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  NUREMBERG TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS | Nazi Occupation of Norway  
 

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO L - 323 

OFFICE OF CHIEF OF COUNSEL FOR WAR CRIMES

The Chief of Naval Operations Dept.

(S.K.L)

3 No. I Dept. SKL I Ups 231/40 Top Military Secret.

Chief of Staff Natter (initials)

(stamp) (stamp) Berlin, 6 March 40

Marine Gruppenkommando West Top Military Secret (stamp)

In: 6 March 1940 (initials) 2 nd copy

523/40 Chefs.

(initials)

To

Marine – Gruppenkommando Ost

Marine – Gruppenkommando West

(handwritten) Flottenkommando 

(stamp)

Chief of Staff n/matter (unsure if m or n)

By officer only

Directives by Chief of Naval Operation (SKL) for case

“Weseruebung”

I. Initial Situation:

(handwritten:) 

-5- 

The development of the situation in Scandinavia requires that all preparations be taken, to occupy Denmark and Norway by parts of the Wehrmacht (case Weseruebung). The is to prevent British enroachments [sic] toward Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea, to ensure our supplies of iron ore from Sweden, and to extend the base of Navy and Luftwaffe for operations against England.

The basical [sic] aim is to apply to this operation the characteristics of a peaceful occupation with the target of giving armed protection to the neutrality of the Nordic States. Corresponding demands will be put to the Goverment [sic] with the beginning of the occupation; governmental and administrative independance [sic] apart of German measures of military and foreign-political necessity will bepromised [sic] insofar as no resistance will be offered. Any resistance will be crushed by any military means.

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO L - 323 

cont’d.

II. Objektive: [sic]

Simultaneous surprise sudden occupation of the essential areas of Norway and Denmark. The crossing of the Danish border and the landing in Norway will be performed simultaneously.

It is of utmost importance that the Nordic States as well as the Western countries are taken by surprise by our operations. All preparations must take into account this decisive factor. Impediment of word and certain

(page 2 of original)

Gaps in the preparations must for the time being be accepted. If certain indispensable preparation cannot be kept completely secret anymore, different aims (West) must be pretended. Naval craft and formations are only to be informed about the real targets after setting sails.

The fate of execution depends, besides of the weather, above all upon the political situation. Preparations are thus to be made that the date of the operations (code: “Wesertag”) may be ordered from 10 May on. “Wesertag” is the day of invasion. With regard to the initial measures, “Wesertag” will be ordered at least 4 days in advance.

(The following times are crossed out in the original:)

(The operation will presumably take place 3 days prior to case “Gelb”. The hours of the operation (code: “Weserzeit”) is set for dawn).

*) e)

“Weser-time” is not fixed yet. A later hour may be considered if inadequate training for night flying anf [sic] for blind

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT No. - 323

(page 2 of the original cont’d.)

flying of the air transport formations would require to use daylight for the whole distance to be covered by air.

In order to increase the momentam [sic] of surprise, and because of informations in hand that the Norvegian [sic] Armed Force are ordered not to resist a British invasion by force of arms, all forces will flow the British white Insign [sic] until the beginning of disembarkation (anchering, mooving manoeuvres, [sic] putting the first troops ashore). 

There is one exception from this instructions [sic], the Harwick group. The weal military commander, Colonel SUNDLE, is pro-German, so that from his part no difficulties are to be expected if the German flag is flown when sutering [sic] port. 

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT No. L - 323, cont’d.

(page 2 of original, cont’d.)

III. Execution of the initial occupation:

A/ Norway

(1) Surprise landing of troops by naval craft and by air-transport groups at

Oslo

Arendal

Kristiansand

Stavanger (crossed out)

Bergen

(two handwritten localities crossed out)

Drontheim

Harwick

Distribution of forces viz. enclosure /.

(2) Embarkation of the troops and setting sail of the groups of naval craft in the dark hours and in localities where embarkation may escape observation. Setting sail immediately after embarkation if need be riding at the great roads until starting the advance. Maximum camouflage por schedule of embarkation and sailing viz enclosure 2.

(page 3 of original, cont’d.)

(3) After disembarking the troops at the localities provided for the naval forces will support the operations of the troops, particulary [sic] the capture of coastal fortifications. 

Subsequently, the naval forces are at the disposal of the groups again. It must be taken under consideration that they have to set sails again shortly after pulling troops ashore. (marginal note, illegible) *) After landing their troop-contingents at Stavanger and/or Bergen, the “Brummer” and the “Bremse” should immediately proceed to and stay at Drontheim for some time according to the situation, in order to back up the troops put ashore in Drontheim, and

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT No. L - 323, cont’d.

