Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 233 April 20, 1940

At 2.50 AM, Morgan’s 148th Brigade arrives in Lillehammer by train from Åndalsnes and moves South towards rapidly-crumbling Norwegian defensive positions either side of Lake Mjøsa.

The Allies lack of anti-aircraft guns and absence of air cover is exposed when Luftwaffe bombing obliterates Namsos, destroying supplies & equipment piled up on the single stone wharf.

To provide some air support, RAF 263 Squadron flies 18 Gloster Gladiator biplanes (under Squadron Leader John Donaldson) to Scapa Flow, where Fleet Air Arm pilots land them on the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious.

British War Cabinet cancels direct landings at Trondheim (Operation Hammer) fearing naval losses to German air attack and coastal batteries. However, they do not inform the Norwegians or French (or the British commanders on the flanks of Trondheim). General de Wiart’s 146th Brigade maintains dangerously exposed positions on Trondheimfjord to support the landings.

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