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How Oslo fell to Only 1500 Nazi Troops

Discussion in 'History of Finland Norway & Denmark during World W' started by Jim, Oct 7, 2006.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    In a remarkable dispatch published in the "Daily Telegraph" of April 16, a special correspondent described the strange and bewildering events of the German occupation of Oslo, Here is the print, that tells of the German's triumphal entry into the Norwegian capital.

    Having described the mystifying way in which the port defences of Oslo were silent against the invader, with the fortunate exception of the "Olav Tryggvason" which sank a German ship, the Correspondent continues his eyewitness account:
    We had spent an eerie night at Oslo's Grand Hotel, with a succession of air-raid alarms, of which the first sounded thirty-five minutes after midnight, about the time the mobilization was ordered. I decided that the Norwegians were only rehearsing the air alarm as a precaution. So I refused to get up until seven o'clock. Then a Finnish diplomat informed me of the ultimatum and the Government's decision to leave.
    At 7:45 while we still had not the slightest idea what had happened in Oslo Fjord and at Horten, five Nazi bombers suddenly came roaring over the roof tops so low that they almost touched them. We watched them come; expecting every moment that bombs would fall. For two and a half hours German planes dived over the city, always only three or five in number. They were intended to terrorize the populace into surrender and the authorities into inaction while the first troops were being landed by air at Fornebo, outside the city. Thousands of Osloans gazed at them curiously and fearfully, but there was no panic. None of us dreamed that German warships were in the inner harbour and that Oslo was already doomed. We still thought that British ships and planes might come at any moment. It seemed utterly incredible that the Narrows could have been forced by the Germans and the powerful forts of the fjord silenced. Norway's capital in every quarter was a scene of dazed disorganization, completely without leadership. Apparently even the men who had been called to the colours did not know where to go or simply forgot about it.
    It was like this until 2.30. Then, as I walked up to the hotel desk the porter asked me,

    "Aren't you going out to see the Germans come in?"
    "What do you mean, the Germans?"
    "Yes, they're marching up Carljohan Boulevard any minute now."

    We rushed outside into the strangest scene imaginable. Oslo's beautiful Main Boulevard was jammed with people all flocking to see the Germans come in. Strangest of all were the Norwegian policemen calmly forming lines along the pavements, clearing the streets for the Germans triumphal entry. Shortly before three o'clock two lorries filled with a dozen German soldiers rolled along the street. Soldiers lolled in them with rifles dangling as if they had been assured that they had not the slightest resistance to fear. From the rear of the second lorry two machine-guns poked their noses out, straight down the boulevard. Their crews lay prone, with intent, hard faces, ready to fire. This was the only show of force, and all that was needed.

    A German Soldier stands before a proclamation enjoining the Norwegians to submit without any resistance.

    [​IMG]

    On April 9th 1940, the people of Oslo watch the parade of Nazi Troops march through Oslo.

    At 3:03 a murmur ran through the crowd. We could see two mounted men swinging into the boulevard in front of the Palace, then six more, then the head of a marching column in field grey. The mounted men were Norwegian policemen actually escorting the German troops which were occupying the capital. We looked on uncomprehendingly. Later I was told that the Norwegian policemen never carry any kind of arms; this also was why they failed to fulfill the Government's orders to arrest Quisling. A tall broad-shouldered officer, General von Falkenhorst, and two other officers marched directly behind the mounted police. Then came the German regulars in columns of threes, as if to make the line look as long as possible. One out of nine was carrying light machine-guns: all carried compact aluminum kits and bulky shoulder-packs....
    Several times Falkenhorst and the other two officers returned the Nazi salutes of persons in the crowd, who must have been German advance agents and had been busy in Oslo for weeks before this crowning moment. It was a thin, unbelievable short, column. It required only six or seven minutes to march past. It was composed only of two incomplete battalions-surely less than 1,500 men in all. Norway's capital of nearly 300,000 inhabitants was being occupied by a German force of approximately 1,500 men. The last of the German troops went by without a single jeer or hiss, without a single tear noticeable on any Norwegian face. Like children the people stared. Thousands of young men stood watching this occupation parade. Not one hand or voice was raised. We could discern no sign of resentment upon any face about us. After the parade, this tiny force of 1,500 men swiftly set to work and seized the key places of Norway's capital. Next day, Wednesday, was as unbelievable as the events of April 9 had been. German troops now stood guard over Parliament, the University, the City Hall and other public buildings. Wherever we went we saw groups of young people clustered round German soldiers on guard. Some of them chattered pleasantly with the soldiers, some stared at their rifles and machine-guns and asked questions about them. Such scenes, far from infrequent, had not ended when I left Oslo on Friday. By that time, however, many young Norwegians had disappeared from the capital with packs on their backs. A great many more went after the Germans had landed 20,000 troops on Oslo's quays on Thursday afternoon. This sight at last awakened many men from the daze which they had been in.. This was how Norway's capital was captured without a bomb being dropped and without a shot being fired within several miles of the city.
     

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