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 LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
SVOLVÆR - LOFOTEN

9th APRIL
 
LUFTWAFFE
  
















April 2nd. Adolf Hitler green lighted
the operation "Weserübung"

A German invasion force consisting of 12000 troops who
were assigned for the invasion of Norway.
9. APRIL
THE LOFOTEN RAID
GESTAPO
OCCUPATION
THE NAVY
MIL.ORG.
RUSSIAN PRISONERS OF WAR
GRINI
BURNING OF FINNMARK
THE MURMANSK FRONT
LIBERTY
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NORWEGIAN
PILOT

1940

NUMBERS
GERMAN
INVATION


THE BATTLE
SHIPS


GLORIUS

  THE SINKING
OF THE
  BL
üCHER



9th APRIL

For the very first time a combined force of army, navy and air force would work simultaneously in one invasion operation. Almost the entire German navy, excluding submarines was bound for operation "Weserübing".

9000 troops were to be transferred by warships, and 2000 were flown in by "Luftwaffe" to Stavanger and Oslo. 50000 soldiers, 15000 vehicles and more than 60000 tons of equipment were to be shipped the following days.

Operation "Weserübung" was extremely bold, and anticipated that the Germans wouldn't
run into the British Navy. From outside "Lofoten" 10 German Destroyers headed into Westfjord towards the city of Narvik in thick, snowy conditions. The German destroyers ("zerstörer") carried spectacular names as "Georg Thiele", Wolfgang Zenker", "Herrman Künne", named after German war heroes from 1st. world war. The German "Zerstörers" had an enormous engine capacity, and could run at a maximum speed of nearly 40 knots.



The first 24. hours went mostly according to plan. The Norwegian old warships "Eidsvold" and "Norge" were both sunk at the entrance of the harbour of Narvik. The old warship "Eidsvold" was literally blown out of the water in a terrifying explosion, killing almost all of its crew. The warship "Norge" managed to fight back for almost 20 minutes before it were sunk with 101 causalities as a result. But the German navy ,"die Krigsmarine", didn't have the upper hand for long. Early the 10th of April, the British Navy comes the northern part of Norway to rescue.

British sources, contacted by the museum, explained that the British Navy after having rounded the "Bear Island" set course towards Lofoten and Narvik. A horrendous battle raged various places around the harbour of Narvik, and both sides suffered great losses. The 13th April the Royal Navy launched a new attack led by the enormous battleship "Warspite" together with a flotilla of destroyers witch literally wiped the Germans out.

All the 10"zerstöres" were sunk or driven aground. Many of the German sailors were regrouped to enforce the German "Gerbirgsjägers" . Many of the German sailors ended up in the wilds of the mountains and the German general Dietl gave them the name "Gebirgsmarine". In this battle the Norwegian and German soldiers were really put to the test.

Sparce food supplies, heavy snow falls and very cold conditions put enormous strain on both men and horses. The battle raged for about 2 months in the mountains and in the end of May, the allied forces actually regained control over the Narvik city.

In the Lofoten area the city, Svolvær was terrorized by a German plane ( Heinkel 111) which opened fire on the streets. 7th of June a big Luftwaffe Condor-plane bombed and set fire to an oil tank belonging to Shell. A raging fire start and the town had to be evacuated. But next morning a strange thing happened when the Norwegian guard boat "Ranen" came and set fire to the rest of Svolværs oil supply that the German Luftwaffe had missed. The reason was that Norway was capitulating and there should be no supplies left for the German "Wehrmacht".

10th of June Norway surrendered itself to Germany. The King left the country. Norway was occupied.


CAPTAIN ZUR SEE 
 
ALPHUNTER - GEBIRGSJäGER

OILTANKS IN SVOLVÆR BEING BOMBED


BRITISH PILOT 1940 BARDUFOSS.


NORWEGIAN SOLDIER CAMOUFLAGE UNIFORM


NORWEGIAN GENERAL
LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
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