Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 232 April 19, 1940

General de Wiart’s 146th Brigade joins Norwegian forces at Steinkjer, at the Northern end of the Trondheimfjord, and also pushes forward 10 km to Verdal. They are met by German 138th Gebirgsjäger Regiment, advancing North from Trondheim. This is the first engagement between British and German land forces.

Further South, Brigadier Morgan meets Norwegian General Ruge, at Ruge’s HQ in Øyer, near Lillehammer. German 196th Division takes the towns of Hamar and Elverum only 50 miles South. Morgan is persuaded to abandon his orders to move on Trondheim and instead instructs 148th Brigade to advance from Åndalsnes, 200 miles Southeast down the Gudbrandsdal to reinforce Ruge’s troops blocking the German advance from Oslo.

Overnight, 3 battalions of French Chasseurs Alpins (mountain infantry) arrive at Namsos, to reinforce 146th Brigade, but their skis, mules, trucks and anti-aircraft guns do not. When their skis do arrive, they lack straps and are useless.

3 prototype Neubaufahrzeug heavy tanks (35 tons, three turrets with 75 mm main and 37 mm secondary gun) arrive in Oslo and are paraded through the streets to intimidate the locals, before joining the drive to Trondheim.

The Fallschirmjägers at Dombås surrender, surrounded, outnumbered, out of ammunition and bombarded by a railway howitzer. Of 185 that parachuted in, only 45 survive. Oberleutnant Schmidt has remained in command despite serious wounds to the hip & stomach. He will survive and receive the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 24 May.

No comments:

Post a Comment