(page 3 of original, cont’d.)

in order to affect any possible desire of resistance by parts of the Norvegian [sic] Forces or population.

B/ Denmark

(1) Entering Jutland with motorized forces. During the advance, one motorized Rifle-Brigade will brand off to Fuenen across the Belt-bridge. Simultaneously establishing bridge-heads near Korsoer and Gjedser. More troops to be ferried to Zealand for the march on Copenhagne.

/ /) (insert: page 3a of original, 2nd period)

0) Pulling into port of a suitable transport (East-Prussia steamer, minelayer) with a re-inforced [sic] Infantry Battalion for occupying important points in Copenhagne.

(handwritten note:)

(Informations [sic] about strength and equipment of this Battalion are not available yet. The size of the vessel will be decided later.)

0) “Hansastadt Danzig”.

Port of embarkation: “Tangermuende”.

(2) Within the operations as to (1), the Navy has the following tasks:

(a) At “Weserzeit”, an Armytask [sic] force, (handwritten:) company, will be put ashore at the bridge across the Belt from a small naval craft as determined by Group East.

(b) Pulling ashore of a Battalion from a (handwritten:) capital ship. If necessary, silencing of a 9 cm Battery near Korsoer.

/ /) Supplement: The capital ship “Schleswig-Holstein”

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT No. L - 323, cont’d.

(page 3 of original, cont’d.)

is to be assigned as transport for an Infantry Battalion to Korsoer. Port of embarkation: Kiel-Holtenau. Dockyard – or private towboats (NDC), suitable for disembarking off Korsoer, are to be provided.

c) Transportation of Battalion by ferry-boat from Warnemuende to Gjedser.

d) Designation of sea transportation agents to Frederikshaven and Skagen in the rear of the forces in view of exploiting these ports for the supply service to Norway.

e) Providing shipping space for a re-inforced [sic] Infantry Battalion for Copenhagne.

C/ Measures of the Luftwaffe.

Aside of the task of air-transportation to Norway, assignment of several combat-, bomber-, and fighter groups for the intimidation and, if need be, for operations against Norvegian [sic] or Danish air craft or other resistance. Parts (of the Luftwaffe) will land on Norvegian [sic] air fields as soon as possible, and will there be

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT No. L - 323, cont’d.

(page 4 of original)

on the alert for assignment in the country and, above all, against possible British counter operations. The speediest possible transfer of AA artillery to South-Norway (Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen) is provided for.

0) Additional heavy and light AA Batteries, camouflaged as export foods for Russia, will be transferred to Narwick and Drontheim by C-in-C Luftwaffe. Arrival of these special steamers at “Weserzeit” at the latest at the ports in question may be counted upon. (The steamers are further loaded with vehicles and equipment for mountain troops, and with food supplies and fuel as well).

The personnel for these batteries will be transported by air. 50 and/or 100 AA gunners will be among the troops embarked for Narwik and Drontheim respectively for the event that sir transport will be belated.

IV. Further occupation:

Transfer by sea transport echelons (see enclosure one) of more Army units for further occupation. Security measures will be taken by Group West and Group East according to forces available.

Transfer of additional Army forces to Denmark will be done by means of the Gjedsar [sic] – and Great Belt – ferry. Subsequently, continuous, current supply-service for the occupation forces are to considered. [sic]

V. Security measures by the Navy against British interference with the first wave of 

occupation. 

(a) Blocking of the Skager-Raak by mine-barrages in the Ryvingen-Hanstholm-area with a gap of 10 nautical miles off the Norvegian [sic] and/or German coast. Mine-laying by auxiliary mine boats in the night prior to Weserzeit.

(marginal note illegible)

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT No. L - 323, cont’d.

(page 4 of original, cont’d.)

Public announcement of the danger zone on “Wesertag”. Carrying out by Group West.

(The following period crossed out:) In the case that performance appears to be possible later only, to be applied for at SKL.

(b) Deployment of submarines in the Orkney and Shatlands area.

(c) Position of readiness of submarines off Narwik, Drontheim, Bergen, Stavanger.

/) Occasional putting into port of boats off Narwik is to be considered.

(d) Rear-cover by heavy forces in the northern North-Sea.

(insert from page 4a)

(e) Landing of an Army task force in Egersund in order to seize and/or destroy the cable Egersund-England. This task force may be put ashore by a vessel (F-boat) belonging to the mine-laying-formation of the Skager-Raak barrage.

/ / Supplement: The force presumed to capture and/or destroy the cable-station has the strength of a company (250 men). It remains at Egersund. Embarkation on security vessels of the mine-laying-formation (F-or M- boatsboats [sic]) appears suitable. Cuxhaven has been decided upon as port of embarkation.

