Saturday 4 May 1940
Norway Army Operations: The allies are accumulating troops in the vicinity of Narvik. There are about 30,000 troops nearby (French Foreign Legion & Chasseurs Alpins [mountain infantry], Polish troops, British 24th Brigade & Norwegians), though in scattered locations to the north and south. The French troops march to Bjerkvik, opposite Narvik, but the Germans hold them at Labergdal Pass.
The British No. 1 Independent Company (special forces) occupies Mo between Namsos and Narvik.
Colonel General Eduard Dietl’s 139th Mountain (Gebirgsjäger) Regiment has been isolated at Narvik since the beginning of the invasion, now almost a month old, and the Wehrmacht senses trouble (and also Hitler). The closest Wehrmacht formation, General Feuerstein’s 2nd Mountain (Gebirgsjäger) Division, begins marching 350 miles to the north to relieve them. The allies have troops at Mosjöen, Mo, and Bodö, and deploy about 300-500 at each along the way to stop or delay the German march.
The German 359th Infantry Brigade enters Namsos now that the Allies are evacuated.
At Hegra Fortress, the surrounded Norwegian volunteers begin destroying radios, machine guns, small arms and other items of value. Ski patrols leave carrying important documents and messages.
North of Trondheim, the Norwegian 5th Infantry Brigade surrenders its 2,000 troops.
Norway Naval Operations: The Royal Navy lands troops at Mo, south of Narvik.
British submarine HMS Seal is laying mines on the surface in the Kattegat at 02:30 when it is spotted by a Heinkel He 115 seaplane. The submarine dives to 30 feet and continues laying mines. German anti-submarine trawlers arrive. Seal takes evasive action throughout the day, but then at 18:30 strikes a mine and settles on the bottom. The submarine does not flood, but it is stuck in the mud on the bottom and in big trouble.
German troops capture Norwegian submarine B-6.
Norway Air Operations: A Luftwaffe Heinkel He 111 of KG 100 bombs the Polish destroyer Grom on her torpedo tubes in the fjord Rombaken off Narvik at 08:28. The Grom was bombarding German positions along with destroyer HMS Faulknor, which picks up the survivors quickly along with light cruisers HMS Enterprise (D 52) and HMS Aurora (12) and destroyer HMS Bedouin (F 67). There are 154 survivors and 59 perish, with the crew put on a hospital ship sailing for the Clyde.
Battle of the Atlantic: British 5,995 ton tanker San Tiburcio hits a mine and sinks four miles off Tarbett Ness, Moray Firth, Scotland. All 40 crew survive. The mine was laid by U-9 on February 10, 1940.
Royal Navy submarine HMS Severn sinks German freighter Monark in the North Sea.
Swedish freighter Aimy hits a mine and sinks. The mine was laid by Royal Navy submarine HMS Seal.
Convoy OA 142 departs from Southend, Convoy OB 142 departs from Liverpool, Convoy HG 29F departs from Gibraltar, and Convoy HX 40 departs from Halifax.
Spies: The Papal Nuncio warns King Leopold of Belgium that the Germans are preparing to attack.
RAF: Douglas Bader, a fighter pilot who lost his legs in a crash in 1931, has been fitted with metal legs and is flying missions. In some small ways, such as handling G-forces, his situation helps him. His story is well known by pilots on both sides and is quite inspirational.
Holland: The Dutch Premier announces that the military authorities have arrested 21 people as being a danger to the state. They are suspected saboteurs and Nazi infiltrators ("fifth columnists").
Italy: There is an editorial in La Stampa which states that the Germans have demonstrated their invincibility in Norway and can defeat the British and occupy England.
American Homefront: Gallahadion wins the Kentucky Derby.
|Americans are mildly curious about all that Nazi business, as shown by this photo in the 4 May 1940 LA Times. It's just a guess, but those look like Heinkel He 111s.|
May 1940May 1, 1940: British Leave Åndalsnes
May 2, 1940: British Depart Namsos
May 3, 1940: Many Norwegians Surrendering
May 4, 1940: Bader Returns
May 5, 1940: HMS Seal Survives
May 6, 1940: Allies Focus on Narvik
May 7, 1940: In The Name of God, Go!
May 8, 1940: Exit Chamberlain
May 9, 1940: Enter Churchill
May 10, 1940: Fall Gelb
May 11, 1940: Eben Emael Surrenders
May 12, 1940: Germans at Sedan
May 13, 1940: Rommel at Work
May 14, 1940: German Breakout in France
May 15, 1940: Holland Surrenders
May 16, 1940: Dash to the Channel
May 17, 1940: Germans Take Brussels
May 18, 1940: Germans Take Antwerp
May 19, 1940: Failed French Counterattack
May 20, 1940: Panzers on the Coast
May 21, 1940: Battle of Arras
May 22, 1940: Attacking Channel Ports
May 23, 1940: British Evacuate Boulogne
May 24, 1940: Hitler's Stop Order
May 25, 1940: Belgian Defenses Creaking
May 26, 1940: Operation Dynamo
May 27, 1940: King Leopold Surrenders
May 28, 1940: The Allies Take Narvik
May 29, 1940: Lille Falls
May 30, 1940: Operation Fish
May 31, 1940: Peak Day for Dynamo