidsvold and Norge, around 2000 troops landed ashore.
And using deceit, disguised as British ships, German warships captured the city of Trondeim after sailing past the coastal defenses without firing a shot.
Meanwhile in Bergen, among the 11 attacking warships, German cruiser Konigsberg and minelayer Bremse were damaged by the coastal defenses of Fort Kvarven -approximately 1900 troops still managed to land ashore. In their effort to help Norway that afternoon, the British Home Fleet were forced to withdraw from Bergen by 88 attacking Luftwaffe aircraft. In the midst of the attack, the British destroyer HMS Gurkha was sunk with a loss of 15 of its crew, and the battleship HMS Rodney along with 3 cruisers were damaged before turning away. Of the attacking German aircraft, only 4 German Ju88 were shot down.
And in Oslo, the city’s batteries fired upon the German cruiser Bluecher causing a major fire to break out, leading to a magazine explosion. Shortly after, the warship slowly capsized and sank, killing approximately 1000 of its crew. But the city finally succumbed to several other sea landings supported by the world’s first airborne troop invasion.
Despite this, it was reported that the King of Norway, Haakon, along with the Royal family, members of the government, and the country’s gold reserves (with over 48 tons of gold) managed to escape the German trap at 8:30 that morning.
Using the excuse of the Altmark incident from a couple of months ago, Hitler declared that it was England’s provocation and Norway breaking their neutrality that forced their hand. In a Memorandum sent to Denmark and Norway, Germany proclaimed that both countries are under the German “protection” during the war. Meanwhile in England, Britain announced their promise to send all possible military aid to Norway.
I was able to obtain reports from my contacts of the extent of the German military used during their simultaneous invasion of Norway: 1 parachute battalion, 6 troop regiments, 888 aircraft (including fighters, bombers and dive-bombers, reconnaissance, and transport planes), 30 submarines, 14 destroyers, 7 cruisers, 2 battle cruisers, and 1 pocket-battleship.
‘U.S. Stays Neutral‘
A Gallup poll was taken yesterday finding that although 84% want the Allies to win, and 2% want a German victory, only 23% of Americans want U.S. to join war.
That’s it for now. Your Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, signing off.
(German propaganda film showing their version and attempt to twist the facts)