(Handwritten:) Carrying out of the blocking-measures in the Skager-Raak has in any case to be timed for the night prior to “Weserzeit”. Allocation of mine-shells to Group West will be done at an early date.

(re: (b) and (c) attention is drawn to the necessity of detailing 3 small submarines for case “Gelb”.

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT No. L - 323, cont’d.

(page 4 of original, cont’d.)

VI. In command of operations:

Group Headquarters West is in command of operations in the area West of the Skager-Raak danger zone.

Group Headquarters East is in command in the area East of the Skager-Raak danger zone.

V For the period of joint movement. A commanding admiral (B.d.A. – Commander of Naval Reconnaissance Forces) is in command of Groups 3 to 5.

(page 5 of original)

VII. Deployment:

See enclosure. Furthermore, the Groups have their normal forces at their disposal. Cruiser 

“Luetzow” is subordinated to Group East.

(marginal note:) Supposed to go to Oslo, isn’t it?

VIII. Danger zones: 

It will be announced on “Wesertag” that mines were layed [sic] off the main ports of the Norvegian [sic] West coast, and that shipping is being warned to use them. (Live barrages in the Skager-Raak danger zone only).

IX. Supplies: 

One tanker each will be provided by SKL for fuel and water supply of the destroyers at Narvik and Drontheim.

*) A separate information by SKL will follow concerning the supply situation and steps taken by SKL.

The Naval Reconaissance [sic] Troops (M.A.A.) will, after disembarkation, be attached to the Army units for food- and ammunition-supply.

X. Supply of maps:

The additional equipment with sea-charts required by the Naval forced will be prepared by SKL and passed on to the Group Headquarters for distribution to the forced concerned.

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT No. L - 323, cont’d.

(page 5 of original, cont’d.)

XI. Military demands:  

The following demands will be made from the military:

(a) all fortifications including ammunition and accommodations are to be put at the disposal.

(b) Accurate Charts are to be submitted concerning any mine barrages layed. [sic] Our own disposition remains reserved.

(c) All cables to be put under German supervision; those to England will be silenced.

(d) All W/T and D.F. stations to be at the disposal of the German Wehrmacht.

(page 6 of original)

(e) Radio transmittors [sic] are to adapt their service to German wishes (nautical implements.)

(f) All Naval forces are to be kept in port un-alerted. The right to put German guards a-board is reserved. 

/ / War- and sailing serviceability may be effectively interrupted by removeing [sic] suitable parts of the engines.

Compliance with the above mentioned demands will be the concerns of the political leadershipl [sic] Military agencies have to act in accordance with these damands. [sic]

XII. Organizational questions:

(see enclosure 3).

XIII. Signals instructions:

(see enclosure 4).

XIV. Air forces: 

#)

During execution of operations, the Bomber Group (K.Fl.Gr.) 506 (“He 115”) will, at first with one echelon (Staffel) each, be transferred to Kristiansand, Stavanger and Bergen. After securing supplies for Drontheim and Narvik

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TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT No. L - 323, cont’d.

(page 6 of original, cont’d.)

the echelons will be transferred to these bases from Kristiansand and Stavanger. Bomber Group 506 will be subordinated to the Luftwaffen-commander nominated, in order to secure supplies and uniform direction of tactical assignments of all air forced for the duration of operations.

(handwritten:) delivered.

XV. Conclusion:

The operation is based upon the quick bringing forward of the first wave of occupation by formations of the Navy. The successful execution depends to a large extend [sic] upon the initiative and determined will of the leaders of these formations. The weakness of the forces must be compensated by bold active and surprise execution.

The success of the operation means a decisive step for the further war against England.

(signed) RAEDER

by order

(signature:) SCHNEI (can’t read) ND.

CERTIFICATE OF TRANSLATION

I, C. E. IPPEN, ET No. 20063, hereby certify that I am thoroughly conversant with the English and German languages and that the above is a true and correct translation of Document No. L - 323.

Charles E. IPPEN

ET No. 20063

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END 


TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO. L-323    

OFFICE OF U.S. CHIEF OF COUSEL FOR

WAR CRIMES                                                    

To Group West Top Secret B-No. 747/40          

Copy

Group XXI Berlin, 5 March 1940

Ia Nr. 20/40 Top Secret. TOP SECRET!

12 (10) Copies

17th copy

:Top Secret       : (stamp) 

:only by Officer:

Subject: (“Weser Maneuver North”)

Operation Order for the Occupation of Norway

No. 1

(Copy with inserted cover leaves 1-4)

1.) The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht has issued orders to carry out all measures to occupy Norway with partial forces of the Wehrmacht, when the situation in Scandinavia demands it. (Case “Weseruebung North”). 

