The War Illustrated No 35 Vol 2 May 3rd 1940

450 The War Illustrated May 3rd, 19404 Considerable Success ’for Our Arms in Norway Although few details of the operations were officially vouchsafed, enough was known of the war in Norway to lift the hearts of the Allied peoples and to encourage them in their assurance that in the new war zone Hitler’s forces by land, sea and air were meeting at last their masters. The British Expeditionary Force to Norway sailed from a Scottish port, and here some of the men are waiting in a dockside shed to embark. Like civilians embarking on a liner in peacetime they carry with themas little as possible. *The heavier part of their equipment is taken on board and stowed away, so that on the upper decks the men may have as much roo mas possible to make themselves comfortable on board. Photos, Associated Press and Planet News Within a week of the German invasion of Norway large num­bers of Allied troops— British and French—were landed at various points on the country’s western coast, and as the days passed this new Expeditionary Force was strongly reinforced. For most of them the country to which they came was strange. Norway is a land of innumerable fjords, deep water inlets wriggling their way far into the country’s granite backbone it is a land of beetling cliffs and sombre lakes, of rushing mountain streams and thundering waterfalls, of barren, rocky uplands and pine forests fragrant in the spring. The towns are few and widely separated, and in many areas even villages are few all around the fjords, however, in the river valleys and in the coastal regions, one may seethe trim little homesteads, timber-built and brightly painted, of the hardy peasants and fisher folk. In their spectacular descent on Norway the Germans! within the space of a single day secured five out of Norway’s first six towns—.Oslo, the capital Bergen, the chief port Trondheim, the ancient capital Stavanger, the best and most modern aerodrome and Kristiansand, site of another aerodrome, as well as Narvik, famous iron-ore port in the far north, and Egersund on the south coast. They were able to do so because their transports disguised as cargo ships had made careful use of the Skjaergaard, that “accursed corridor ”as Mr. Churchill called it, which lies between the Nor­wegian coast proper and the hundred thousand isles which fringe the thousand miles of coast from North Cape to Stavanger. At each of the places seized the Germans promptly set about the erection of defences, but they were hampered from the outset because they did not possess in reality that of which .they had so frequently boasted—the command of the sea. Only at Oslo were they able to land substantial forces, which were increased as transports were able to evade the Allied submarines and mines in the Skagerrak. At Bergen, Trondheim, and the rest, it seemed that only a few hundred men, at most a M ajor-General A. Carton deW ia rt, V.C., who is in command of British forces in Central Norw ay, was wounded eight time sin the last war and lost an eye and an arm .He won the V.C. by very gallant inaction the battle of the Somme. thousand or two. were landed, and so far from embarking on a career of con­quest the invaders were very shortly threatened with beleaguerment. No names were mentioned in the com­muniques announcing the landing of the Expeditionary Force. On April 21, how­ever, it was. announced that “there was considerable enemy air activity at Namsos during Saturday and many bombs were dropped. Extensive damage was caused to the town, but the only Allied loss was one British trawler sunk,” from which it was deduced that Namsos was one of the places at which the British had arrived. Namsos is a little town on Namsen Fjord, and it derives its importance from the fact that it is the most northerly point of the main Norwegian railway system. Amidst grand scenery of fjord and mountain the line rims to Trondheim, passing a number of places whose names, hitherto unknown,* have been of late blazoned throughout the world. First there is Grong, 25 miles to the east of Namsos, whereon April 18 a party of Germans sent by air from Trondheim were reported to have been put to rout by a small body of British troops advanc­ing from Namsos. Running now to the south-west for about 60 miles the line comes to Stenkjer, reported to bethe farthest north reached by the Germans moving landon from Trondheim the town was held by Norwegians under Colonel Getz,' who had a well-equipped ski detachment under hitn. A few miles farther south is Yaerdal, where the rail­way station on Sunday evening, April 21,
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