Accession Number:

ADA470823

Title:

The Practice of Operational Art in Operation Weserubung: The German Invasion of Norway 1940

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2007-05-10

Pagination or Media Count:

19.0

Abstract:

In April of 1940, the peaceful and neutral country of Norway became a battleground between Germany, France, and England in their desire to control it for their own war objectives. The Battle of Norway and as the Germans called it, Operation Weseruebung, was the first major military operation in history to utilize naval, ground, air, and airborne forces in the assault phase of the attack. The German success in this operation provides an outstanding example of the application of operational art and the principles of war by Germany in the early stages of World War II. The principles of surprise and security were the most critical in this German military success. Operation Weseruebung included both the invasion of Denmark and the invasion of Norway. The first phase of the operation was the invasion of Denmark its air bases were needed for the invasion of Norway, and it fell in a single day. The focus of this paper will be on the Norwegian portion of Weseruebung. German military planning took into account and exploited the operational factors of time, space and force, another key element in why this operation is worthy of further analysis and study. The operational lessons learned that could be applied from the belligerents experiences further illustrate several important lessons that are applicable today. From the Germans one learns the importance of planning around apparent disadvantages, command and control as it relates to operational objectives and commanders intent, and the importance of initiative in military operations. From the British one learns the pitfalls of mirror imaging and that a lack of decisiveness can prove fatal in military operations. Lastly, from the Norwegians, one can see the importance of national defense for maintaining a nations self-determination against outside belligerents.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE