Friday, May 27, 2016

April 29, 1940: British at Bodo

Monday 29 April 1940

29 April 1940 Haakon Molde
King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav take cover in Molde during a Luftwaffe raid.
Norway: King Haakon catches a ride on HMS Glasgow from Molde to Tromso on 29 April 1940. It also takes Crown Prince Olav, Prime Minister Nygaardsvold, and much of the rest of the Norwegian government. The government issues a statement condemning German "terrorism" which they claim to have witnessed first-hand against civilians. The portion of the Norwegian gold reserves that have not been transported to England goes with them.

Like other British-held ports, Molde is in flames due to Luftwaffe attacks. The royals and other Norwegians have to board the ship by running across a burning pier.

Despite this cooperation, Anglo/Norwegians are strained at all levels. The Norwegians feel that the British are acting in high-handed fashion, such as by not telling them about the decision to evacuate. There are tales of British soldiers acting imperiously: "British officers behave with the arrogance of Prussians, demanding food at gunpoint."

29 April 1940 Churchill
Winston Churchill, "Britain's Warlord," on the cover of Life magazine on 29 April 1940.
Norway Army Operations: While the British have decided to evacuate, they are still tinkering with their strategy. They land troops at Bodo in the north. It is convenient to have if the objective is Narvik.

The British 15th Infantry Brigade holds Dombås through the day. The German troops pursuing them are delayed by British demolitions. Oberst Fischer’s Kampfgruppe, composed mainly of the 196th Division, completes its bypass of the British blocking action. It moves from the Østerdal valley to link up with German troops from Trondheim. This effectively hems the British in on the east.

The Germans at Steinkjer launch probing attacks against the British concentrated at Namsos.

The Germans at Hegra bring in fresh troops. They now ramp up the artillery assault, using captured Norwegian 12 cm (4.7 in) howitzers from the armory in Trondheim.

East of Lillehammer, 3,700 troops of the Norwegian 2nd Infantry Division surrender.

Norway Naval Operations: A British destroyer force (HMS Kelly, Maori, and Imperial, plus French destroyer Bison which is under Commander Lord Louis Mountbatten) departs from Scapa Flow. Its mission is to evacuate Namsos.

Norwegian Air Operations: The Luftwaffe launches attacks at Andalsnes, the site of a large British base, and Molde, where King Haakon and the Norwegian government have been recently camped.

The Luftwaffe attacks Norwegian hospital ship Brand IV off Aalesund.

The Luftwaffe sinks Royal Navy anti-submarine trawlers Cape Chelyuskin and Cape Shiretoko off Norway.

Battle of the Atlantic: U-50 is sunk by British destroyers HMS Amazon and HMS Witherington off the Shetlands.

British submarine HMS Unity is lost when SS Atle Jarl runs into it at Blyth Harbour in a heavy fog. There are four lives lost. Lieutenant John Low and Able Seaman Henry Miller help other men to get out and are given posthumous medals.

The Kriegsmarine lays mines in the North Sea.

Convoy HG 28 departs from Gibraltar.

BEF: The British 1st Tank Brigade moves to France.

RAF: The Empire Air Training Program gets underway at training schools in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Anglo/US Relations: The US government has not received a satisfactory response from the British about the seizure of German engineers from the Panamanian ship Don Juan at Port Said on 5 September 1940. However, it closes the incident “on the assumption that similar incidents will not be permitted to occur in the future."

France: Prime Minister Paul Reynaud offers old war hero Henri Petain a cabinet post as Minister of State.

War Crimes: Over 20,000 Poles have been shot during the purge known as the Katyn Forest Massacre, led by Vasily Blokhin, who personally has shot over 7,000, or 250/night.

British Homefront: All sorts of basic commodities, such as toilet paper, are now rationed and highly sought after on the black market.

29 April 1940 Blokhin
Vasily Blokhin's tomb at the Novodevichy Cemetery. 

April 1940

April 1, 1940: Weserubung is a Go
April 2, 1940: British Subs On Alert
April 3, 1940: Churchill Consolidates Power
April 4, 1940: Missed the Bus
April 5, 1940: Mig-1 First Flight
April 6, 1940: Troops Sailing to Norway
April 7, 1940: Fleets At Sea
April 8, 1940: HMS Glowworm and Admiral Hipper
April 9, 1940: Invasion of Norway
April 10, 1940: First Battle of Narvik
April 11, 1940: Britain Takes the Faroes
April 12, 1940: Germans Consolidate in Norway
April 13, 1940: 2d Battle of Narvik
April 14, 1940: Battle of Dombås
April 15, 1940: British in Norway
April 16, 1940: Germans Cut Norway in Half
April 17, 1940: Trondheim the Target
April 18, 1940: Norway Declares War
April 19, 1940: Dombås Battle Ends
April 20, 1940: Germans Advancing in Norway
April 21, 1940: First US Military Casualty
April 22, 1940: First British Military Contact with Germans
April 23, 1940: British Retreating in Norway
April 24, 1940: British Bombard Narvik
April 25, 1940: Norwegian Air Battles
April 26, 1940: Norwegian Gold
April 27, 1940: Allies to Evacuate Norway
April 28, 1940: Prepared Piano
April 29, 1940: British at Bodo
April 30, 1940: Clacton-on-Sea Heinkel


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