Friday, September 19, 2008

Norwegian Resistance in WWII: Invasion and the Birth of the Resistance Movement

The starting date of the war is generally held to be September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by the United Kingdom, France and the British Dominions. From that point until early April, 1940, Norwegians regularly gathered in churches, on street corners and around their radios, discussing Nazi Germany's aggressions and the ambitions of their leader, Adolf Hitler.

Then, on April 9th, 1940, life would change for all Norwegians with the launch of Operation Weserübung, the invasion of their homeland by the Nazi's. The country was taken entirely by surprise and it was a time of chaos for many Norwegians. Consistent with Germany's Blitzkrieg doctrine, five divisions of Nazis invaded at once, Quisling was on the radio declaring himself Prime Minister and ordering all resistance to halt at once and the Norwegian military was left in a state of initial disarray due unclear mobilization orders from the government. The whole of the country was in a state of psychological shock from the Nazi invasion.

But, even in these darkest of times there was still a glimmer of light. With a speed and urgency to match Germany's Blitzkrieg tactics, Norway endeavored its own resistance movement. Greatly outnumbered and with few physical resources at hand, many Norwegian citizens banded together to do everything they could to protect their homes, their families and their cherished way of life. Check back all next week to read posts about Norway's resistance movement during World War II and some first-hand accounts from our members.

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