WILFRED AND WESERÜBUNG
Unlikely as it seems, Norway was
a crucial transportation link for Germany. Germany imported much of its iron ore
from northern Sweden. In the summer
months, the ore was shipped via the Baltic Sea. In winter, however, the Baltic froze over, and the ore
traveled by railroad to northern Norway and from there by ship down the
In March of 1940, the Germans and
the British prepared competing plans to deal with neutral Norway.
The British plan – Operation Wilfred – was designed to block
Norwegian coastal waters with mine and force the ore carriers into the open
ocean where the Royal Navy could deal with them.
The German counter – Weserübung, was aimed at invasion and occupation
of the country.
The collision between these two
plans sparked a series of naval actions between the Kriegsmarine and the Royal
Navy. The German plan was
audacious, calling for a series of landings all along the long Norwegian coast
is the face of superior Royal Navy forces.
A force of ten Kriegsmarine destroyers supported the northernmost German
landing at the port of Narvik. These
were covered in turn by the battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Cruiser Admiral Hipper and four destroyers made for Trondheim,
while other German naval forces supported landings further south.
The northernmost German forces would be met with the Royal Navy forces
engaged in Wilfred.
Note: For older scenarios, see the updated ship forms on the FOTW Ships page. These have been revised to include the gun tables on the forms, to make merchant ships easier to sink, and in other minor details.
NARVIK -- Warburton-Lee's Attack -- The Admiralty directs British destroyer forces in the vicinity of Narvik to strike at German naval forces there.
NARVIK -- Warspite Weighs In -- After British destroyers raid the Germans at Narvik, the Royal Navy returns with reinforcements.