In view of out military-political strength in comparison with that state, the forces to be engaged in this case will be numerically as low as possible. Their inferiority in numbers must be balanced by resolute action and surprise execution.

In principle it should be aimed at giving the enterprise the character of a peaceful occupation which has the armed protection of Norway’s neutrality. As a suitable goal, claims will be presented to the government when the occupation is started.

The object of the claims will be to restrain the Norwegian government from any armed resistance, to induce it to tolerate the German occupation and to prepare it for loyal collaboration with the German military and civil offices. If such claims are agreed to, the government will be assured of the widest respect for and support of its domestic sovereignty and maintenance of the economic life.

Should, for all that, there be any resistance, it will be broken with the help of all military means.

General von FALKENHORST, Commanding General of the XXIst Infantry Corps,

(page 2 of original)

is charged with the preparations and direction of the expedition against Norway, as Commanding Officer of Group XXI; he is directly subordinated to the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht.

2.) The Occupation of Norway.

shall be carried in joint operation of the three services. The vastness and topography of the country requires the operation of combat groups in widely separated areas who will only in the further course of the operation get into contact with one another, and be reinforced. The success of the operation will depend therefore on the energetic and independent acting of all commanding officers and the smooth co-operation of all services working together in the respective area *

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2

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO. L-323 CONTINUATION

(page 2 of original cont’d)

The goal of the occupation of Norway is to transorm [sic] that country into a strong German base, to prevent any attempted landing of British-French forces and, furthermore, to create a strong basis for the German air and sea warfare.

The task of Group XXI is exclusively a military one and is limited to its execution. All further measures are only permissible in as much as they are absolutely necessary for the performance of the military task. Infringements and measures in the political administrative and economic fields will be carried out by civilian agencies according to special directives issued by the Fuehrer. The occupation troops, in this sphere, are to act, to undertake infringements or take measure only in as far as it is absolutely necessary for the fulfilment [sic] of their military tasks, pending regulation by civilian agencies.

3.) In the carrying out of the military task the following are to be occupied by means of surprise attack, from airtransports [sic], warships, and other sea vessels, each by one combat group:

Oslo     Commanding Officer: C.O. 163rd Division

Krendal             “       ” C.O. Cyclist Squadron 234

Kristiansand “       ” C.O. Inf. Rgt.310

Stavanger “       ” C.O. Inf. Rgt. 193

Egersund “       ” C.O. Art. Dot.169

Bergen “       ” C.O. 69th Division

Drontheim (Trondjam) “       ” C.O. Moutain Infantry Rgt. 138

Narvik “       ” C.O. 3rd Moutain Division

(page 3 of original)

For orders and distribution of forces for the individual combat groups, see enclosure.

4.) The transportation of troops aboard warships and other sea vessels, and by air transports, will be regulated in such a way that the complete combat groups or fighting detachments appear on “Wesertag” off or above the landing points under the protective gun-fire of war-ships or air-forces (bombers, heavy fighters and fighter units); the latter, however, not over Narvik. Parts of the Navy and Luftwaffe, assigned for that task, will be responsible for covering of sea-and [sic] air transports. Responsibility of the commanding officers of Army units will not begin until troops are landed.

5.) It is anticipated that as soon as the landing is started, it will be recognizable by wireless reports and the attitude of the Norwegians whether

A. a peaceful occupation is possible,

B. landing and occupation must be enforced in combat.

6.) Considering the partly outspoken anti-German attitude of the Norwegian population, one must reckon intCase [sic] A with the possibility of local opposition and the presence of numerous English agents. For the rest, the point case A will be to concentrate the landed troops without delay, to deepen the first effect of the surprise occupation on the Norwegian Army and population by a firm, soldierly behavior, and swiftly to get hold of all important military and political positions and transport facilities. 

While the behavior should be firm and energetic, also in presenting the necessary claims, the form of peaceful occupation must be maintained. The legitimate sense of honor of the Norwegian Army should be respected to much the more as it is hoped that in case of a tactful attitude the officer corps may be won for us. Fire-arms and ammunition s should be confiscated only when a loyal attitude of the troops is not

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3

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO. L-323 CONTINUATION

(page 3 of original cont’d)

guaranteed. Abusive use of weapons of all kind must be

(page 4 of original)

prevented in any case (for example safeguarding of ammunitions).

Demands for billets, transportation, fuels, provisions, etc., should be directed to the Norwegian authorities. In urgent cases the troops are held to act upon their own initiative (seizure).

In case A as well, the troops should be concentrated in mass billets, security measure taken and measures for the defense prepared in co-operation within the combat group.

7.) In case B the main task will be:

in the first place, to fight down defense positions hampering the landing of troops (coastal batteries, forts and anti-aircraft batteries), viz.

a) by the airforce

b) by the artillery of the naval forces

c) by parachutists and airborne troops

d) if necessary, by units landed at other places; furthermore, to

get firm hold of all the landing site with all its important military and political positions and transport facilities, to destroy all Norwegian troops based there, and to secure the place for further landings and as a basis for operations against further parts of the opposing Army.

The next target is taking possession of the adjacent training camps (drill grounds) of the Norwegian Army as training and mobilization centers

The complete neutralization or annihilation of the Norwegian Army, considering the vastness and inaccessibility of the country, is not possible for the time being. The selection of places which are to be occupied comprises most of the important Norwegian garrisons, in order to prevent the mobilization and gathering of stronger forces and guarantee the domination of the country in general.

Operations against distant forces of the Norwegian Army should only be carried out in as much as the available forces will permit with full protection of the landing place, also against English landing attempts.

(page 5 of original)

An authorization by Group XXI is necessary for the conduct of such operations.

The landing of English troops should be prevented, while avoiding unnecessary losses, and that in the following way:

a) War-ships which can be fought without support should be repulsed, and landing attempts prevented by gunfire.

b) In case of strong superiority exercised by heavy naval artillery, troops should first withdraw; landed forces of the enemy should be crushed by counter-attacks.

c) Should even this be impossible because of enemy superiority, troops have to retreat along the lines leading to the mid-section of the country (railway or road), but only so far as is absolutely necessary, until counter-attacks are possible (Under certain circumstances by bringing up of further forces).

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4

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO. L-323 CONTINUATION

(page 5 of original, cont’d)

8.) Co-operation with the Navy.

The task of the Navy will include the transport aboard war-ships and other sea vessels of all units assigned to sea transportation, the anti-aircraft – and gunfire protection for the landing operation until it is finished. For reasons of sea warfare it is not possible to retain the naval forces at the landing place for a longer space of time.

Embarkation schedules, putting to sea, behavior of the troops upon sea, will be regulated by the Navy. While aboard, all directives given by commanding officers of the Navy, even if of minor ranks, must be followed. Heavy restriction in room aboard for a numerical benefit must be accepted. Provisions during transports will be supplied by the Navy.

9.) Co-operation with the Luftwaffe.

The Luftwaffe – assigned to collaboration – will take care of:

a) Transport and landing of parachutists in Oslo and Stavanger.

b) Transport and landing of Army units by air transports in Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, and – in the given case – also in Kristiansand.

c) Protection of transports and landing against enemy aircraft.

d) Dropping of leaflets.

(page 6 of original)

e) Support of the ground – fighting with a view to crush to crush enemy strongholds, anti-aircraft – coastal batteries.

f) Keeping in readiness of fighter – and heavy fighter units landed on Norwegian and Jutland airbases for the defense against British air attacks.

9.) Anti-aircraft protection after the landing in Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, Trontjem and Narvik.

10.) A special order will be issued for communication services.

11.) All preparation for the expedition should be carried out with the utmost energy and as fast as possible.

Secrecy.  It is of utmost importance that out action takes the Northern States, and the western opponents alike, by surprise. All preparations, in particular with regard to disposition of transportation and troops and to allotment of troops to transports must aim at this end. In case preparations for shipments can no longer by kept secret, other objects are to be simulated for Commanders and troops. The real objects should be known to the troops not sooner than the embarkation is started or when putting into sea.

All preparatory work, offering even the slightest clue to the expedition, should be handled by officers only (reports and sketches). 

Every commanding officer should be introduced t his task as late as possible. The circle of officers working on the task should determined

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5

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO. L-323 CONTINUATION

(page 6 or [sic] original cont’d)

by responsible commanders in writing and kept as limited as possible.

12.) The state of preparations has to be reported currently to Group XXI.

13.) During the preparation period I shall be chiefly with the operational staff in Berlin (OKW).

Supreme Commander of Group XXI.

Signed: von FALKENHORST

F.d.R.

Certified true copy:

Signed: PERILMANN

Lieutenant Colonel of the General Staff

CERTIFICATE OF TRANSLATION

6 February 1947

I, MARY E. CARTER, Warrant Officer, WAAF, 2120728, hereby certify that I am thoroughly conversant with the English and German languages and that the above is a true and correct translation of the original document No. L-323.

MARY E. CARTER

Warrant Officer

WAAF-2120728

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END

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